DeadBroke

Can I be sued beyond the S.O.L?

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I had an account years ago called "PayPal Pay Later", which was administered by GE Moneybank. I lost my job in November of 2010, and was unable to make further payments - in fact, I was unemployed for over two years, and was called a "deadbeat dad" by the Friend of the Court because I was unable to pay my full child support payments from my unemployment checks - in fact, they confiscated several tax refunds, such as they were, to pay the back amount. The debt has been sold twice that I know of - possibly more. The first time I was aware of it, I told the collectors I had nothing to give them (they asked the usual questions, including "do you have anything of value you can sell?" - which I do not, as everything of value I once had, I sold in a vain effort to keep my house from being foreclosed on, hoping I would find employment before then). That company continued to try to call, then stopped. I did not hear from anyone for a long time afterwards. When I finally did get a job, I ended up with so much being taken out in child support, plus health insurance (the court requires me to take out health insurance on my kids, despite the fact that their mother makes more money than I do - by a significant amount - and has insurance through her employer, which is the state correctional system), that I have to live with my parents in order to provide my children with a decent living environment when they are with me - I can't even afford the rent on an efficiency apartment, which is hardly suitable for my kids! I have barely enough left over to pay for gas and insurance on my car, plus my necessary medications. I drive 60 miles to the nearest VA clinic because gas is cheaper than the medical bills for a simple doctor visit (I once incurred a bill from my local hospital for just over $400 for basic blood work, which took me over 2 years to pay off)!

I got a letter from a company called "Taurus Law Group LLC" in MA in October informing me that their client had purchased my debt. I ignored them, as I had nothing to give them to begin with. They called and left a message asking me to call them on November. I put that number on my blocked list. They called me from another number and left another message yesterday, asking me to call them. That number is also blocked now. It is past 6 years since I lost my job, and Michigan's statute of limitations is 6 years. Can these bozos still sue me (for money I can't afford to give them, no less), now that they are past the S.O.L.? Can I simply send them a letter telling them to cease and desist, and that they ARE past the S.O.L., and that further attempts to collect will be treated as harassment? I have received no further letters from them, just the two phone calls simply stating who they are (with no notification as to who they are calling), that it is an "attempt to collect a debt", and a person and phone number to call.

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1 hour ago, Goody_Ouchless said:

They can sue past SOL, but then you would be able to sue them for $1000. Any reputable consumer attorney would take your case for free at that point.

So what can I do to forstall their attempting to sue, so I don't have to deal with the headaches of a court case? What would likely happen if, for example, I sent them a letter informing them that I am aware that they are past the SOL, and therefore are, themselves, SOL (s**t out of luck)? And that any attempts to sue will result in a countersuit for their violations of the law?

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1 hour ago, DeadBroke said:

So what can I do to forstall their attempting to sue, so I don't have to deal with the headaches of a court case? What would likely happen if, for example, I sent them a letter informing them that I am aware that they are past the SOL, and therefore are, themselves, SOL (s**t out of luck)? And that any attempts to sue will result in a countersuit for their violations of the law?

I would not be so worried about a "court case" in this situation, because it's really a basic deal.  If they sue you, you need to file an answer and affirmative defenses in most jurisdictions.  This would be the time to state that the debt is time-barred.  It's an affirmative defense, and you MUST use it at the start.  But once you invoke SOL as an affirmative defense, as long as your math is correct, the case should be dismissed with prejudice. 

 

I looked up Taurus Law Group....I'm a bit confused:

http://www.tauruslawpc.com/

This law firm is a personal injury firm, and there's not one word of anything regarding consumer debt collection on their website.  Maybe the ambulance chasing industry is in a rut and they are looking to make more $$$.  More than likely, this law firm agreed to write a letter for a client, because a letter on a law firm's letterhead can often create more urgency on the part of the consumer.  But here's the thing--that law firm does not appear to have any attorneys that are licensed to practice law in your state anyways.  This is most likely a scare tactic designed to make you, the consumer, worry so that you might hurry up and pay.  That does not mean that they could not sue you and hire a local attorney to show up in court, but it's not as likely.

You could write them a letter, but before you do, you need to make sure that you are correct about the debt being time-barred.  For example, some courts have said that the SOL clock on certain debts begins at charge-off, not when you first missed a payment.  Also, is this a line of credit?  Credit card?  It makes a difference sometimes, different kinds of debt can have different statutes of limitations.  So you will want to make certain that the SOL really is 6 years for the kind of debt that you had, and also you want to make sure that the SOL really has expired according to your state's practices.  These should not be that difficult to figure out, a check of court cases can show you what the courts in your jurisdiction have said about the SOL period's beginning.   In MI, promissory notes have a 3 year SOL....written contracts, a 6 year SOL, and open accounts(like a credit card) are 5 years.  It's tough to say what this debt would be based on the limited info you posted.  If this is the same as as Paypal's current "Bill Me Later" credit plan, then they call it an "open-end credit plan" on their own website, which would lead me to believe that the 5 year SOL would apply, but you need to make sure of this.   I would not write them a letter until you know for sure.

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It does, to the best of my knowledge, count as an open ended account. Last I checked, the statute of limitations in Michigan is 6 years for ALL debts. And apparently TLG LLC represents Crown Assets, a zombie debt buyer. As for the rest (time bar starting at charge off or at last payment), I will have to look further.

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This from Acclaim Legal Services' web site:

" According to Michigan law, your creditor has up to 6 years (from the date of your last payment) to collect on a debt, including obtaining a judgment on the debt. "

"If you received a notice of complaint (a lawsuit filed against you) on a debt that is past what you believe to be the Statute of Limitations, you must still respond to the suit. The Statute of Limitations is an “affirmative defense”. If you ignore the notice of complaint, your creditor can obtain a deficiency judgment to renew collection efforts even if it has been past the six years Statute of Limitations. This makes the debt legally binding again and this judgment can also be continually renewed and/or sold to a debt collection agency until the debt has been satisfied."

So far, I have not received a "notice of complaint",  just a letter stating that they had purchased the debt, what the debt was, and that if I had not responded within a certain amount of time it would be assumed the debt was valid.

 

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47 minutes ago, DeadBroke said:

This from Acclaim Legal Services' web site:

" According to Michigan law, your creditor has up to 6 years (from the date of your last payment) to collect on a debt, including obtaining a judgment on the debt. "

"If you received a notice of complaint (a lawsuit filed against you) on a debt that is past what you believe to be the Statute of Limitations, you must still respond to the suit. The Statute of Limitations is an “affirmative defense”. If you ignore the notice of complaint, your creditor can obtain a deficiency judgment to renew collection efforts even if it has been past the six years Statute of Limitations. This makes the debt legally binding again and this judgment can also be continually renewed and/or sold to a debt collection agency until the debt has been satisfied."

So far, I have not received a "notice of complaint",  just a letter stating that they had purchased the debt, what the debt was, and that if I had not responded within a certain amount of time it would be assumed the debt was valid.

 

The statement from the law firm is correct.  The SOL expiring does not stop them from suing a consumer it does give the consumer a gold plated affirmative defense if they are sued past that SOL.

Going back to your original plan I would send them a cease and desist letter stating you refuse to pay and that the alleged debt is beyond the SOL.  If they contact you again:  sue them for violating the FDCPA.

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