Alaska Statute of Limitations on Debt

George Simons

January 11, 2022

Summary: Is a debt collector threatening you with a lawsuit in Alaska? Find out if you're protected by the Alaska statute of limitations.

According to Wallethub, Alaska has the least sustainable credit card debt in the United States. If you've fallen behind in your financial obligations, it's best to learn more about debt relief options to get creditors and debt collection agencies off your back.

In some cases, debt collectors may contact you to pursue payment after the statute of limitations has expired. The statute of limitations is a set period a creditor can file a lawsuit against you when you fail to honor the debt's terms of the agreement.

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What is the statute of limitations on debt in Alaska?

The statute of limitations on debt in Alaska depends on the type of debt. Here are the four most common types of debts in Alaska:

Oral Agreements

If you borrowed money from a creditor and agreed to pay it back after a given period, but the agreement wasn't in writing, this is considered an oral agreement. Oral agreements are difficult to prove compared to written agreements and are not common between traditional lenders and borrowers. Instead, this type of debt usually exists between friends or family members.

Written Contracts

Written contracts are common between traditional lenders and borrowers. They're easy to prove because of the existence of a record detailing the lending agreement between the creditor and borrower. Written contracts usually include the following details:

  • the purpose of the loan;
  • applicable interest;
  • amount of money borrowed;
  • date of borrowing;
  • when the borrower should make payments to the debt account;
  • how the payments should be made.

To validate a written contract and make it binding, both the creditor and borrower must sign the written contract, accepting the loan's terms. Examples of written contracts today include medical debt and vehicle loans.

Promissory Notes

Promissory notes are just like written contracts, but they're less detailed. Moreover, only the borrower needs to sign a promissory note to make it enforceable. For instance, when you take a mortgage or student loan, you'll be required to sign a promissory note.

Open-Ended Accounts

This type of account has a pre-approved credit limit, allowing the borrower to carry an outstanding revolving balance they can repeatedly use to a specific preset limit.

If you've opened an open-ended account with a financial institution, you'll be required to pay a minimum balance after a given period to continue accessing the credit. Failure to make the minimum balance payment by the due date means you've defaulted. When that happens, you can no longer access the credit. Credit cards, home equity loans, and personal lines of credit are examples of popular open-ended accounts.

Below is a list of the statute of limitations for most debts in Alaska:

  • Medical debt – 3 years;
  • Mortgage debt – 3 years;
  • Auto loan debt – 3 years;
  • Credit card debt – 3 years;
  • State tax debt – 6 years;
  • Auto loan debt – 4 years.

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When does the Alaska statute of limitations clock start ticking?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the statute of limitations starts when you last made a payment to the debt account.

If you have an old, time-barred debt, the statute of limitations prevents creditors from taking legal action against you. However, creditors can still use other means to pursue repayment for the debt.

Even if the statute of limitations has expired, that won't stop debt collectors from contacting you about the debt. However, the law prohibits creditors and debt collection agencies from using unfair or deceptive tactics to force you to repay the debt. Such tactics include:

  • threatening you with criminal charges;
  • calling you between 9 pm and 8 am without your permission;
  • sending you deceptive documents with no real legal bearing;
  • harassment, abuse, or intimidation;
  • contacting you at your place of work if your employer prohibits such action.

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How to make a debt collector stop contacting you

Any debt collector who uses deceptive tactics violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In that case, the best thing to do is to send them a cease-and-desist letter asking the debt collector to cease all forms of communication. Remember to keep a copy of the letter to yourself as proof that you asked them to stop contacting you.

After the debt collection agency receives your letter, they can only contact you to confirm that they will stop contacting you or inform you of the next course of action they intend to take.

However, when a debt collector stops contacting you, it doesn't mean you're off the hook for the debt. The debt can still appear on your credit report if the debt collector reports you to a collection agency. This will make it difficult for you to acquire loans in the future, such as car loans and mortgages.

If the debt collector plans to file a lawsuit against you, you need to respond to the lawsuit in good time, even if you don't think you owe the debt or can't repay it immediately. SoloSuit is the best legal software to use when you're not sure how to respond to a debt collections lawsuit in Alaska.

This software will create an answer document on your behalf. It will then send a copy of the answer document to the court where the plaintiff filed the lawsuit and another to the plaintiff. And if you need an attorney to review the answer document to ensure it meets all legal requirements, SoloSuit does that at a small fee.

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Should you pay a time-barred debt?

If you're unsure if the debt is time-barred, send the debt collection agency a letter asking them to verify the debt. The debt collection company should respond with records showing when you defaulted on the loan.

After receiving the debt verification letter, contact the Alaska state attorney general's office and ask them about the statute of limitations on your debt. Ensure you mention the type of debt you owe the debt collector. If the statute of limitations has expired, your unpaid debt is considered time-barred, and the debt collector can't seek legal action against you.

When asking the debt collector to provide records about the debt, it's not advisable to acknowledge in writing that you owe the debt. Acknowledging you owe the debt will reset the statute of limitations clock and begin a new statute of limitations period. As a result, the debt collector can file a lawsuit against you.

The decision on whether to pay a time-barred debt or not entirely depends on your preferences. You can either pay nothing, pay off the debt or make a partial payment. However, remember that making a partial payment on a time-barred debt resets the statute of limitations clock. Therefore, the debt collection agency can file a lawsuit against you to recover the full amount owed.

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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