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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    26

    Default Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

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    I live in Atlanta, GA. I had a FCNB credit card. Last payment was 2/1/02. Got a summons on 10/18/06. Filed my answer..."Expired SOL. Credit cards are open accounts which have a 4 year SOL." Court date was today 1/22/07. Went into the court room judge asked me my name and then told me to go outside and talk to plantiff attny (Wolpoff and Abramson). We went into the hallway and she told me that the GA law is unclear about a 4 yr or 6 yr sol. She said that the courts could go either way. She said if i went back into the courtroom she would argue the 6 yr statute. Now i had heard of the truth-in-lending act and how it related credit cards to being open accts. I had the statute number on my notes that i had prepared before my case. I was thinking about going back into the courtroom and using the Truth in Lending Act as my defense for the 4 year statute. I chickened out and agreed to a settlement for $1500 (on a $3000 suit). I'm wondering if i could have won and had to pay nothing or I made the right decision by settling for 1/2. I think the w&a attny thought i had a good chance of winning is why she offered a last minute settlement.

    I have other bad debts and have an attny trying to contact me to collect on another debt. I dont know what debt its for b/c i havent returned any of the calls (im scared to) and they havent sent me anything in the mail. I do know that whatever it is for its beyond 4 years b/c i had my financial trouble in 2002. Im wondering if this attny sues, if i should actually fight this one in court and use the SOL and Truth in Lending Act and argue that the debt is uncollectable.

    Thanks, answer me back!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,620

    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Georgia's statutes provide,
    Quote Quoting OCGA 11-2-725. Statute of limitations in contracts for sale
    (1) An action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued. By the original agreement the parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year but may not extend it.
    and
    Quote Quoting 9-3-25. Open accounts; breach of certain contracts; implied promise; exception
    All actions upon open account, or for the breach of any contract not under the hand of the party sought to be charged, or upon any implied promise or undertaking shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues. However, this Code section shall not apply to actions for the breach of contracts for the sale of goods under Article 2 of Title 11.
    What's the authority for the claim that the limitations period can be six years?

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    26

    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Well the attny for wolpoff & abramson said that she'd argue the six year statute and the courts could go either way. So I figured....

    I could proceed with the trial and argue the four year statute. If i win I go home free. If i lost i'd have to pay $3000 (the settlement was for $1500). I would have a judgement entered on my credit reports for 7 additional years. All my credit problems were in 2002, so the bad stuff is gonna fall off in two years. My Equifax score is now a 630 (which is fair) from the 400s in 2003. I didnt wanna risk a judgement and have a score in the 500s or low 600s in two years when it would probably be in the 700s at that point. I figured i should just cut my losses and pay the $1500 even if i had a 90% chance of winning. The lowered FICO score would probably cost me more in the long run.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    26

    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    When we went outside the courtroom. She said..."So i got your answer that u filed about the SOL expiring and the SOL being 4 years. Well, our law firm works on the 6 year statute for contracts because Georgia law is unclear whether credit cards are open accts or simple contracts." She handed me a piece of paper with this on it (which im reading from right now)...

    9-3-24.
    All actions upon simple contracts in writing shall be brought within six years after the same become due and payable. However, this Code section shall not apply to actions for the breach of contracts for the sale of goods under Article 2 of Title 11 or to negotiable instruments under Article 3 of Title 11.)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    I think she played you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Thats what I figured so I'm out $1500.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,438

    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    I think she played you.
    I think you are right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    26

    Unhappy Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    I'm back, a month later with the same problem...but bigger. The attorney that I was talking about in the last paragraph of my initial post, the one that was calling and leaving messages that I never responded to, filed suit against me. I got a court summons yesterday. This one is for about 6000 (including interest and attorney fees). I looked the credit card account in question up on my credit report. The date of last activity is listed as Jan. 2002. This account has been inactive and unpaid for 5 years. Past the 4 year SOL for open accounts, but not the 6 year SOL for written accounts that the Wolpoff/Abramson attorney would apply to my other case I had last month.

    What should I do? I guess I oughta hire an attorney to deal with this case. Anyone know any good ones in the Atlanta area. Also, I was wondering if the SOL had indeed expired if I could countersue the plantiff for my attorney costs.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Apparently you already know how to file an answer and affirmative defenses, so you may wish to do that. Consult a local lawyer to find out how your local judges are resolving the statute of limitations issues, and from that you can try to decide whether to try to win on the basis of the statute of limitations on your own, negotiate a settlement with or without a lawyer, or have the lawyer represent you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    26

    Question Re: Georgia Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt

    Well I talked to a lawyer today for defense in this case and he said that credit cards are considered written contracts and fall under a 6 year sol. However, he said that b/c this debt is 5 years old and has been sold off to multiple collection agencies, its likely that the plantiff has insufficent evidence. Therefore, I still should be able to at the very least settle the account for less than whats owed. I went ahead and hired him to at least file an answer and get the ball rolling. I'm still confused why credit cards are considered written contracts (6 yr sol), when the truth in lending act defines an "open account" (basically a credit card agreement).

    Here's where the big problem arises. I have several charged-off credit card accounts. So far, ive been sued for two. This current one and the one I described in an earler post in which I settled for half. Currently, I have about $45k in charged off debt. If the sol is in deed 6 years (its been 4.5-5 years for all the accounts), should I expect to get multiple suits in the coming months (since the sol will be expiring soon). I didnt even have a bank account (no checking or savings account, just used cash and money orders) from early 2002 until july 2006. Im wondering, that opening a bank account has triggered these suits, since now i have assets. Can collectors actually tell if u have money in a bank account somewhere? Should I take this money out and essentially keep it in a shoe box? Should i file bankruptcy? (I made $37,000 last year and have no dependents so I'm not even sure if this is possible under the new law.) I havent noticed anymore law firms posting hard inquiries to my credit report (which is what happened 6-12 months before each suit).

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