ILC’s Debt Unit secured a win for one of its clients who was being pestered by a creditor for a credit card bill she (nor the creditor) had acted on since 2007. Our client had been dealing with some personal issues and has been managing depression and severe anxiety. She received a judgment against her for over £1,000 for this debt and came to the Law Centre in October 2014 for assistance.
The Debt Unit applied to have the judgment set aside and entered in a defence via the Limitation Act 1980. The Limitation Act imposes time limits on claimants to enter in a claim against another party, and for our client, the creditor had 6 years to make a claim against her for this money. The creditor’s solicitors attempted to circumvent the Limitation Act by presenting screenshots as evidence that our client had paid towards the debt in 2010 (and therefore, the time limit of 6 years would run from 2010). We submitted evidence of our client’s bank statements and drafted a strong defence that the claim should be struck.
Our client was apprehensive about attending court and was anxious for the hearing. Thankfully because of the hard work our Debt Unit put towards the defence, the creditor dropped the claim recognising that they are barred from pursuing our client in court for this debt. This was a wonderful result for our client and helped to ease her stress and anxiety!
Limitation Act 1980
Many creditors will attempt to pursue individuals for old debts. If you have not made a payment towards a debt in over 6 years, and the creditor has not corresponded with you regarding the debt in 6 years, they may be ‘statute barred‘ from pursuing you in court.
However, you must note that the debt does not simply go away. Rather, a debt being statute barred means that certain types of actions (including court proceedings) are not available to the creditor anymore. They may continue to write to you and demand payment, but a court judgment cannot be made against you for this amount.
For more information, please see the National Debtline’s Fact Sheet.