What Are the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Ohio?

When it comes to the statute of limitations on debt, there are ample consumer protection laws in the state of Ohio. These consumer protection laws contribute to the overall financial well-being of Ohio residents. While some of these laws simply reinforce federal consumer protection laws, others add consumer rights within the state of Ohio. According to debt.org, as of 2016, weekly wages in the state of Ohio are about $70 under the national average. Credit scores for Ohio residents are also lower than the average. Most consumers in the state owe slightly more than the national average for student loans as well, resulting in significant levels of debt.

Gradually replacing the thousands of auto and steel industry jobs lost since the 1980s in the state of Ohio are retail, hospitality, and transportation jobs. The housing market in Ohio was beginning to recover as of 2016, however, the pandemic has left its mark financially on most Americans, including those in Ohio. The good news here is that Ohioans with financial problems have an advantage many others in the nation do not: the state has a strong set of consumer protection laws.

The attorneys at Horwitz & Horwitz understand that you may be facing overwhelming debt and are receiving creditor calls regarding past due bills. We also understand that those facing financial difficulties may find their entire life is colored by those difficulties. We are dedicated to helping you face these difficult issues, working hard on your behalf to help you get out from under your financial difficulties. We truly care about your rights as a consumer and about your future.

What Are the Statutes of Limitation on Debt and How Do They Affect Debt in Ohio?

There are statutes of limitations for many different things. Each state sets its own statutes of limitations, so they vary from state to state. There are statutes of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, and there are statutes that govern the amount of time a creditor can sue you for a debt.

In the state of Ohio, the statute of limitations is six years to file a lawsuit regarding an uncollected debt, regardless of the type of debt. This time begins when the debt became overdue, or from when you made your last payment—whichever is more recent. If it has been more than six years, your creditor is not allowed to sue you for debt collection purposes.

To be clear, your debt does not magically disappear in six years—you still owe the debt until it is paid in full or until a settlement has been negotiated regardless of time passing. The statute of limitations simply limits the window of time that a debt collector has in which to bring a lawsuit against you to try and collect the debt owed.

What Should You Do If You Are Being Sued Over Old Debts in Ohio?

If you are certain the statute of limitations has passed on a specific debt, yet the company is calling you constantly, threatening to sue, you do have options. You can contact your local Attorney General’s office, file a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission, or speak to a Horwitz & Horwitz attorney. Do not make a payment until you are absolutely certain it is still within the statute of limitations.  Making a payment on an expired consumer debt can renew your obligation, giving the debt collector the ability to now take legal action. If you are sued by a debt collector that has passed the statutes of limitations, you are legally obligated to respond. You must go to court, after receiving a summons, and make the case that your statute of limitations has expired. Simply ignoring the lawsuit could result in a number of unfavorable consequences, including an award to the collection agency of a default judgment.

What Rights Do You Have as a Consumer When You are Sued for Old Debts?

Consumers are protected against unfair actions surrounding transactions under the Consumer Sales Practices Act of 1972. This Act prevents sellers from unfair or deceptive practices in connection with a transaction. Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you with jail for not paying a debt unless fraud is involved. You can be sued in civil court and the debtor could potentially obtain a judgment against you, but you cannot be sent to jail. It is still a much better choice to be proactive and contact an Ohio attorney with experience in such matters. Your attorney can help you create a plan of action before a creditor takes you to court as well as laying out your options and helping you choose the best one.

How a Horwitz & Horwitz Attorney Can Help You with Your Ohio Debt Issues

If you are tired of struggling under your burden of debt it could be time to speak to a highly skilled Horwitz & Horwitz attorney. Our attorneys have 45 years of combined legal experience. We always put your interests first, handling your case from start to finish. We do not hand your case over to a paralegal the minute you sign your retainer agreement like many firms. We are not like other law firms, nor do we strive to be like other law firms. When you call our office, you will speak to one of our attorneys. We are always straightforward with you, never making promises we cannot keep. With reasonable fees, our firm’s goal is to give you the best result possible in a cost-effective manner. Contact Horwitz & Horwitz today!