Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Illinois

repossessed car 6 years ago, collection in 2001

What should I do after I received a collection letter

from a lawyer, who is representing the finance company

that I had a used car loan with and had that car

repossessed 6 years ago (in Dec.1995), is demanding

payment for deficiency ? It's been over 6 years since

the finance company repossessed the car. Does the

Illinois Statute of Limitations bar collection after 6

years for a used car loan ?

Albeit the fact that the used car I bought was

overpriced and practically a lemon, am I still liable

to pay the defiency (which is $5,000)? The car was

a 1986 Ford Tempo sold to me for $6,000 in 1995. The

car was repoed in Dec.1995, the account was

''charged-off'' in Jan.1996, and I never heard from the

finance company since then until I got the collection


Please let me know what should I do with the

collection letter from the lawyer that I received on

March 27, 2001. Are they going to pursue a lawsuit

against me to collect the deficiency ?

Thank you.

Asked on 4/13/01, 3:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence A. Stein Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa, LLC

Re: repossessed car 6 years ago, collection in 2001

Without a complete review of the promissory note you signed, as well as some legal research, I do not know exactly what the statute of limitations is in your case. I suspect it is either 6 or ten years from your last payment or other acknowledgment of the debt.

Since the statute of limitations may soon pass, I would advise that you not respond to the letter, and not speak to anyone representing the finance company. Just wait. If and when you are sued, you should hire an attorney to review and possibly assert the defense of the statute of limitations as well as any other defenses and counterclaims you may have, such as the car was a lemon.

In the case that you are sued, you cannot assume that the judge will evaluate the case on your behalf, or that the government will somehow stop the suit, because the statute of limitations passed before it was filed. Rather, if the the suit is untimely, it is your responsiblity to raise that issue court properly. If you or a lawyer hired by your fail to do so, you will waive that defense.

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Answered on 6/09/01, 10:30 am

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