What can I do about a car debt from 6 years ago?

UPDATED: May 9, 2011

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What can I do about a car debt from 6 years ago?

I bought a vehicle in 2005 and about 6 months later it was repossessed. After that my then wife and I had moved to Germany. She and I divorced and I moved back to GA. I started getting calls from the place about payments. I told them I couldn’t afford it anymore. I have now gotten a summons to reply or somesuch. What can I do? Is there on statute of limitations in GA on written contracts or repossessions, etc?

Asked on May 9, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What what I can tell from the law on statute of limitations in Georgia, the time to collect the debt here is between 4 and 6 years (if you consider it a breach of contract versus "debt collection.") .  However, there are certain instances when statutes are "tolled" meaning that they are extended in time because somewhere during the say 4 years they were "suspended" - for lack of a better word - for some reason.  Your leaving the country could have been "the something."  I would speak with someone on the matter, perhaps a debt counselor, who can tell you for sure.  In the meantime, you need to answer the summons and complaint before a default judgement is entered against you.  Go down to the court and ask the clerk to allow you to put in an answer and raise an affirmative defense of lack of personal jurisdiction (failure to properly serve you) and statute of limitations.  Good luck. 

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