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  1. #1

    Default Collector

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: TEXAS

    I had a car repossessed nearly 10 years ago, the lender put it up for auction and wrote it off. Now, nearly 10 years later I'm being pursue by a collector who claims to be collecting for the original lender. They first called me, then they attempted to serve me at home but I would never open the door. They have now sent me a certified letter, which I did not accept. I do not want them to somehow go around me and obtain a default judgement against me. In addition, I am a disabled Vietnam-Era Veteran on medications, when they first called me I had a panic attack and freaked out. Are they allowed to pursue me in this way after so many years of hearing nothing? What can I do to end this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,059

    Default Re: Collector

    Whether you "heard nothing" or not is immaterial. They are allowed to proceed against you within the limitations period. The issue, however, would appear to only be a four-year statute of limitations on such actions in Texas. It is unclear while you are hearing from them now. Texas has limited tolling (unless you were actively concealing your location or had a bankruptcy in progress, the time runs from when they first could have filed the lawsuit, i.e., right after the repossession).

    Dodging service isn't going to be a long term solution. Once they show you refused the certified mail, they can go back to the court and move for substituted service (typically posting/publication) and then you miss the court date and you will get a default judgment levied against you.

    What I would do is first notify whoever this is that the lender and whatever "attorney" is on the papers and inform them that the case is beyond the limitations period. If that doesn't work. Accept service and go to court and make the same motion to the judge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,647

    Default Re: Collector

    I’m not well versed in Texas procedure but in many states the sol defense must be put forth in the initial response to the suit. When you are finally served make sure you respond properly so the sol defense is properly filed. Failing to properly put forth an sol defense can result in that defense being denied.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,965

    Default Re: Collector

    Quote Quoting pannia54@gmail.com
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    Are they allowed to pursue me in this way after so many years of hearing nothing?
    Yes.

    Quote Quoting pannia54@gmail.com
    View Post
    What can I do to end this?
    First, get the papers and read them so you know what's going on and can respond appropriately.

    And pay attention to the comments of flyingron and jk.

    You have to raise the SOL as an affirmative defense when you file your answer to the complaint. An exception might be if small claims court just summons you to court without requiring a written answer. Then you raise the SOL in court.

    Again, you won't know anything until you get the papers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,423

    Default Re: Collector

    Quote Quoting pannia54@gmail.com
    View Post
    I do not want them to somehow go around me and obtain a default judgement against me.
    Then you should accept service and deal with the situation head-on, rather than cowering in a corner and hiding.


    Quote Quoting pannia54@gmail.com
    View Post
    Are they allowed to pursue me in this way after so many years of hearing nothing? What can I do to end this?
    What does "in this way" mean? Since you're cowering and hiding, I'm not sure you even know what's happening. With that said...

    Is someone to whom you owe money allowed to call you? Yes. Is someone to whom you owe money allowed to sue you and try and serve you? Of course. Is someone to whom you owe money allowed to send you mail? Of course.

    If, in fact, you are being sued and you believe the statute of limitations ("SOL") has expired, then you should happily accept service and file a responsive pleading in which you allege the SOL as an affirmative defense.

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