Statute of Limitations for Collection Cases in Missouri

UHG Lawsuit

One of the first steps I take when I get a new client coming to my office for representation of a collection lawsuit is to check to see if the suit has been timely filed. Most collection cases in Missouri are attempting to collect a debt for a credit card account, a written contact, auto deficiency, or simply trying to collect on a judgment previously entered by the Court.

CREDIT CARDS

The statute of limitations for credit card accounts under Missouri law, RSMo 516.120, is five years. While credit card companies and some debt buyers may try to say that a credit card is controlled by a written agreement, there usually is not a written contract that the parties entered into when a credit card is issued.

The clock for a credit card debt starts to tick after the last purchase made on the credit card, or payment made on the credit card. While collection companies may attempt to get you to voluntarily pay a credit card debt that is older than five years, they do not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act unless they file suit after the statute of limitations has run, or if the debt collector states that they are going to file suit when the statute of limitations has lapsed under the law.  

Making a voluntary payment on an account after the statute of limitations has run, may restart the clock on that account. Always be mindful of the age of the account before agreeing to make any payments on old credit card accounts when a debt collector starts attempting to collect the debt.

WRITTEN CONTRACTS

The statute of limitations for written contracts like promissory notes, or real estate agreements under Missouri law, RSMo 516.110, is ten years. The clock for written contracts begins to run is one of the following: when the contract is entered into, the last date of performance by a party according to the agreement, or last payment made can all be the start of when the statute of limitations begins to run.

AUTO DEFICIENCIES

The statute of limitations for deficiency of automobile loans, where the vehicles has been reposed, or voluntarily surrendered, and sold but the proceeds from the sale does not cover all of the balance on the loan is 4 years.

Missouri Judgments

The statute of limitations for a balance owed pursuant to a judgment in Missouri is 10 years. Under the law a judgment is deemed satisfied if ten years has passed since the judgment was entered and no attempt to revive the judgment. Payments made through garnishments starts the ten-year time limit each time a garnishment amount is collected. If the judgment creditor files a motion to revive the judgment, they will need to serve the debtor and a show cause hearing will be held. If it is established that the judgment has not been satisfied the court can enter an order reviving the judgment which will give the judgment creditor an additional 10 years to collect on the judgment.  

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Category: Consumer Protection, FDCPA