Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Regulation / Legislation

I Just Received a Summons From Bank of America. Can I Use the Statute of Limitations as a Defense? – Chris

“Dear Steve,

I just received a summons that I am being sued for what looks like an old Bank of America credit card debt (amount over $10K). This is by a collection agency that purchased the debt, and they are using a legal firm to do this. The state is Idaho. Both the collection company appears licensed to do this and the legal firm is part of the bar.

I recieved the summons a couple days before the 4 year SOL ran out. Does this stop the ‘SOL clock’? Also, regarding the SOL, a payment was made on the account roughly those 4 years ago by someone other than me (I was incarcerated at that time, so there was no way I could possibly make a pay-by-phone payment as the statement shows). Can a payment made by someone else reset the SOL clock? Regarding this, that statement had my name on it, but the address was one that I had never lived at (before or after prision). If the clock was not reset the SOL most definately reset.

Also, I spoke with one of the guys from the finance dept. for the state, and he kind of dissed the whole SOL/time barred defense. It seemed that he was saying this type of lawsuit could go on so long as the creditor established the debt as valid. Is this true?

I am planning on talking to a few local attorneys on this.

Can I use SOL as a defense?


Dear Chris,

I am not a lawyer, you need to talk this over with a lawyer that is licensed in your state.

However what I can tell you is that the Statute of Limitations exists for a reason. If the debt falls outside the SOL before they filed it would be a good point to consider.

The payment made while you were incarcerated does sound a bit odd. If the payment was made soon after you went to jail well then maybe a family member made the payment. I’m not aware of anything that would cause the SOL to be reset if a payment was made without your knowledge. But that’s really a point that your attorney is going to have to argue and research.

READ  I've Never Paid My Private Student Loans and Want to Get It Off My Credit Report

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top