Statute of Limitations on Commercial Debt Collection
In Mississippi, the statute of limitations is a pivotal defense, and timing is of the essence. For instance, debt carries a three-year statute of limitations. If a collector pursues legal action beyond this period, you have a solid defense based on the expired statute of limitations. It’s noteworthy that collectors often aim to reset the clock by coaxing payments from debtors.
If a collector initiates legal proceedings after the statute of limitations has lapsed, you may have grounds for legal action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Different debts carry distinct statutes of limitations, and understanding the specifics is paramount.
Curiously, collectors may file suits even when the statute of limitations has expired. This is due to the debtor’s obligation to raise the defense during legal proceedings. Failure to do so can result in the collector obtaining a judgment.
Under Mississippi Code Ann. § 15-1-3, a debt not filed within the statute of limitations is considered extinguished. However, collectors can still pursue judgments if the defense isn’t asserted. The legality of such judgments is a subject of debate, emphasizing the importance of consulting with an attorney before allowing a collector to secure a judgment.
What is a Debt Collection Case?
Debt can be incurred in any kind of retail or commercial transaction. Uncollected debt compounds the cost of doing business, robbing companies of needed funding and distracting their staff from day-to-day business. Businesses need to develop internal structures that facilitate rapid receipt of payment for services and products to maintain their business relationships and preserve working capital. Such internal processes begin with friendly payment reminders that escalate on a schedule to overdue payment reminders, final notice, direct contact with the debtor, and finally a formal letter of demand. When there is no repayment, lawyers get involved.
Rushing & Guice’s collections practice includes:
- Commercial collections – involve debts incurred by businesses engaged with other businesses. We help our clients with collection of commercial debt, secured and unsecured, for small and large businesses, contractors, subcontractors, banks, lenders, commercial landlords, and equipment lessors.
- Retail collections – include debts incurred by individuals with businesses for products or services purchased and left unpaid. American consumers have amassed $15.24 trillion in debt. The highest category of debt is home mortgages, followed by student loans. Retail debt might involve credit cards, medical bills, automobile loans, personal loans, business, student loans, and even unpaid utility and cell phone bills. Our lawyers help with collection of consumer debt, secured and unsecured, for banks, savings and loans, credit unions, retail establishments, and other lenders.
- Construction collections – encompass debts incurred during the course of construction, with moneys owed to the general contractor, subcontractors, materials vendors, and staffing. At Rushing & Guice, our lawyers are experienced in filing and enforcement of mechanic’s lien claims and labor and material payment bond claims.
- Replevins – are legal actions to recover property wrongfully taken or held by a defendant. In the world of debt collections, replevins involve repossession and recovery of collateral from defaulting debtors for lessors and other secured creditors.
- Litigation – prosecution of debt collection in civil actions in state and federal courts and before alternative dispute resolution forums (arbitration, mediation) and defense against debtor counterclaims.
International Association of Commercial Collectors, Inc. (IACC) Membership
Rushing & Guice is the only Mississippi law firm that is a member of the IACC, the trade association that provides education and leadership in the field of debt collection. The IACC provides an ethical framework for the collection industry and offers educational programs to promote a fair and just approach to debt and its repayment. IACC members must abide by a Code of Ethics that infuses their business operations. For example, when dealing with debtors, each IACC member is held to standards of conduct:
- IACC members must show due consideration, including but not limited to the avoidance of harassment by all means of communication.
- Avoid deceptive practices, statements, and materials.
- Respond to disputes in a reasonable and prompt manner.
- If the debtor states that he is represented by an attorney and identifies that counsel, the agency shall deal directly with the attorney.
Rushing & Guice’s membership in the IACC assures our clients that the methods used to collect any debt conform to the highest ethical and industry standards.
Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C: Mississippi Commercial Collection Lawyers
At Rushing & Guice, Mississippi’s only member of the International Association of Commercial Collectors, our experienced commercial collection attorneys know what it takes to obtain payment on outstanding debts and reduce receivables for our clients. Call us at (228) 374-2313 or fill out our online form to arrange for a limited initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorneys.