Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Georgia

How can I prove debt statute of limitations? In 2002 (I believe) I let my roommate use my credit to purchase a computer. In 2004 they stopped making payments. The charge is no longer on my credit history. How can I prove the statute of limitations?

Asked on 10/21/13, 12:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Ok. You have 2 separate issues. One is your credit report. A debt being on or off your credit report has absolutely nothing to do with the statute of limitations. A debt can stay on your credit for about 7 1/2 years from the date of the last payment. If you are correct that the last payment was in 2004, then the debt should have fallen off the report by 2012 at the latest.

The second issue is the statute of limitations. It is a defense that you raise in an answer that you file in court in response to a receipt of a complaint. You do not "prove" the statute of limitations. If you are sued for a debt (the statute is 6 years in GA) then you file an answer asserting the defense. Its up to the creditor to provide evidence as to the date of the last payment. Only then is it your responsibility to show, through discovery what you believe to be the date of the last payment. How do you know the debt was last paid in 2004? What evidence do you have? A credit report is not evidence.

All of this begs the question as to why you need to "prove" that collection of the debt is barred by the statute of limitations such that you no longer have the legal duty to pay? Have you been sued? If so, then you have 30 days from the date when you received the complaint to file an answer. I suggest that if you were sued recently, that you get to a lawyer who specializes in the collection of debts and pay the lawyer to draft an answer for you raising the statute of limitations.

If you have not been sued, then why are you posting? Was a judgment entered against you and are you now facing wage garnishment or a bank levy? In such case the statute of limitations does not apply. What would matter is when the judgment is entered. If you are within the time limits, it may be possible to challenge the judgment and get it opened so that you can file an answer raising the statute of limitations defense. However, it would depend on your reasons for seeking to open the judgment now and whether you knew about the lawsuit and did nothing or whether you just learned of the judgment.

If you were never sued, are you just getting a letter from a scavenger debt collector? If that is the case, there is nothing to prove. You simply write a letter to the debt collector and advise that you believe that the debt was last paid in 2004 and that any collection of the debt is barred by the statute of limitations. Demand that the debt be verified and that the verification show: (1) the date of the last payment on the debt; and (2) that this is debt for which you are financially responsible; and (3) if the debt has been bought by a junk debt buyer that the junk debt buyer has a legal right to collect the debt by providing you with a bill of sale or affidavit of assignment. Ask also that the junk debt buyer refrain from contacting you any further about the debt if the information is not provided. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested so that you can prove that the creditor received it. Keep a copy for you.

And allowing your roommate to buy a computer on your credit card was not the brightest idea. Why would you do this? Never let anyone purchase anything because if your roommate or friend does not pay then you are financially responsible for the debt.

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Answered on 10/21/13, 9:48 pm

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