February 12, 2021
Summary: Do you have debt collectors hounding you over an old debt in Arkansas? Find out the statute of limitations on your debt and tell them that they're too late.
If you are being sued for debt in Arkansas, you should be aware of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a specific amount of time in which you can be pursued for a debt. Although the statute of limitations is different in each state, on average in Arkansas it is around five years.
When the statute of limitations has been reached your debt is considered “time-barred”. Although you can no longer be sued for the debt in court, it does not mean that a creditor will not try to pursue you for the debt. It can also continue to destroy your credit.
If you receive a debt collection notice, regardless of whether or not the statute of limitations has been reached, you must respond. This is essential if you wish to avoid a default judgment on your case. Default judgments lead to wage garnishment, frozen assets, and liens on your property, so you want to avoid it at all costs. When you do respond you also need to know your rights, which involves never admitting responsibility for the debt.
If you do not make an effort to repay your debts, then you will be sued for the debt. Until you prove the statute of limitations is expired, you will be required to respond and show up in court. Even if the statute of limitations is in effect, you eventually may want to look into an installment plan to avoid your credit report being more affected.
If you send a cease and desist letter, you can request they stop contacting you. This should end all collection communications. Be sure to make a copy for your records as well.
All creditors or debt collectors must provide you with debt validation. After contacting you, they legally are required to send a “validation notice” within five days. This should include how much you owe, as well as the name of the creditor, and steps to take if you believe that you do not owe the debt.
Debt collectors work on a commission basis. They are motivated to collect more from you because it will be reflected in a larger check. Although they pursue you originally for the full amount of your debt, they have the authorization to accept a settlement. Typically this settlement can be around 15 to 35 percent lower than your total debt.
Your debt most likely originated with a bank or lender, but often that is not who is pursuing you. Debt collection companies purchase debts from original creditors for very low prices. This means that the debt may have been passed once, but can also pass hands multiple times. This is why you may be able to settle the debt.
Although you have a right to use the statute of limitations to avoid a debt lawsuit, debt collectors will never voluntarily inform you that it has expired. Your debt might be 15 or 20 years old and sold to a new debt collector. They will attempt to collect on this debt in hopes you do not know about the statute of limitations law.
When speaking to a creditor or debt collector, you shouldn't promise to pay any of the debt. This can incite the statute of limitations in Arkansas. The statute of limitations is your best defense against a debt lawsuit.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a list of laws to protect you as a consumer. This act prohibits debt collectors from calling you at work, calling you at odd hours, calling you after you have asked them to stop, and using harassment or intimidation. If a debt collector violates any of these rights, you may have a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
In this claim, you may also recover damages, attorney's fees, and other costs. There is also a statute of limitations for a claim under the FDCPA, which is only one year from the alleged violation of the Act by a collector.
In Arkansas, written contracts have a statute of limitations of 5 years. If you decide to make payments on the debt, then the statute of limitations period will begin again. Additionally, any written acknowledgment of default of the debt will begin the statute again as well under A.C.A. 16-56-111.
In cases against consumers for unpaid debts, the statute of limitations is three years in Arkansas. To achieve this short statute of limitations period, it must be filed as “breach of contract” claims, and there cannot be proof in writing, under A.C.A. 16- 56-105.
Medical debts have a statute of limitations of 2 years in Arkansas. This starts from the date the service was given or partial payment was made. Before you decide to pay this debt, you must ensure it is legal, due, and payable. The medical debt statute is under A.C.A. §16-56-106.
The statute of limitations prevents a debt collector or creditor from suing you for debt, but they can still continue to collect debt out of court. The only difference is that a judge cannot force you to pay it.
If a judge cannot force you to pay your debt, the debt collector also cannot pursue wage garnishment or ask the court to freeze your assets. This is good for you but bad for the debt collector. This is why the debt collector will avoid you finding out about the statute of limitations altogether.
Be sure to know your rights to ensure that you can fully utilize the statute of limitations in Arkansas to your advantage.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Being sued over an auto, home, personal, or student loan? Find out how to make a solid defense.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.