George Simons | October 19, 2022
Summary: Are you being sued over old debts in Illinois? Find out if you can avoid paying with a statute of limitations defense.
Have you received a debt collection Summons and Complaint about an old debt in Illinois? If your Answer is yes, it's about time to plan how to respond to the lawsuit, avoiding a default judgment in the process. A lawsuit is often the last resort debt collectors or creditors opt for while recovering delinquent debt.
However, if the debt is more than five years old, chances are that its statute of limitations has already expired, and the collector can't sue you.
Here's everything you need to know about the statute of limitations on debt collection in Illinois and what you need to do if you have been sued for such a debt.
Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.
Illinois Statute of Limitations
Deadline in Years
The statute of limitation is the time a debt collector or a creditor has to file a lawsuit against a debtor to recover a debt. When this time elapses, the collector can't take legal action against you regarding the forfeited payments.
Like any other state in the US, Illinois has its own statute of limitations for different types of debts. For example, all unwritten and open-ended agreements have a limit of five years. On the other hand, written agreements and promissory notes have a limit of 10 years.
The statute of limitation period starts counting from the time the debt is unpaid, usually 30 days from the date you make the last payment on your debt account. When you fail to pay the debt until its statute expires, the creditor can't file a lawsuit for the debt.
However, the debt collector will still contact you to request payment because, technically, you're still responsible for the debt even if its collection limit has expired. Therefore, avoid making payments without a stable financial plan because that will restart the clock even if you spent years without paying the debt.
As soon as you forfeit payment again, the collector can file a lawsuit to enforce the debt. And if they win the case, the court may issue a wage garnishment order allowing the collector to garnish a portion of your paycheck until the debt is cleared.
However, you can decide to pay what you owe under agreeable terms with the collector to avoid damaging your credit report. You may try to negotiate the debt or agree to a repayment plan with the debt collector and ensure that everything is confirmed in writing before you make any payments.
Make the right affirmative defense with SoloSuit and win in court.
Each state has specific deadlines for answering the Summons. For instance, in Illinois, the deadline depends on the amount of debt you've been sued for.
If the debt is worth $10,000 or less, you'll be required to appear in court on the date stated in the Summons. The judge will then inform you when you need to file your Answer, usually within ten days from the date of the court appearance.
On the other hand, debts worth more than $50,000 should be answered within 30 days from the day you receive the court Summons.
You may also be required to file your Answer along with an Appearance in Illinois.
The Answer is the legal document bearing your response to all the claims on the complaint. On the other hand, the Appearance is your description of how you wish to be heard during the lawsuit.
There are different ways to file your Answer and Appearance in the state; the first method is filling the forms provided by the state's court system. They include forms AR-A 1403.4 and AP-P 503.5, respectively.
The other method is creating your own Answer document and including all the important information about the case. This document must include:
If you don't know where to start, the Solosuit web application can also help with responding to the debt collection lawsuit. The app is specifically designed to help debtors effectively generate a legal document to file in court as their Answer to a debt collection lawsuit.
After preparing your Answer, you'll need to send it to the court where the lawsuit was filed and serve the plaintiff with a copy. Courts in Illinois have two distinctive requirements for filing an Answer that sets them apart from other states.
File your answer to debt collectors fast with SoloSuit.
Illinois has one of the most complex procedures of filing an Answer for a debt collection lawsuit. You may either have 10 or 30 days to file your Answer to the court, depending on the amount of debt you owe.
Regardless of the nature of your case, this timeframe is never enough.
Additionally, other requirements such as the filing fees in some courts and the "proof of delivery" may not be easy to comprehend if it's your first time doing this. The court may also reject your Answer if it doesn't meet the requirements.
However, with Solosuit, you don't have to worry about anything else but answering the questions generated by the software to help you respond to the lawsuit. Using your responses, Solosuit will then create a legal document to file in court as your Answer to the lawsuit.
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
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance
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.
Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips
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Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
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