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Louisiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

George Simons | October 19, 2022

Summary: Is a debt collector threatening you with a lawsuit? Find out if the Louisiana statute of limitations can get you out of having to pay.

The culture-rich state of Louisiana is home to many beautiful cities, unique cuisines, and serenading sounds of jazz and pop music. But, that aside, living in such a vibrant state also comes with particular challenges, such as debts. So, if you're struggling with getting out of debt in Louisiana, you've come to the right place.

First, you need to find out the statute of limitations on your debt. You'll need this information to respond to a debt collection complaint.

Next, you need to know how to respond to this complaint.

Make a defense against debt collectors with SoloSuit.

What is the statute of limitations on debt in Louisiana?

A statute of limitations is the time limit a creditor or a debt collector has to file a debt collection lawsuit for an unpaid debt. When this period expires, the collector can't use any legal actions against a debtor, although they can continue with other debt collection tactics outside court.

Louisiana has a unique arrangement when it comes to the statute of limitations on debts. This period is described as prescriptive, meaning it can be interrupted. In many other states, the statute of limitations clock begins the last time a debt account was paid and went on uninterrupted unless the debtor makes any payments to the account or the period expires

However, in Louisiana, the clock stops when a lawsuit is filed in a competent court and appropriate venue. This interruption goes on until when the case is dismissed or abandoned. Then, the clock will be assumed to have been counting throughout the lawsuit period and will continue until the time elapses.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Written

10

Oral

10

Rent

3

On Account

3

Judgements

10


Source: Findlaw

Oral and written contracts. Debts from a breach of contract in Louisiana have a prescription period of 10 years beginning from the date of breach or last payment to the debt account. This period covers all types of general contracts except those assigned specific periods following their governing codes within the state's laws.

Open accounts. In Louisiana, an open account is where the consumer routinely buys products and services on credit without any considerations. Such accounts include credit cards, medical accounts, and auto loans. The prescription period of open accounts in Louisiana is three years and begins to count from the date of the last credit entry on the account, a purchase, charge, or payment.

Money judgments. Both domestic and foreign money judgments have a prescription period of 10 years in the state of Louisiana. This period begins to count from the date the judgment has been passed and signed without appeal. However, if the judgment is appealed, the period will begin counting the day the appeal is finalized.

Promissory notes. Promissory notes have a prescription period of five years, beginning from the time when payment is overdue.

Louisiana debt collection process explained

Now that you know how the different statute of limitations works in Louisiana, it's easier to understand handling a debt collection complaint. However, a lawsuit isn't usually the immediate remedy debt collectors opt for. In most cases, they begin with contacting you to remind you of the unpaid debt and request payment for the same.

It's only after all the debt collection efforts have failed that the debt collector can file a complaint against you. When that happens, it's always advisable to respond to the lawsuit even if its statute of limitation has expired. This is because ignoring the suit may lead to a judgment in favor of the creditor. Moreover, such a judgment often comes with dire financial consequences, such as wage garnishment.

Protect your wages from creditors by responding with SoloSuit.

Answering a debt collection lawsuit in Louisiana

Each state sets a timeline within which a debtor must respond to a debt complaint. Louisiana's is only 15 days from the day you're served with the summons, one of the shortest deadlines compared to other states.

Within this time, you're expected to prepare your Answer in a well-crafted manner that will compel the judge to dismiss the case "without prejudice."

In legal terms, 'without prejudice' means that the collector won't be allowed to sue you again for the debt for various reasons, such as the expiry of the debt's statute of limitations. Otherwise, if the motion to dismiss is passed 'with prejudice,' the collector may file a case against you again.

Unlike other states, Louisiana doesn't have an Answer form debtors need to fill and file back with the court. Instead, they must create their own Answer documents, which must contain all the required information.

A typical Answer document in The Pelican State must contain the following information:

  • Your name and address;
  • The plaintiff's name and address;
  • The court's information, including its type, address, and name;
  • The case's index number;
  • The case's number;
  • The amount of money allegedly owed.

In your Answer document, you'll respond to the complaints in the summons served by either denying or admitting to the claims. Additionally, you'll assert your affirmative response by stating why the plaintiff has no case against you. Some of the reasons include:

  • The debt was paid in part or whole;
  • The debt was dismissed;
  • The statute of limitations has expired;
  • The debt account quoted doesn't belong to you.

The next step is to send your response to the court and the plaintiff and confirm the delivery by acquiring the Certified Mail Return Receipt Receipt as evidence.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.

Respond to a debt collection summons in Louisiana

This process of responding to a debt collection lawsuit may be overwhelming, given that you only have 15 days to complete everything rightfully. Additionally, creating a legally acceptable Answer document from scratch isn't easy either.

The good news is that SoloSuit simplifies the entire process. So instead of trying to come up with an Answer document in 15 days, you can wrap up everything within 15 minutes!

This web application already comes with an Answer template for debtors in Louisiana, providing all the information required by the court. The app will then guide you through generating the perfect response from a series of questions designed for your case at no cost to you.

After generating the Answer, you can print the document, send it to the court where the summons was filed, and serve the plaintiff with a copy.

Alternatively, you can have a SoloSuit attorney review the answer document, ensuring it meets all legal requirements before submitting it to the court and sending a copy to the plaintiff at a small fee. This option is not only time-saving but also increases your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

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.

Respond with SoloSuit

"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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