Dallas, TX asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Consumer Law for Florida

Q: What resets the statute of limitations for debt collection?

I was contacted by a debt collector (possible scammer) about a car that was repoed 14 years ago. He threatened to sue me and garnish my wages. After the call, I looked up the statute of limitations in Florida (5 years), but I understand some actions can reset the clock, like accepting a payment plan, making a payment, or acknowledging the debt.

Does acknowledging the debt to a collector reset the clock?

I thought the point of the limitation wasn't to say the debt doesn't exist, just that legal action can't be taken after so long.

Thank you!!!

2 Lawyer Answers
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: once the statute runs, it runs and payment after it runs doesn't start it again.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You ARE at risk of resetting the limitations period clock if you agree that you owe the debt or do anything that arguably indicates you agree to it. In that event, the creditor (or its assignee/successor) may sue you for account stated, for which there is a 4-year limitations period starting from the date you indicate agreement to the debt. The elements of a cause of action for account stated are:

1. Plaintiff and defendant made a previous transaction;

2. The parties’ agreement that the balance is correct and due; and

3. Defendant made an express or implicit promise to pay balance.

If you happen to get any written communication that says you now owe a particular debt unless you dispute it in writing within X number of days, it is best to send the written dispute IF you can verify that the sender is legit (not a scammer),which is easy to to do.

1 user found this answer helpful

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