Office Closed Due To Emergency

by J. Kutkowski on August 27, 2014

The office is closed today due to an emergency, I will be back tomorrow.  If it is an emergency and you need to get me, call the office at 610-928-1233 and I will respond.  If you have the cell phone number, I have that on.

Thanks,
Jim

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Recently I had a client come into my York, PA office with a credit card lawsuit.  He had been sued for a credit card that he stopped paying on a little more than three years ago.  Thirty-eight months to be exact.

In PennsylvaniaPast Due Bill, the statute of limitations on debt is four years (42 Pa. C.S. 5525(a)), and the complaint was served with a copy of the signed credit card agreement (I hadn’t seen a hard-signed agreement in years).  

My client thought he was sunk.  There were a couple of problems with this.  First of all, it wasn’t the original credit card, Aria, suing him.  Secondly, the contract was very difficult to read, with most of it in four-point font.  Always check the fine print!

The first thing I looked at was the sales agreement from Aria to the debt-buyer.  The agreement was proper and unlike a lot of other agreements, it actually indicated the account number as one of the accounts sold.  There was no debate that the account had been properly sold to the debt buyer.

These guys are getting better, I thought as I got a magnifying glass out to read the agreement.  I was looking for a choice of law clause which is a tactic that I have used in court before.  

Most of the time, the choice of law clause indicates that South Dakota or Ohio law is the body of law that governs the credit card agreement, but on this particular Aria credit card, the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia is what governs the agreement.Game Over

Virginia’s statute of limitations on debt is three years, so if Virginia’s law is applied, the debt is time-barred.

So did the judge buy it?  Yes, the judge bought that argument and the case was dismissed.  Sometimes the fine print works in the consumer’s favor.  Most of the time it doesn’t though, so if you find yourself being sued by a debt-buyer or a credit card company, feel free to email me at jim@padebt911.com or call 610-928-1233 for a free consultation.

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