advice on bankrupcty

I owe $12,000 on credit card that are 8 years old. They been taking me to court since last year. But I have no money… I’m not working. My fiance takes care of me and my kids as of right now. My parents passed away and left me and my siblings their estate that we are trying to sell .There house has liens and a mortgage so I will not be getting much from the home if it sells. I would like to know if i should file bankrupcty..I would like info on statute of limitation in massachusets..Can they keep taking me to court..I would like some advice ty

Asked on June 9, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Massachusetts the statute of limitations on a claim of this kind is 6 years from the time the debt was written off (or the date of last activity on your credit report).  If a debt collector contacts you regarding an old debt, do not admit that you owe the debt and do not agree to make any payments.  Simply tell them that the "statute of limitations has run on this debt and do not contact me again".  If they continue contacting you, send them a certified letter, return receipt requested, telling them not to contact you about the debt again.  Remember - do not admit that you owe the debt, do not agree to pay the debt, and do not agree to send any money to them.  If you do, then the statute of limitations might start running all over again, giving them the legal right to sue you.

If they do sue, which seems to be your case here, first off make the court aware of the statute of limitations issue.  However, the statute may have started running again pursuant to an action cited above.  In that event,  many times these companies have no evidence to present that there was even an account.  If they file a suit you should file an answer and deny the debt and not provide them with any information about it.  If they file for discovery simply deny for lack of knowledge and say you have no documents in your possession.

If they can't produce some credible evidence of your account and balance due the court will dismiss the case.  You may also have a claim against the collector if they violate any part of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Many attorneys will take these cases on a contingency basis or at least review all the facts to see if there may be a claim.

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