Sued For Cell Phone Bill After Two Years You May Have A Lawsuit Of Your Own
We have seen many cases where debt buyers such as Palisades, Asset Acceptance, Unifund, Hawker Financial, etc. are suing consumers for small debts such as cell phone bills. Junk debt buyers will buy up many allegedly delinquent cell phone debts and then sue four or five years after the delinquency.
The problem for these junk debt buyers (and the lawyers who represent them in filing these suits) is that federal law tells us the statute of limitations for this type of debt is only two years. 47 U.S.C. Section 415. Since these debt buyers claim they have "stepped into the shoes of the original creditor" then this law applies to the debt buyers as well as to the original cell phone companies.
So, what does it mean if Palisades, for example, sues you more than two years after a cell phone bill is delinquent? The general rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is that when a collection law firm and a debt collector (including debt buyers such as Palisades) file a lawsuit beyond or after the statute of limitations, this is often considered a violation of the FDCPA.
This means that you may be able to sue the debt buyer and sometimes the collection law firm for violating the FDCPA. br>Many times Palisades and other debt buyers obtain default judgments in the small claims suits that they file.
If you are currently being sued, request that the collection lawyer tell you who the original creditor is and that way you'll know if it is related to a cell phone debt.
If you have been sued, please consult with a consumer lawyer as soon as possible as you may be able to avoid a default judgment and the debt buyer may not be able to prove that it owns the debt.