I recently read and article featured on The New York Times , that just shocked me to what length’s debt collector’s are willing to go to collect debt’s, while you’re seeking treatment at the ER. Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at their beside, urging them to pay past due bills or seeking emergency care somewhere else.
I often asked this question about statute of limitations on student loans.
This is how the discussion usual goes, whether your loans are federal student loans or private student loans. There is distinction which is huge, as the statute of limitations for federal student loans and for private student loans are completely different.
Federal Student Loans
The bad news: Due to changes in federal laws in 1998 and 2005, collection on federal student loans now have no statute of limitation and — with very limited exceptions — can no longer be erased though bankruptcy.
The good news: There are many, often flexible, options available for student loan resolution. Depending on the specifics of the situation, student loan borrowers may be eligible for programs that offer extended repayment periods, modifications that are income-sensitive (income based repayment or income contingent repayment, or graduated (starting small and rise over time). Some plans also offer possibility of “rehabilitating” a defaulted loan, so that some or all negative information about the loan is expunged from the borrower’s credit report if certain criteria are met.
Several federal and state agencies offer programs to help you cancel or reduce all or a portion of your student loan debt. Student loan forgiveness programs involve you making and honoring a long term commitment to teaching, nursing, or military service. To learn about some of the specific forgiveness programs available and how you can apply, visit the Federal Student Aid Web site.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans have entirely different rules for statutes of limitations. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are subject to state’s statute of limitations for taking legal action to collect on written contracts. Once the statute of limitations expires, you can raise the statute of limitations as a defense, if the creditor attempts to take legal action to collect on the debt. However, just because the statute of limitations passes does not mean that a creditor or collection agent cannot try to collect on the debt. If you make a payment on a debt whose statute of limitations has passed, you can bring an expired debt back to life.
The statute of limitations for a written contract no longer apply if the creditor or collection agency sues you, before the statute of limitations expires, and obtains a judgment against you. If that happens, you will be subject to wage garnishments, bank levies, and liens.The statutes of limitations start running 30 days after your last payment on the debt. If you think that the statute of limitations for a private student loan debt is about to expire, I encourage you to consult with an attorney in your area to discuss the implications of an expired statute, and what actions you need to avoid to prevent the statute of limitations from being tolled or restarted.
Today, the Obama Administration announced it is taking steps to increase college affordability by making it easier to manage student loan debt. The announcement is part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy because we can’t wait for Congressional Republicans to act.
The Administration is moving forward with a new “Pay As You Earn” proposal that will reduce monthly payments for more than one and a half million current college students and borrowers. Starting in 2014, borrowers will be able to reduce their monthly student loan payments to 10 percent of their discretionary income. But President Obama realizes that many students need relief sooner than that. The new “Pay As You Earn” proposal will allow about 1.6 million students the ability to cap their loan payments at 10 percent starting next year, and the plan will forgive the balance of their debt after 20 years of payments. Additionally, starting this January an estimated 6 million students and recent college graduates will be able to consolidate their loans and reduce their interest rates. …
Current law allows borrowers to limit their loan payments to 15 percent of their discretionary income and forgives all remaining debt after 25 years. However, few students know about this option. Students can find out if they are currently eligible for IBR at www.studentaid.ed.gov/ibr. Last year, the President proposed, and Congress enacted, a plan to further ease student loan debt payment by lowering the IBR loan payment to 10 percent of income, and the forgiveness timeline to 20 years. This change is set to go into effect for all new borrowers after 2014—mostly impacting future college students.
Today, the Administration is proposing to offer even more immediate relief to many current college students by giving them the chance to limit loan payments to 10 percent of their discretionary income starting in 2012. In addition, the debt would be forgiven after 20 years instead of 25, as current law allows. For many who struggle to manage their student loan debt – including teachers, nurses, public defenders and others in lower-paying jobs – these proposed changes could reduce their payments by hundreds of dollars each month. Overall, this proposal would provide an estimated 1.6 million borrowers with more manageable monthly payments.
The Administration is also planning to offer student borrowers the chance to better manage their debt by consolidating their federal student loans. Today, approximately 5.8 million borrowers have both a Direct Loan (DL) and a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) that require separate payments, which makes them more likely to default. To address the needs of these borrowers, the Administration will allow borrowers the convenience of a single payment to a single lender for both loans. Borrowers who take advantage of this consolidation option, which begins in January, would also receive up to a 0.5 percent reduction in their interest rate on some of their loans, which means lower monthly payments that would save hundreds of dollars in interest. Eligible borrowers will be contacted by their federal loan servicer early next year with information on how to consolidate.
These changes carry no additional cost to taxpayers.
Statute Of Limitations For Debts
The statute of limitations (SOL) for a delinquent debt is the time limit for the creditor to file a lawsuit. This period starts when the debtor becomes delinquent. The fact that the SOL has “run” (expired) on a particular debt will not necessarily prevent a lawsuit from being filed (via a Summons And Complaint), but the defendant can have the suit dismissed on this basis.
The Statute Of Limitations only covers lawsuits, and SOL expiration does not affect other types of collection action or reporting of the account to credit bureaus. The creditor or collection agency may theoretically continue with letters and telephone calls forever (although third-party collectors are subject to the “cease and desist” provision of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.) However, they will generally put much less effort into collecting “Out-Of-Statute” debts, and may give up easily. Out-Of-Statute debts can still be reported to credit bureaus for the time limits specified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Credit cards are generally considered Open Accounts. Auto loans and other installment agreements are Written Contracts. If there has already been a lawsuit resulting in a judgment, that judgment has a separate Statute Of Limitations, which you can find here.
(The numbers on this chart indicate years.)
The information above is believed to be accurate at the time of the creation of this page, and is for reference only. We are not attorneys, and nothing here should be construed as or relied upon as legal advice. If you are concerned about possible lawsuits, you may wish to confirm this with your state’s Civil Code and/or a qualified attorney. If you find any discrepancies or Call National Credit Educational Services at 770-952-5168