Statute Barred Debt

If you have been approached by a debt collection agency about a debt which you believe to be statute barred, your first action should be not to talk to them under any circumstances. Any acknowledgement of the debt could lead to the debt becoming active again. The debt collection agencies specialise in methods to get you to say, or do something that could re-activate the debt. Remember to say nothing. If they contact you via the phone, simply hang up on them. If they call at your door, refuse to speak to them and simply close the door on them.

If you are served with a court appearance regarding the debt then you should attend that hearing. Failure to do so may result in the collectors winning by default and the debt would then become active again.

Remember, they are simply trying it on as this is how they make their living. Under legislation you do not have to repay the debt once it becomes a statute barred debt.

Finally if you believe that your debt is covered by the limitations Act 1980, or similarly your own province or state legislation’s, ensure that you fully understand your rights. The statute of limitations legislation is there to protect you, make sure you know the rules and how to deal with debt collection agencies should they contact you.

A statute barred debt is one that under the Limitations Act 1980, becomes statute barred after a period of 6 years, if during that time period no payment has been received by the lenders. This does not apply to Scotland, where the period for a debt to become statute barred is 5 years and is governed by the Prescription and Limitation Act 1973.

The date in which the limitation period begins is from the last payment made on that agreement. From this information you should be able to determine as to whether your credit agreement is a statute barred debt.

It should be noted that just because it has passed the statute limitation period, it does not mean the debt is no longer existent. It simply means that you can no longer be threatened with court action to repay the old debt.

Even though the lender may now be barred from pursuing the debt recovery, it does not mean that they are not allowed to attempt to recover it. Many debt collection agencies will use underhand tactics in an attempt to re-engage you with your debt.