Have you ever been delinquent on a debt? Has a creditor or collection agency ever contacted you about a debt that you thought you had paid off years earlier? If so, learn what the Colorado Debt Statutes of Limitations are and how they can protect you.
Each state has its own statute of limitations pertaining to debt. Colorado is no different. The limitations on debt affect collection actions and understanding how they pertain to your individual situation can help you put past debt behind you for good.
What are the Colorado Debt Statutes of Limitations?
The statutes of limitations spell out how long a creditor can try to collect on an old debt. For instance, if you had a credit card account and it became delinquent, as long as you had no further credit or payment activity on that account, the creditor would waive all rights to collect the debt after a period of time set out in the statutes. This does not mean that the creditor will not still attempt to collect the debt. However, if they do try to collect after the statute expires, you will be able to legally stop their collection efforts.
This same rule applies to collection agencies. In many cases, creditors will retain the debt for part of, or the entire time allotted by the statute of limitations. When that expires, they may sell the debt to a third party who will actively pursue you for repayment of the debt. In Colorado, you can legally stop this action as well, as long as the collection efforts are conducted after the time allowed in the Colorado Debt Statutes of Limitations. Here are the time periods for debt collection:
Colorado Debt Statutes of Limitations:
- Written Contracts for services or for goods – 3 years: creditors have 3 years from the date of the written contract to try to recoup the services or goods from you; and you have the same time limit to try to recoup defaulted contracts.
- Written Contracts for financial obligations – 6 years: these binding contracts must be collected upon within six years from the date of execution or as set out in the terms of the contract.
- Promissory Notes – 6 years: lenders, collection agencies and other creditors must collect their funds as spelled out within the terms of the promissory note within six years or forfeit their right to do so. Promissory notes are similar to written contracts for financial obligations as they usually represent promises to pay.
- Open Credit Card Accounts – 6 years: unsecured credit card debt ranks up there at the top of the list for outstanding and uncollected debt. Creditors and collection agencies will use every means available to try to recoup this debt, but according to the Colorado Debt Statutes of Limitations, they have no legal ground to do so after six years from the date of last activity or payment on the debt.
- Judgments / Domestic through District Court – 20 years: if a judgment has been made against you, the person placing the judgment can pursue your obligation to fulfill it for 20 years. This can also be renewed if the court approves.
- Judgments / Domestic through County Court – 6 years: a judgment that is filed in the county court system falls under the Colorado debt statute of limitations as 6 years, but is also renewable if approved by the court.
How do I stop collection activity after the Colorado Statutes of Limitations has expired?
If you are being pursued after the statute of limitations has expired on your debt, contact a debt attorney. In Colorado, there are hundreds of attorneys that specialize in helping you get out of debt. Even if the debt was legitimately yours and in default, debt lawyers know how to research the debt and verify whether it falls inside or outside the Colorado debt statutes of Limitations. They will then be able to assist you in having any collection action stopped.
It is very important to choose a debt attorney to represent you. They are experienced and knowledgeable about debt law and are able to protect your consumer rights under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Colorado debt statutes of limitations are different than those in other states, and lawyers who practice in Colorado will be aware of all the current laws and consumer rights that can protect you from unlawful collection practices.
When you work with any of the skilled debt attorneys in Colorado, be sure to have your records in order. The more information you can provide, the less time and money you and your attorney will have to spend. Keep notes of phone calls, charges and loan information. If you are being contacted by any creditors or collection agencies, do not admit to owning the debt and do not make payment arrangements. Just log the date and time of the call and bring all of that information to your attorney. They will verify your debt details against the Colorado debt statutes of limitations and explain to you what the best course of action is based on your situation. They will draft letters for validation of debt, will discover if your consumer rights are being violated, and will even pursue legal action against any creditors or collection agencies on your behalf.
Understanding every minor detail of the Colorado debt statutes of limitations can be overwhelming for most consumers. Working with one of any quality debt attorneys in Colorado will help you address your debt concerns, reduce collection harassment, and allow you to safeguard your credit in the future.