Wylie, TX asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Small Claims and Collections for Texas

Q: Can a debt collector that bought your debt sue you for a debt that has exceeded the statue of limitations?

I just got a paper in the mail as an advertisement from a legal firm saying they found a court filing for a lawsuit under my name. They were fishing around to represent me. I set out to do some digging and it turns out a debt collector(Jefferson Capital) bought the debt from my original creditor. I defaulted in Feb of 2018 and in February 2023 they sold the debt to a debt collector. In the state of Texas the statue of limitations is 4 years. They literally sold the debt on the 7th (the 4th year) and filed on 16th. Now I have no problem working out an arrangement with who I originally owed but is it stupid to try and go to court to get out of paying the people who bought the debt?

2 Lawyer Answers
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA

A: Anybody with a couple hundred bucks, or whatever the court filing fee is, can sue anybody else. The key question is whether they can get a judgment, i.e., win.

If you can show a court that your first default occurred more than four years ago, and was not subsequently cured by catching up payments with the original creditor, and then show the court that the TX statute of limitations runs from the date of first default, you should win. That the original creditor transferred the claim to someone else should have no prolonging effect.

So, no, it's almost never "smart" to ignore the filing of a suit against you.

I do recommend that you engage TX counsel to appear for you, or with you, before the court to ensure that the case is dismissed.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The statute of limitations is an affirmative defense that must be raised in the lawsuit or it is waived.

You should retain a competent attorney who defends consumer debts to represent you in the lawsuit and to specifically plead the statute of limitations.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

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