Do you have expired claims?
Are you unsure whether the statute of limitations has run out?
The statute of limitations is called an affirmative defense. The defendant must raise the statute as a defense to your collections lawsuit and they have the burden of proving that the statute of limitations has run.
It’s possible to get a judgment on an expired claim where the debtor has overlooked the defense and the court doesn’t notice that the claim has expired. But debtors tend to know about the statute of limitations, and it’s an easy defense to raise. Consequences of filing a lawsuit on an expired debt can include:
Dismissal and sanctions: When a judge realizes that a claim is beyond the statute of limitations, he or she may dismiss the claim on their own initiative or on the motion of the defendant, and he or she may even assess a fine or penalty for starting a suit that has no legal merit. Sometimes the defendant also receives an award of attorney fees.
Counterclaim: As a result of your filing litigation beyond the statute of limitations, the defendant may file a counterclaim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or similar state or local consumer protection acts.
A few states forbid collections lawsuits after the limitations period has run, so ignoring the limitations period can put you in front of an angry judge. You should be aware of the consequences before you take action. Consult a debt collection attorney about your rights first before you take the next steps.
The easiest way to renew a debt is to obtain partial payment on the account before the statute of limitations runs out. Collection agencies often try to get a debtor to make a payment on the account, no matter how small. This will help stay the statute of limitations on a debt that is owed.
At Muller, Muller, Richmond, & Harms, P.C., our debt collectors in Michigan can help you build a strategy customized to fit your business needs. We want to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in pursuing your case.
Since 1961, our top-rated lawyers have been dedicated to professionally and aggressively pursuing the money you’re owed in a straightforward, ethical manner. With offices in Birmingham and Grand Rapids, we handle claims against debtors located in Michigan, even if you are located out of state or out of the country.
If you need help settling a debt owed to your business by a debtor in Michigan, contact our experienced debt collectors in Michigan.
Let our experts handle all the work for you! Fill out the information form on our “Contact Us” page, or give us a call at 248-645-2440, to ask questions and figure out your next steps. Don’t let the money owed to you go away – get started today! We look forward to hearing from you