Too Late! Consumer’s Debt Collection Lawsuit for Violating FCRA, FDCPA, Chapter 93A, Dismissed Because Filed Past Statute of Limitations
A federal court decision shows how important it is to bring legal claims – by actually filing them in court – a within the time permitted by law. It also provides refresher on the statutes of limitations in some of the most common consumer protection claims, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Consumer Protection Act (called Chapter 93A).
Here is the background on the lawsuit brought by a consumer who represented themselves without legal representation. Pursuant to an agreement with consumer’s creditor, the creditor was entitled to withdraw money from the consumer’s bank account if certain loan payments were not made. The consumer had health issues and admitted that he failed to make payments. Consequently, the creditor withdrew over $30,000 from his bank account. The consumer filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging violations of the FDCPA, the FCRA, and his state’s version of Chapter 93A.
After reviewing the consumer’s allegations – in particular, the dates of the alleged violations – the federal judge dismissed all the consumer’s claims. The allegedly unlawful acts had occurred long enough ago that statute of limitations has expired. Because of this, the judge could not even review the substantive merits of whether those laws have been broken.
This decision shows the importance of filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Even if you have put the offending party on notice that it violated the law, even if you are in settlement discussion, and even if you have threatened to file a lawsuit, the only thing that stops the statute of limitations from running is filing an actual lawsuit.
Here are some of the most important statutes of limitation for consumers in Massachusetts:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): 1 year from the date of the violation.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): 2 years from the date of the violation.
- Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A): 4 years.
The court’s decision is at this link: Avoki v. Carolina Telco Federal Credit Union
If you think someone violated one of those laws, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Culik Law to see whether we can help you. Culik Law is a Boston, Massachusetts law firm. Our attorneys represent consumer in debt collection lawsuits and debt collection matters.