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Potential to be Sued Beyond Original SOL In New State After Moving to AZ


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I am considering moving from NC (3 yr SOL) to AZ (6 yr SOL).

I have a few alleged debts for which the SOL recently expired in NC.  I have sought counsel from attorneys in AZ as to how easy it would be to defend a lawsuit if sued in AZ for these accounts.  After speaking with three lawyers, none of them have been able to offer any useful insight and seem uncertain of how their own courts would handle the matter, even with consideration to the fact that the contracts are alleged to have been signed while I was a resident of NC and subsequent charges accrued in NC as well.

Anyone from AZ who may be able to share some insight on the subject?

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8 minutes ago, Neo9 said:

I am considering moving from NC (3 yr SOL) to AZ (6 yr SOL).

The simple answer is if the SOL is still active in NC when you move then it remains active in AZ until the 6 years from the default.  The second problem is AZ is VERY creditor friendly.  Your option is to remain in NC until the SOL expires completely (and not by a day or 2) then move to AZ or roll the dice and take your chances by moving while the SOL is still alive.  

One more potential problem is they can still sue you in NC.  Some states (and I do not know about AZ specifically) require that you be established for at least 3-6 months before you are considered a resident with the full protection of the courts.  If the creditor(s) sue you in NC before you move or are established in AZ with a new residence, registration, license etc. you could be forced back to NC at your own expense to defend the case.  We have had a few threads on here from those who get sued, served, move and then are faced with the airfare/hotel etc. expenses because they erroneously believed the move would cancel the suit.  Make sure you watch the docket in NC to ensure there isn't tack and mail or alternative service that would put you in a worse situation.

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SOL has expired in NC on the accounts as follows as of today (6/19/21):

62 days past
68 days past
19 days past
180+ days past

Midland owns the account that's 180+ expired and still actively pursues it via written correspondence so I am considering the potential they may try to play some games at some point.

One attorney I spoke with indicated they "can sue you in AZ" anyway because "they are supposed to sue you where you reside"  to suggest they could disregard the NC SOL, sue in AZ, and none were able to offer me any insight into Maricopa County's case law in handling the situation in terms of whether:

(a) AZ would allow them to pursue the Choice of Venue clause from original contract (NC, at least the county in which I currently reside, doesn't humor these); or
(b) Would be responsive to a defense (whether motion to dismiss based on improper venue or otherwise) pointing to the fact that contract was initiated in NC, SOL expired while i still lived there and then some (I would potentially move in about 3 weeks).

AZ doesn't consider you a resident unless you have lived there for 9 months and NC considers you a resident as long as you spend 6 months of a tax year in-state (which I already have) .... and my move isn't intended to be long-term.  I have maneuverability there but thought perhaps someone in the forum from AZ may have some experience with a similar scenario.

I imagine I got lucky due to Covid and some of the still-active collectors might sniff out an opportunity to take a shot at me if they see  utility inquiries on my credit in another state, etc. so I am trying to pre-empt different scenarios.

Adding a layer of complexity to the situation is the fact that I was actually waiting for the SOL to expire before filing several actions in NC against the alleged creditors for various violations, but would not have time to do so until later in the year.

 

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18 minutes ago, Neo9 said:

One attorney I spoke with indicated they "can sue you in AZ" anyway because "they are supposed to sue you where you reside"  to suggest they could disregard the NC SOL, sue in AZ, and none were able to offer me any insight into Maricopa County's case law in handling the situation in terms of whether:

The attorney is wrong.  Here’s the applicable AZ statute.

12-506. Action barred by foreign statute of limitation, bankruptcy or insolvency

A. No action shall be maintained against a person removing to this state from another state or foreign country to recover upon an action which was barred by the law of limitations of the state or country from which he migrated.

That plainly states if you move to AZ from another state and the SOL has already expired in that state, an action cannot be filed against you in AZ. 

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Thanks BV80.  My brain is fried, I don't know why I didn't reference the AZ laws myself for relevant info.  I'm surprised, yet not surprised, none of the three attorneys I consulted knew this.

Being honest, and with no disrespect intended to the attorneys, I've found most of the lawyers practicing in this area to be really sub-par and/or lazy.  Frustrating.

Really appreciate your help a lot.

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