What to do if I’m being sued for a 6 year old debt?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2011

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What to do if I’m being sued for a 6 year old debt?

I have a bank that is suing me for a credit card bill that I owed. They are suing me for unpaid bills and with interest it comes up to $1200 after all this years. I got a certified court letter that says that I have 28 days to respond or there will be a judgement against me. The account was joint with my old ex-girlfriend. What can I do? Is this time barred debt since the account has been closed for 6 years?

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may still be in danger of legal action. It appears that the statute of limitations (or time to bring a lawsuit) for credit card debt in OH is 6 years. That is six years not necessarily from the last charge or from when the account was closed, but six years from when the default--or failure to pay--occured. Assuming that there was some period of time to pay off the remaining balance on the account after it was closed, then the SOL would start running or accruing after that period had expired without payment; thus, it could easily still be the case that the action against you was filed (just) within the statutory period. You should answer the complaint; in your answer, you can raise statute of limitations as one defense, if you believe it has in fact expired; but it may be the case that it has not.

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