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Act Quick! Understanding the Debt Collection Statute of Limitations in New Jersey

Debt collectors can be kind of scary. After all, no one wants to have debt, and being hounded about it makes it even worse!

It is important to know what rights you have. You also need to know what rights the debt collectors have.

Debts don’t just go away, but there is a specific time frame for when New Jersey debt collectors can sue you for payment.

If you want to learn more about the debt collection statute of limitations in the state of New Jersey, keep reading to see what you can learn about how long you have to pay off your debts.

What is a Debt Collector?

A debt collector is a third party that a business engages to collect or try to collect debts owed. Generally, they will come from attorney offices or from debt collection agencies.

A creditor can also pursue debts, but they are different from a debt collector. The creditor actually extended the credit that caused the debt, so they will operate differently than a debt collector.

When you are dealing with debt collection, it is important to note that there are certain things they can and can’t do. You need to know what is acceptable before you can understand what exactly is going on!

Things Debt Collectors CAN Do

  • Pressure you to pay – debt collectors obviously can apply the pressure to get you to pay. This might be daily calls or talks of suing, but they still must stay within the law.
  • Sue you for your debt – Debt collectors will be able to sue you as a last resort. The lawsuit is likely to conclude with wage garnishment or bank levies.
  • Seek payment for expired debts – Debts have a statute of limitations, and once the date passes, it is expired. You can no longer be sued for the payment. You still technically owe the debt, however, so debt collectors may still bring it up.
  • Sell off your debt to another collector – If they haven’t been able to collect your debt, they can give it to someone else to try. This means one debt collector may stop contacting you, but another debt collector may start. If you pay your debt, you need to get the agreement in writing to be sure you aren’t still contacted.
  • Reconfigure what you owe on your debt – Debt collectors can negotiate what you have to pay because they buy debts for pennies on the dollar. This means they have large margins for what they are willing to collect, and you may be able to settle for a little less. Again, be sure to get this in writing as the debt is considered paid if you go this route!

Things Debt Collectors CAN’T DO

  • Come to work – A debt collector cannot come to your work environment and try to collect payment on a debt. They can’t publicize your debts as a result of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. They can still call you at work unless you ask them not to do so.
  • Arrest you for your debt – You are not able to be arrested for a debt to a debt collector.
  • Ask for a debt you don’t owe this may cause them to pursue the wrong person or make another mistake. This happens more often than you think, but it is illegal.
  • Harass you about debt – Repeatedly calling you, threatening violence, using abusive language… these are just some of the examples of harassment by a debt collector that is absolutely illegal.
  • Call any time of the day – Debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 in the morning and can’t call you after 9 in the evening. You can even ask them to stop calling altogether, but you still have to pay the debt, or they can sue you.

Debt Collection Statute of Limitations: New Jersey

When is a debt no longer collectible? New Jersey has a six-year statute of limitations that says how long creditors can sue you for a debt. The six-year statute of limitations started when you made your last activity on the account.

Specific debts, like child support or student loans, have a different set of standards.

A creditor is not able to seek legal action after the statute of limitations expires, but they can still request payment because you still owe the debt.

Need More Information?

The New Jersey debt collection statute of limitations is good to know if you are someone that uses a lot of credit or already have debt you are worried about.

Remember that you have rights and that debt collectors (or creditors) that are pursuing a debt are not allowed to just do whatever they want! They have to follow the law, even if they are trying to get you to pay.

If you want to learn more about debt collection and how the statute of limitations holds up in New Jersey, please contact us to see how we can help.