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  1. #1

    Default 10yo Credit Card debt from Florida - SOL Time frozen???

    Hi,
    I was one of the "College Gullibles" and ended up with 2 Credit Cards my first year in College in 1997. One of them is paid off, the other (Discover) I defaulted on almost immediatly. The card was written off by discover late 1998/1999.
    The card still shows up on my Credit Report with a balance due of about $5,000 (originally a $1,000 limit... :-/ ) and the status shows "Write Off" or "Charge Off", I can't remember.
    I have disputed this about 3 times claiming "Statute of Limitations" (once with a Certified Letter, twice online), all three responces from the CRAs has been "debt is valid".
    I haven't paid on the debt in probably 3 years, but prior to that I would pay $100 here or $100 there 2 or 3 times a year when they'd call and harass me.
    I have read conflicing information about the Statute of Limitations law in Florida.

    This Credit Card was opened in Florida in September 1997, however I haven't lived in Florida since September 1998.

    What concerns me is what I've read about the SOL basically "pausing" if you move out of state...

    "The limitations period begins from the date the last element of the cause of action occurred, (95.051). NOTE: The limitation period is tolled (stopped) for any period during which the debtor is absent from the state and each time a voluntary payment is made on a debt arising from a written instrument."

    I have also read quite a bit about the date 8/7/1997, in which all debts opened prior to that date don't have the "absent from the state" provision.
    Of course my debt was opened a month after this date.

    So, with that being said... Will this debt ever dissapear from my Credit Report? It has been 10 years since it was opened.

    I have also read to the contrary on the "voluntary payment" part, and that the SOL is actually from the date the debt was opened, irrregardless of "voluntary payments".

    So, as you see, I'm pretty confused. I've spent hours researching and that has only led me to more confusing... My main question is just about the "absent from the state" part, and could that be why my debt is still on my credit report 10 years later.

    If that is the case, this seems so crazy that Florida is the only state that STOPS the Status Of Limitations. It seems sort of unethical.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,437

    Default Re: 10yo Credit Card debt from Florida - SOL Time frozen???

    SOL (Statutes of limitation are DEFENSES to lawsuits; they do NOT provide a method to stop someone from suing you. This defense means when they sue you, you answer with the defense that it is barred by the SOL.)

    In every state that I know of, when you are out of the state, the SOL stops running.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 10yo Credit Card debt from Florida - SOL Time frozen???

    thanks for your quick reply senior judge. So you're saying that the "tolling" is only for law suits, etc? And that this debt has actually ran past the Statute of Limitations and should therefor be removed completely from my credit report?

    I guess I'm just not sure how right I am on this, and if I should pursue with full force effort to get it removed, or just accept that the Credit Bureau's know what they're talking about when they've replied three times with "Debt Valid".
    Also... another thing of note... The debt doesn't appear to have been reaged at any point. The dates all appear to be valid on my Credit Report. Why wouldn't this debt of dropped off automatically? Or do the Credit Bureau people actually manually do that?

    I realize that my responses from the Credit Bureau are probably "canned" responces, and they probably requested validation from Discover Card, Discover Card said it was valid, so that's the response that I got from the Credit Bureau. But when I stated in the letter "Statute of Limitations" why didn't they just look at the dates and say "oh... 10 years... deleted".
    Should I just be more persistent? Or is there something in this whole tolling a credit card debt?


    Again... I thank you for your responces... I'm at a loss as to what the law really is (even though I've read it about 15 times).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,437

    Default Re: 10yo Credit Card debt from Florida - SOL Time frozen???

    Q: So you're saying that the "tolling" is only for law suits, etc? And that this debt has actually ran past the Statute of Limitations and should therefor be removed completely from my credit report?

    A: No, I said nothing even remotely resembling that. If the credit card company sues you, then you can claim that the statute of limitations has passed and then try to prove it.

    As far as I know, you can't get creditors to stop bugging you based on the alleged passage of the statute of limitations.

    (I am not a debtor/creditor lawyer; stand by for other opinions.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: 10yo Credit Card debt from Florida - SOL Time frozen???

    Quote Quoting seniorjudge
    View Post
    A: No, I said nothing even remotely resembling that. If the credit card company sues you, then you can claim that the statute of limitations has passed and then try to prove it.

    As far as I know, you can't get creditors to stop bugging you based on the alleged passage of the statute of limitations.
    Okay, thanks... Currently I'm more so worried about my Credit Report (that I have been painfully trying to get back in good order).
    And the only thing that is keeping me from being there is this 10 year old debt that is still showing up. I need to look again and check what they list as the "Drop Off Date". But I'm also curious as to if anyone has any thoughts on this.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Ten-Year-Old Credit Card Debt Still Appearing On Credit Report

    In most states the statute of limitations starts to run at the date of last payment. Making payments can renew the debt, and can count as activity which resets the clock for having the debt fall off of your credit report.

    I believe you are correct that, under Florida law, the statute would have started to run when your last payment came due and would not be renewed by your subsequent payments. However, your continued activity in the form of making payments may have shifted the account to the state from where you made the payments, such that the statute of limitations would be running in your state but starting @3 years ago. And if it did not, as has been pointed out, the Florida statute is tolled by your absence from that state.

    But also, as has been noted, the statute of limitations has nothing to do with the 7-year period for reporting debts. Credit reporting agencies can report expired debts. I'm not sure when the write-off occurred, but you indicate that there was activity (payments) on the account @ 3 years ago.

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