Falling behind on bills can be overwhelming, and now creditors are constantly hounding you to repay your debt when all you want them to do is stop. When you find yourself drowning in debt and harassed by debt collectors, don’t forget you have rights as a consumer against debt collectors using illegal debt collection practices. If you receive a lawsuit in an attempt to collect your unpaid debt, it is crucial not to ignore the summons. You can fight the lawsuit, and the statute of limitations on debt collection in Florida could be of help. Let’s deeper dive into the statute of limitations on Florida debt, and how it can help you stop creditors from harassing you.
Statute of Limitations on Florida Debt Collection
A statute of limitations on Florida debt is the amount of time debt collectors legally have to act to collect your debt. The time length varies from state to state, usually falling between 3 years and 6 years, but can even be up to 10 years to 15 years. However, when debt has passed the statute of limitations, that does not mean you’re off the hook for repaying the money you owe. Creditors can still sue you, but they will not get a judgment against you if you show proof the debt is too old. The debt collection statute of limitations in Florida varies on the type of debt you may have:
Types of Debt
When determining the statute of limitations on Florida debt, it is essential to understand which category of debt you fall under. This is because the type of debt determines the time length of the statute of limitations. The time begins from the last dated payment you have made, no matter how small the amount was. Let’s review the 4 categories of debt, and how long the statute of limitations is for each one:
• Oral Agreements
When you are in an oral agreement, you have verbally agreed to pay someone money, but there is nothing in writing, which makes it more difficult to enforce. The statute of limitations on Florida debt for oral agreements is 4 years.
• Written Contracts
Written agreements include all contracts that have been signed by you regardless of whether it’s been officially typed up and printed or signed on a napkin. In contract debt, it is required the terms and conditions of the loan be stated, such as the amount or monthly payment. The statute of limitations on Florida debt for written contracts is 5 years.
• Promissory Notes
Similar to written contracts, promissory notes are a written and signed document with terms and conditions you have agreed. Promissory notes will also include terms that you will pay your loan in certain payments, include any interest rates, and will have the loan paid back in full by a certain date. Types of promissory notes include student loans or your mortgage payment. The statute of limitations on Florida debt for promissory notes is also 5 years.
• Open-Ended Accounts
The last type of debt you could fall under are open-ended accounts. Open-ended accounts are accounts with a balance you can repay and borrow the money again. You can continue to borrow the money as long as you continue to pay back the balance on the account. All credit cards are considered open-ended accounts. The statute of limitations on Florida debt for open-ended accounts is 4 years.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Now that we’ve covered the statute of limitations on Florida debt, it’s time to go over your rights as a consumer. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects your consumer rights from aggressive or abusive creditors. There are several ways to know when debt collectors are violating your rights. Some of the illegal practices creditors can use include:
- Threatening to use physical force
- Refusing to identify themselves
- Impersonating law enforcement
You will find many times agencies have complaints against them, and you can file your complaint with the FTC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the State Attorney’s Office.
Questions on the Statute of Limitations on Florida Debt?
By understanding the statute of limitations on Florida debt, you will be able to understand your rights as a consumer to protect yourself from any potential harassment from creditors. If you are unsure what type of debt you are in, how to handle debt collecting agencies or how to file a complaint, it’s crucial to seek out an expert attorney to represent you. At Parker & DuFresne, we work with you to ensure your rights are protected. Our consumer protection attorneys can sue on your behalf to end harassment and collect any potential damages, but it doesn’t end there. We help you get out from under your debt with credit rebuilding or a personalized payment plan. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss your options or for any questions you may have.