February 28, 2024

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Maryland Statute of Limitations Debt

When it comes to debt collection, consumers need to understand how the statute of limitations (SOL) affects their rights and responsibilities. The statute of limitations for debt refers to the amount of time that creditors have to file a legal claim against you in court. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for debt varies by the type of debt.

Understanding the statute of limitations for debt can help consumers avoid legal trouble and protect their credit score. In this article, we will explore the Maryland statute of limitations debt laws, to give consumers a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

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Types of Debt in Maryland

Maryland classifies debt into two categories: written and oral contract debts. A written contract debt includes loans that borrow a specific amount of money or credit card agreements. On the other hand, an oral contract debt includes everything that doesn’t involve a written agreement, such as medical bills, phone bills, or rent.

Statute of Limitations for Written Contract in Maryland

The statute of limitations for written contracts, such as credit card debt, in Maryland is three years. This means that creditors have three years from the date that you last made a payment towards the debt, to file a lawsuit against you. Once the statute of limitations time limit has passed, the creditor loses its legal ability to file a lawsuit against the debtor.

For instance, if you stopped making payments on your credit card in January 2019, which was the last activity recorded in your account, the statute of limitations will expire in January 2022. After the three-year deadline, the creditor can’t pursue legal action to collect the debt.

In some cases, if the creditor succeeds in getting a judgment against a debtor in court, the statute of limitations for a judgment in Maryland is 12 years, allowing the creditor to continue to collect on the judgment over that time period.

Statute of Limitations for Oral Contract in Maryland

Unlike written contracts, the statute of limitations for oral contracts in Maryland is only three years. This includes debt from medical bills, rent, utilities, and other similar types of agreements. Creditors only have three years from the date the debt became delinquent to file a lawsuit against the debtor.

For example, if you owe money for a medical bill from January 2019, the statute of limitations would be up in January 2022. After the statute of limitations expires, the creditor can no longer file a lawsuit to collect the debt. However, if the debtor makes a partial payment towards the debt, it can restart the statute of limitations from that date.

What happens if the debt collector contacts you beyond the statute of limitations?

Creditors can still attempt to collect a debt beyond the statute of limitations, but they lose their legal claim to sue the debtor in court. Before making any payments, the consumer needs to understand what activities will restart the clock on the statute of limitations and determine if the debt still appears on his or her credit report.

It’s essential to note that the statute of limitations doesn’t prohibit creditors or debt collectors from contacting you to collect a debt. However, it does offer some protection for the consumer, who has the right to dispute, validate, or sue the debt collector for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

FAQs

1. Can creditors still call after the debt has passed the statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations doesn’t prohibit creditors from contacting you to collect the debt. However, they cannot file a lawsuit to collect it.

2. Can collectors sue me beyond the statute of limitations?

If the SOL expires, the creditor can no longer file a lawsuit against you. However, some collectors will still try to sue you, hoping you don’t know your legal rights. You can dispute the claim or hire a lawyer to protect your interests.

3. Can I still be responsible for debt that goes beyond the statute of limitations?

In Maryland, the statute of limitations only affects the creditor’s legal claim on a debt, not the debtor’s responsibility to pay it. However, the debtor can’t be sued for the debt once the statute of limitations expires.

4. How can I dispute a debt that exceeds the statute of limitations?

The consumer has the right to dispute a debt that has fallen outside the statute of limitations. However, the dispute needs to be in writing, and the debtor may need to provide supporting documents.

Conclusion

Debt collectors in Maryland must follow the state’s laws regarding the statute of limitations. Consumers need to know their rights and responsibilities for managing debt, especially when debt collectors contact them.

If you’re struggling with debt collection, it’s important to consult with an attorney that specializes in consumer debt collection law. Make sure you never make any agreements or payments without fully understanding the potential ramifications on your financial situation. Finally, keep a record of all communications with debt collectors and creditors, as they may be useful in negotiating your debt.

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Article Summary:

The statute of limitations (SOL) for debt in Maryland varies depending on the type of debt. Written contract debts, including credit card debt, have a SOL of three years, while oral contract debts, such as medical bills and rent, also have a SOL of three years. If the creditor successfully obtains a judgment against the debtor, the SOL for a judgment in Maryland is 12 years. While a debt collector can still attempt to collect a debt beyond the SOL, they lose their legal claim to sue the debtor in court. Consumers are advised to understand their rights and consult with an attorney experienced in consumer debt collection law.

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