Statute of Limitations on Debt in Maryland

George Simons

December 01, 2021

Summary: Is a creditor suing you for an old debt in Maryland? Find out how to make a defense using the statute of limitations.

If you are a resident of Maryland and have been sued for a particular debt you supposedly owe, it's imperative to learn more about the state's statute of limitations on such debts. Understanding the statute of limitations is vital in drafting the best response to a debt collection lawsuit.

Ignoring a debt collection summons may seem like the easiest thing to do but comes with serious consequences. When the jury discovers that you've ignored the summons, they'll rule in favor of the creditor or debt collection agency in charge of the debt.

Here's everything you need to know about the statute of limitations on debt collections in Maryland.

Maryland statute of limitations explained

In Maryland, the statute of limitations on debt collection is three years. This means creditors have up to three years to file a lawsuit against you for the debt you supposedly owe. So if the statute of limitations has expired, it's advisable to notify the court in your answer document and also provide proof of the same.

Maryland Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Rent

4

Written

3 (12 under seal)

Debt on Account

3

State Tax

10

Judgments

12


Source: Findlaw

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How to calculate the Maryland statute of limitations on debt

When calculating the statute of limitations on debt in Maryland, consider the following:

  • the date of the last activity on the credit account or;
  • the date when the account was written off.

It is also important to understand that the statute of limitations in Maryland does not prevent creditors from attempting to collect the debt. Instead, it only prevents them from suing you in court.

Creditors are free to find other ways to collect the debt from you outside of court, as long as these processes are legal. For example, the creditor may contact you to discuss the debt and probably propose a repayment plan.

However, in Maryland, it is illegal for debt collectors to:

  • Use abusive, deceptive, or unfair practices when attempting to collect the debt.
  • Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Contact you at a time they know is inconvenient for you.
  • Call you at work if your employer does not allow you to receive calls while working.
  • Call when you send them a written letter to stop contacting you, except when they call to confirm this.
  • Lie to you (they cannot claim to be a court official, law enforcement officer, or even threaten you with prosecution if you do not pay what you supposedly owe).
  • Harass you (they cannot use obscene language against you, visit you at home or your workplace, or repeatedly call you).
  • Treat you unfairly (they cannot charge you fees you do not owe or disclose your debt to any public entity).

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What to do if sued for a debt in Maryland

Being sued for a debt in Maryland is not the end of the world; certain rights protect you from the actions of a debt collector. Here's what you need to do.

Ask for proof that you owe the debt: You have the right to know the details of the debt and verify that you actually owe the stated amount. Additionally, the debt collector is required by law to verify the debt during the initial contact with you or within five days of the initial contact.

If they choose the latter, they must send you a validation letter to prove the debt. The debt validation letter should include the following:

  • Amount you supposedly owe.
  • Name of the creditor you owe the debt to.
  • How to obtain the name of the original creditor.
  • What to do if you dispute the debt.

And yes, it is possible to dispute the debt if you believe you do not owe the amount stated in the validation letter or the entire debt itself. Additionally, when you dispute the debt, the debt collector must stop their attempts to collect the debt until they verify you actually owe the debt and the exact amount.

How to respond to a debt collection writ of summons in Maryland

In Maryland, you can respond to a Debt Collection Writ of Summons in different ways. Here are a few options to consider:

  • File a cross-claim, third party claim, or a counterclaim;
  • Defend yourself in court;
  • Claim that the Writ of Summons was not served correctly; or
  • Ignore the debt collection case

Here is a closer look at these four ways to respond to a Maryland Debt Collections Writ of Summons.

A counterclaim is a lawsuit filed against the debt collection agency. In this case, you'll inform the court that you don't owe the claimed debt and that the plaintiff owes you money instead.

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How to defend yourself in court

To defend yourself in a Maryland court, you will have to file the Notice of Intention to Defend. This notice is found at the bottom of the Writ of Summons.

In your defense, you will state why you shouldn't pay the amount you supposedly owe the debt collector. For best results, begin by collecting sufficient evidence to prove that you do not owe the stated amount of the entire debt.

For example, if you believe that you have already settled the debt, you need receipts to prove this. You may also need witnesses, depending on the nature of your case.

You can also claim that the writ of summons was not served correctly. If you choose this option, you can request that the case be dismissed on the grounds of improper service. Alternatively, you may raise this issue during trial. The trial should be postponed, and the plaintiff ordered to re-serve you with a new summons.

Understandably, it can be overwhelming to respond to a Debt Collections Writ of Summons in Maryland. There are so many legal processes involved, and if you are doing it for the first time or even the second or third, it can be quite challenging to keep up.

However, SoloSuit makes everything easier, faster, and more convenient. This AI-powered software creates an appropriate response for you based on the information provided. An attorney then reviews the response to ensure it meets all the Maryland requirements for responding to a Debt Collections Writ of Summons and then sends a copy to the debt collector and another to the court. The best thing about this process is that it takes place within minutes, saving you time and money!

What is SoloSuit?

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.

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"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


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