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By Sean A. Kelly
Tyler King, my friend’s brother is a hard working man. However his ‘Live Life King Size’ formula to life made sure that he got into debt. The fact that he earns a wonderful salary has kept him afloat. Since he has been in debt most of his life and has always paid his dues, he doesn’t remember ever not paying. One afternoon he got a telephone call from a debt collection agency asking him to pay a debt that he had disputed with the company nearly four years ago. As per California Statute of Limitations four years would be the applicable time period for collection of credit card debt. What Tyler did when contacted was that he accepted that there was an unpaid disputed debt that he owed and did not know that his acceptance would refresh the statute of limitation and he was sued by the collection agency.
According to California Statute of Limitations, the time period during which a creditor can sue the debtor in a court of law for credit card debtor open accounts, written contracts and promissory notes is four years, for oral contracts it is two years and for civil judgment it is 10 years from the date of last payment or last usage. In case one is contacted near the end of the statute of limitations time period, it would be advisable not to accept that debt and not to agree to pay the debt or send the creditor any money as it would reset the statute of limitations giving the creditor the right to sue.
In case of being contacted near the expiry of the statute of limitations, it might be prudent to get in touch with a debt relief company to aid resolve the problem. In California debt help might be sought by approaching a debt relief network which would be related to many legal debt businesses. This would provide legal options to deal with one’s debt. In case of a long pending debt as in the case of Tyler, it might be better to either send out a certified letter, return receipt requested for not contacting again regarding the debt due to the expiry of the statute of limitations. However, one must remember that even if the statute of limitations has run on the account and would not be payable after the expiry, the debt would be reported in the credit report.
To get rid of a debt being reported in one’s credit report, the debt would need to be paid. In California debt relief may be sought by approaching certified debt relief companies. Usually it would be advisable for one to look at one’s finances closely and to budget one’s expenditure breaking down one’s income into packets like essential living expenditure like bills, grocery, children’s school fees, compulsory payments towards debt like credit card bills, car loan, mortgage etc. and miscellaneous expenditure like movies, outings, holidays etc. This exercise would help one to understand one’s finances and also be helpful while seeking debt relief help from a professional and reliable debt relief company. It might stand one in good stead to check if the company one approaches for help is a part of a credit resolution network and is a member of the Bureau of Better Business. It would be advisable to check the credentials of the company and research its client base and their experiences so that one may make a prudent decision. One would benefit to beware of fraudsters who might not help one to debt freedom or debt reduction but might lead one to bankruptcy.
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