Queens, NY asked in Bankruptcy, Contracts and Collections for New York

Q: I have an account in collections that the collections company says is past the Statue of Limitations. I'm not sure why?

I recently noticed a collection account from PRA on my credit report. I've never heard of them, but the amount owed was similar to the amount I owe a bank. I never received anything from PRA though, so I opened all my recent mail that I thought was junk.

Lo and behold, one of them was a bill from PRA confirming this was for what I owed. One section of the bill states that they are required by law to tell me that the Statute of Limitations on this has passed, and that they can't sue me or secure a judgement as a result.

The confusing part is that my first delinquency was at the end of 2016, but the Statute of Limitations in my state is 6 years.

Why would they say the SOL has passed when it hasn't in my state? Is this disclaimer that the SOL passed binding? Or can they still end up suing me down the road within the six years?

2 Lawyer Answers
Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Commack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The Statute of Limitations in NY for a debt is 6 years from the last use of that credit or last payment. The SOL is an affirmative defense meaning you would have to plead it to use it in a suit. If the creditor sues you then you would have to answer it with the Aff. Defense of SOL. As for the credit report, that could have been when it was reported to the Agency but has no legal effect to collection.

Jonathan David Warner agrees with this answer

Jonathan David Warner
Jonathan David Warner
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Albany, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It's a little odd that a debt collector would tell you that the debt is outside of the collection statute of limitations... what would be the point of their sharing this information? I'm not doubting the truth of what you've said, so much as I'm trying to figure out why.

With all this said, I'd recommend disputing the PRA account with the credit bureaus reporting it. If you tell them that it's beyond the SOL, and it is beyond the SOL, the account will be removed from your credit report. If it is not beyond the SOL, the account will remain.

If the account remains, you'll want to consider addressing it through negotiating the debt or filing for bankruptcy - I'd recommend contacting an attorney prior to taking either of these avenues of relief.

Good luck with your case!

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