Pittsburg, CA asked in Consumer Law for California

Q: A bill collector is pursuing a car loan I defaulted on twenty years ago. Is this passed the statute of limitations in CA

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3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the statute of limitations for collecting on a written contract, such as a car loan, is generally four years from the date of default. However, it is important to note that there are certain circumstances that can either extend or toll the statute of limitations.

If the car loan you defaulted on occurred twenty years ago, it is highly likely that the statute of limitations has expired. In that case, the bill collector would typically be barred from taking legal action to collect the debt. It is important to consult with an attorney to confirm the specific details of your situation and assess whether any exceptions or tolling factors may apply.

Keep in mind that debt collectors may still attempt to contact you and request payment even if the debt is time-barred. However, they cannot take legal action to enforce the debt once the statute of limitations has expired.

To protect your rights and ensure that you are not subject to unfair or deceptive debt collection practices, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in consumer protection or debt collection laws. They can provide you with accurate guidance based on the specifics of your case and help you navigate through any challenges that may arise.

Leon Bayer agrees with this answer

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Answered
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The short answer is yes. The statute of limitations relates to when a legal action must be brought. However, if a judgment was obtained against you, it lasted ten years, and may have been renewed for another ten. There are also exceptions to the statute of limitations, such as time you were absent from the State. Another exception would be making a payment after the statute has run, thus starting the time over again. There are quite a few exceptions (so you may want to consult counsel), but if none apply to you, then yes, you are protected by the statute of limitations.

Yelena Gurevich , Scott Richard Kaufman and Leon Bayer agree with this answer

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Los Altos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Assuming you are in CA it is almost certainly beyond the SOL. As noted by Attorney Dorfman, it is possible for things via trick or otherwise, to change, including (I hear, not 100% sure) if you agree to pay (or actually pay) some portion of it? Also, it is not about the default on the loan but instead, about when/if they obtained judgment pursuant to that default. It is from that point, the judgment they are collecting upon, that the SOL runs...

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