Credit Card Statute of Limitations Arizona
Although the Arizona Economy has Seen Some Turnaround, Debt Collectors are Not Taking a Break
According to Trans Union, one of the three major credit bureaus, the delinquency rate on credit cards in Arizona is slightly higher than the national average. This rating is actually an improvement from 2009, when Arizona had the third highest delinquency rate on credit cards in the country. However, with the unemployment rate in Arizona still hovering around 9 percent, many residents are resorting to credit cards to provide for basic necessities, often taking out one credit card to pay off another. Faced with unexpected expenses and skyrocketing electricity bills in the summer months, missed payments and late fees can be almost unavoidable. But borrowers should be weary, because collectors carrying out their threats of lawsuit against defaulting borrowers may now be more of a reality in Arizona than ever before.
Changes in Law May Affect Your Ability to Negotiate Credit Card Debt Alone
Across the country, there has been a trend towards state legislation protecting borrowers from actions by debt collectors. Unfortunately for borrowers in Arizona, the shift has been in the opposite direction. The recent changes in Arizona law will affect debtors’ ability to escape legal action against their debts.
Credit Card Debt Statute of Limitations Extended
In 2011, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that extended the statute of limitations on credit card debt delinquency actions from three to six years. The statute of limitations is the period of time in which a creditor has the legal ability to pursue an action in court against you to recover a debt, including obtaining a deficiency judgment or wage garnishment. Once this period of time has passed, the creditor can still pursue the debt repayment from you but has no right to resort to judicial recourse to achieve it. In short, this extension affords debt collectors three more years to bring legal action against defaulting borrowers.
Proof Requirements Lowered
In May 2012, a bill was signed into law that makes it easier for debt collectors to make a case against borrowers in court. The bill lowers the burden of proof placed on debt collectors seeking default judgments and wage garnishments against borrowers by allowing these collectors to provide only a final billing statement as proof of the interest rate and amount owed. In effect, the bill allows debt collectors to rely on minimal information from the original creditors and show less documentation than was previously required by many Arizona judges to prove the amount owed by the debtor.
Credit Card Debt Negotiation Could Save You More Than You Realize
Having an attorney negotiating your credit card debt settlement could save you the emotional and financial strain of a deficiency judgment trial. Often professional negotiators are able to settle your debt down to a fraction of what you owe without the need for bankruptcy or trial. However, if your creditors are unwilling to settle and a trip to court is in the works, you will have an experienced attorney at your side with your best interests in mind.
If you are in credit card debt and would like to take a proactive approach before you are taken to court, contact our Phoenix, AZ area office today to schedule an appointment for your free consultation.
Kevin Fallon McCarthy
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