Dismissed! Lawsuit Alleging Illegal Credit Reporting and Debt Collection, Filed by Consumer Without a Lawyer, Ordered Dismissed Due to Statutes of Limitations
A recent decision from federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina shows the importance of filing a lawsuit within the time permitted by law. It also provides refresher on the statutes of limitations in some of the most common consumer protection claims, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA).
The consumer represented himself in the case, without a lawyer.
Here is the background. Pursuant to an agreement with consumer’s creditor, the creditor was entitled to withdraw money from the consumer’s bank account if certain loan payments were not made. The consumer had health issues and admitted that he failed to make payments. Consequently, the creditor withdrew over $30,000 from his bank account. The consumer filed a lawsuit in North Carolina federal court alleging violations of the FDCPA, the FCRA, and the UDTPA.
After reviewing the consumer’s allegations – in particular, the dates of the alleged violations – the federal judge dismissed all the consumer’s claims. The allegedly unlawful acts had occurred long enough ago that statute of limitations has expired. Because of this, the judge could not even review the substantive merits of whether those laws have been broken.
This decision shows the importance of filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Even if you have put the offending party on notice that it violated the law, even if you are in settlement discussion, and even if you have threatened to file a lawsuit, the only thing that stops the statute of limitations from running is filing an actual lawsuit.
Here are some of the most important statutes of limitation for consumers in North Carolina:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): 1 year from the date of the violation.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): 2 years from the date of the violation.
- North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA): 4 years.
The court’s written opinion is here: Avoki v. Carolina Telco Federal Credit Union
Fairview Law did not represent the consumer in this lawsuit.
If you think someone violated the FDCPA, FCRA, UDTPA or other consumer protection laws, don’t slumber on your rights and risk forfeiting your ability to obtain a legal remedy. Contact Fairview Law for a case evaluation to see whether we can help you. Fairview Law is a Charlotte, North Carolina law firm. Our attorneys help businesses and consumer deal with debt, debt collectors, and debt collection lawsuits.