Christiansburg, VA asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for Virginia

Q: What constitutes a written agreement with consumer debt?

I've been served warrant on credit card that was opened online and payments stopped more than 3 years ago. This account was opened by my ex husband in my name but I can't prove this. Statute of limitations would be easier.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Jarvis
Elaine Jarvis
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Front Royal, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: I assume you mean a warrant in debt, which is a contract-based claim in general district court. First piece of advice is to absolutely appear and ask for a trial to dispute the debt. Second, in Virginia, you have the right to request all the documents that gave rise to the debt. This is called "craving oyer."

Rule 7B:5 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia states that “when

a suit is brought on a written contract, note or other instrument, the original document shall be tendered to the court for entry of judgment thereon unless the production of the original is excused by court for good cause or by statute.”

So you have the right to ask for that. That should give you a way of arguing at trial or even before trial (at the "demurrer" stage) that you are the wrong party and that the credit card company does not have a right to go after you.

To answer your question directly, you can assent to or enter into a contract electronically in Virginia and in general the statute of limitations for contract claims in VA is four years. So pleading that as a defense doesn't sound like it would work in this case.

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