Virginia  |  Credit and Debt Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 2/16/12, 8:51 am

credit card companie called said i had a past balance from 10 years ago. My exhusband had this card can they do anything

1 Answer


Answered on: 3/04/12, 8:13 pm by Jonathon Moseley

In Virginia, the statute of limitations does not stop a creditor from ASKING you to pay, or even filing a lawsuit.

But if you then object in court that the statute of limitations is expired, the lawsuit is dead at that point. They can file a lawsuit, hoping that maybe you will voluntarily pay. But they cannot collect from you past the statute of limitations.

For a contract in writing, the statute of limitation is 5 years. IF they can find where you signed the original credit application (often they cannot) then a credit card account would qualify as a written contract.

But what this means is NOT 5 years from when you opened the account.

It means 5 years from the last time that payment was due and you stopped paying. The clock starts from when you didn't pay (what they claim).

So when you say it is 10 years ago, the question is what exactly do you mean? Has the balance remained unpaid for more than 5 years? If so, then the debt is barred by the statute of limitations.

For a verbal contract (such as if they cannot find the written contract -- usually the credit application you signed), then the statute of limitations is 3 years.

BUT this 3 years statute of limitations is restarted if you make payments or make promises to pay.


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