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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Angry What is the Statute of Limitations for Debts in Tennessee

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: TN

    What is the statute of limitations in TN for collecting a debt? My reason for asking is that after 6 years I am just now getting a call from a collection agency on an old cell phone bill with a company I no longer have service with. My service ended with them in January 2008. I called the cell company and they no longer record of what phone # the bill is on or when the last payment I made was or any payment history at all. They said they attempted to contact for 4 months after I ended my contract with them. They said they sent my acct to a collection agency in May of 2008. IF my research is correct then the SOL is 6 years for contracts so, if the SOL time clock started when they sent the acct to an agency then we are at the 6 yr limit but if it ended when I ended my contract then we are past it. Also, the girl at the cell company indicated that my account has gone through several agencies.

    I honestly believe I paid everything I owed them when I switched service to another company. My other contact information (home ph#, home address and email address) has not changed since I had service with them so, their statement that they could not reach me is ludicrous. It will probably take an act of God to obtain any payment records on my end since I think I have switched banks since then, twice I think.

    Needless to say I was VERY ticked to be getting a call on a bill after 6 years. Are they still allowed to collect on this? And do I have any options in fighting this that won’t cost me a lot of money (preferably none)?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: What is Statute of Limitations for Tennessee

    The statute of limitations has nothing to do with "collecting a debt."

    It has to do with the time limit for filing a lawsuit based on a breach of contract and that's 6 years in TN per statute 28-3-101.

    The creditor can theoretically attempt to collect the debt forever and can even file a lawsuit at any time during forever, in the hopes that you won't understand that you have to raise the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense to get out from under the lawsuit.

    The statute of limitations typically starts running when the contract is breached. For an installment contract the breach typically occurs when an unpaid payment becomes past due, and not when the last on-time payment is made.

    So, yes, they are still allowed to collect on this.

    As for your options for fighting it that won't cost you a lot of money you might try sending a letter demanding that they send you proof of the debt and in the same letter state that, if they cannot do that, they should cease and desist any further contacts. Refer to the appropriate provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (google it).

    If the SOL has run out, the worst that can happen is your credit report gets hit for another year until the 7 year limit is up for reporting it.

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