I read the answer from Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at law, regarding SOL on Open Ended Accounts in the commonwealth. However, could a creditor argue in a commonwealth court to uphold the SOL and whether the account application was a written agreement according to the laws of the home state of the original creditor and thus enforce a longer SOL than commonwealth statute provides? If a signed application could be produced, how would the court determine the home state of the original creditor especially if the company has been bought out or merged, example Sears/Citibank?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Virginia, and typically all States, follow a rule in which the SHORTER statute of limitations will apply, if there is a choice between two states. So if a contract were entered into or some event occurred in another State, and then a lawsuit was filed in Virginia, the Court would apply whichever statute of limitations is SHORTER.
However, the question of whether the case is a suit on a written contract or instead an oral contract or open account would NOT be handled in that way. It would be a question of fact. If the contract was considered valid under the laws where it was entered into, then it would be honored as valid in Virginia (with extremely rare exceptions not relevant here, such as something illegal like a contract for heroin or such).
It would not matter what is the "home" state of the original creditor. The question would be where the contract was entered into.
However, the current lawssuit would have to be filed in the County and State where the debtor resides to comply with the Federal Fiar Debt Collections Practices Act. Or at least the credtior would have to file suit in the last place where they KNEW the debtor resided. They are entiltled to use the best information they have.