George Simons | December 02, 2022
Summary:Are you being sued for an old debt in Michigan? Find out if the statute of limitations can protect you from creditors.
Debt collectors employ various tactics to recover what you supposedly owe them. Such measures include lawsuits, frequent calls, emails, and letters, which can be frustrating to deal with.
As a resident of Michigan, it's essential to understand that you have rights and options for resolving your debt problems. Michigan has several laws that protect debtors and govern how debt collectors operate.
When creditors decide to initiate a lawsuit against you, it's always advisable to find out if the lawsuit is valid or time-barred before filing a response to the court. If a collection suit is time-barred, it means that the statute of limitations has passed, and the creditor has no right to initiate legal action against you.
Make the right defense the right way and win your case.
For some reason, some creditors may knowingly pursue an old, time-barred debt. In such a case, you can use the statute of limitations as your defense.
In Michigan, the statute of limitations is set to six years for most types of debts and contracts.
Michigan Statute of Limitations
Deadline in Years
Debt on Account
10 (of record), 6 (not of record)
Types of contracts covered by the six-year statute of limitations include:
This means that if your debt has gone unpaid for more than six years, debt collectors can't take legal action against you. But this doesn't mean creditors can't resort to other debt collection measures such as calling you, sending emails, or providing this information to credit bureaus. However, they can't seek a court judgment against you.
In Michigan, there's a special kind of contract called a sales contract with a four-year statute of limitations. This type of contract involves the debtor securing money to purchase a particular product. The product purchased is then used as collateral for the loan. In that case, the creditor has only four years after the debtor defaults to seek legal action.
Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.
The statute of limitations in Michigan can be restarted through the following scenarios:
It's important to note that the statute of limitations doesn't apply if the creditor gets a judgment or default judgment against you. So if the creditor goes to court and wins a judgment against you, the judgment carries a statute of limitations of ten years.
Michigan law allows a creditor to employ debt collection measures such as wage garnishment almost indefinitely as long as they keep the attachment or lien alive by renewing the judgment every decade.
To avoid this, ensure you file a response to the court as soon as you receive a collection suit from the plaintiff, even if the statute of limitations has expired. Failure to do so, the creditor may ask the court to enter a default judgment against you because you failed to appear in court or defend yourself.
Making a partial payment of the debt is another way to reset the statute of limitations in Michigan. However, if the creditor had won a judgment against you, making partial payments doesn't affect the judgment's statute of limitations of ten years. For this reason, it's not advisable to make any partial debt repayment unless you're willing to pay the debt in full.
Some creditors may contact you after the statute of limitations has run out and try to trick you into acknowledging you owe them a debt. If the debt is a qualifying debt, e.g., a credit card debt, the statute of limitations will reset immediately after you acknowledge ownership of the debt.
For this reason, never acknowledge that you owe any debt to a creditor. If you receive a call from a creditor asking you to acknowledge a debt, ask them to send paperwork detailing the debt they claim you owe. If the debt's statute of limitations has expired, you can send a cease and desist letter to the debt collectors.
Contrary to popular opinion, the statute of limitation doesn't commence the day the consumer takes the debt. Instead, it begins when the debt was last serviced or the date the debtor breached the contract terms.
For instance, if you stopped making credit card payments in 2020, the creditor has until 2026 to seek legal action against you. If you pay part of the debt in 2024, the statute of limitations would reset, and the creditor will have another six years to pursue the debt in court.
For that reason, if you have an out-of-court agreement with the creditor to pay less than the total amount of debt, ensure you obtain a signed letter from them indicating that you're paying part of the loan in exchange for debt forgiveness.
If you fail to do so, the creditor may turn against you and claim that the payment made was a partial debt payment. In such a case, the statute of limitations will reset, and the creditor can file a collection suit against you to recover the remaining amount.
Respond to creditors fast with SoloSuit and win in court.
If the plaintiff serves you with a notice of complaint on a debt that you believe is past the statute of limitations, you'll still need to file an answer to the court. You'll use the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense to prevent the creditor from taking further action against you.
Filing an answer to the court may not be a straightforward process, especially if it's your first time receiving a notice of complaint. If you don't know how to file an answer to the court, SoloSuit can help you do it without much hassle. You'll only need to answer a few simple questions about the case, and the software will prepare a response for you in no time.
Then, you can either print the Answer form and file it yourself or have one of SoloSuit's attorneys review it then file it for you at a small fee.
It's always advisable not to ignore a notice of complaint because the creditor can obtain a deficiency judgment against you and renew their collection efforts even if the statute of limitations has expired. Furthermore, they can keep renewing the deficiency judgment until the debt is paid in full.
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
How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts
How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?
How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?
What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?
Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?
If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?
Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?
Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?
Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?
What is a default judgment?— What do I do?
Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?
What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?
What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?
What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency
What is a Stipulated Judgment?
What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?
Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?
Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?
Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?
Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?
Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?
Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide
Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?
Should I Marry Someone With Debt?
Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?
How Does Debt Assignment Work?
What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?
How Does Debt Assignment Work?
Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?
How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?
Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?
What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?
Does Student Debt Die With You?
Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?
How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?
How Long Does a Judgment Last?
Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?
Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?
Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?
The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?
Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?
What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?
Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.
How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide
How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney
How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know
How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)
Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector
Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency
Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.
Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit
New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt
Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors
The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah
West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt
What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained
Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector
Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt
You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim
Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector
How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment
How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont
North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt
ClearPoint Debt Management Review
Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt
Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say
CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review
How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter
How to Appear in Court by Phone
How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands
Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon
Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next
How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement
Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do
How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection
Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt
Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa
How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court
Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review
Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?
Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?
How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?
How Long Does a Judgement Last?
How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?
How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court