I was contacted today by a law firm stating that they have a court case against me for a debt to Providian National Bank (Chase Bank) in the amount of $4695.24 from 08/31/2001.
They state that the last known payment on this account was on 03/28/2002.
I filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in 2014 and this account did not make it into the case because it was not on my credit report and I did not remember about it as it was so old.
Is there not a statute of limitations on this debt? Can they really sue me for something that is over 20 years old?
What should I do?
I asked Florida bankruptcy attorney Gina Rosato for some advice regarding your situation.
She said, “The creditor has 20 years to collect on a judgment. That would require that the creditor file a lawsuit and obtain a court-ordered judgment. Otherwise, the statute of limitations should bar the claim. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you or your attorney would have an opportunity to file an objection on that basis to have their claim barred.” (*This is pursuant to FL law. If the reader is outside of FL, they should consult with an attorney in their jurisdiction.)
Additionally, Rosato said, “If a debt is owed and is not included in a bankruptcy filing then it would not be discharged since the creditor didn’t get notice and did not have the opportunity to file a claim in the case.”
Theresa, if you are in Florida and would like to talk to Gina Rosato, click here.
If you still have a copy of your bankruptcy filing it would not hurt to look at the list of included creditors to confirm if it was or was not included.
Keep in mind that even if the Statute of Limitations may bar that debt, that is a claim you raise in fighting the suit. It does not prevent the suit.
Ultimately, the best advice is to consult with an attorney licensed in your state and get a legal opinion and representation to push back on this decades-old debt. It’s time to move ahead.
You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
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