One of the most surprising things that I tell consumers during consultations and representation is that debts don't really ever just “go away” in the common sense of the phrase.
There are only three ways I am aware of that a debt actually goes away:
- You pay it (or settle it, or the creditor forgives it)
- You die
- You file for bankruptcy, you receive a discharge and the debt is dischargeable
That's it. There are no other ways that I am aware of to permanently get rid of a debt.
While many, many years may pass and a creditor may choose to not pursue a debtor on a regular and active basis, the debt is no less valid many years after the last time which the creditor attempted to collect, you made a payment, or you received a statement.
Debts don't simply just go away.
This may come as a surprise to many of you reading this post. The question most people ask at this point is:
“Isn't there a statute of limitations or some other outer limit provided by law?”
Yes, statutes of limitation are a thing, however a statute of limitations ONLY applies to actions taken in a court of law. Actions including letters and calls to collect on debts can occur for many, many years into the future.
I have written a separate blog article regarding statutes of limitations and consumer debt collections in Florida which can be found here. Many consumers are surprised to learn that their understanding of statutes of limitations is frequently based on urban myth, unfounded optimism and common misunderstanding of the law.
In short, trying to wait a debt out is not realistically a legitimate strategy for dealing with the situation.
With that being said, consumers need to be mindful of attempting to settle or deal with older consumer debts on their own. There are numerous significant considerations which should be taken into account when deciding how to deal with paying or settling debts including tax consequences and statute of limitations issues.
This is where I come in.
I pride myself on working closely with my clients to provide practical solutions to their consumer debt problems.
I do everything in my power to provide options that my clients didn't even know existed before consulting with me.
Feel free to read through some of my client recommendations and reviews to see what former clients have to say about my practice.
The Law Office of Alex McClure provides services in Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, Deltona, Deland, Orlando and all of Seminole, Volusia, Orange, Brevard and Lake Counties.