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What exactly does ‘Statute Barred Debt’ mean?

Statute Barred Debt is debt that might have become unenforceable if a creditor has not gone to court or contacted you within the time limit set out in the Limitations Act 1980 i.e. in England and Wales the time limit is six years. We need to point out, however, that while the time limit for unsecured debt is six years, it increases to 12 years for debt associated with mortgage shortfalls.

The key points for deciding whether or not unsecured debt is statute barred are:

  • You haven’t made a payment to the debt for more than six years
  • You haven’t had any contact from the creditor during this time
  • The creditor has not applied to a court for a CCJ
  • Even if you have had some contact but have not acknowledged the debt in writing, it is still statute barred
  • Please note, if the debt has been sold the clock does not reset to the date of the new acquisition, it remains the original date

However, don’t believe for a minute that this will stop debt collectors which have bought the debt from trying it on, knowing full well that few people know their rights. The best thing to do is to simply ignore the calls / letters. It is very risky challenging the debt collector in writing as you might be unwittingly acknowledging the debt. Although unlikely, if you were to receive CCJ documentation from Northampton County Court for a CCJ, it should be challenged immediately if it falls into the above criteria.

Bankruptcy UK offers a full bankruptcy administration service and will submit your bankruptcy application online. Court appearances are no longer required for bankruptcy. Call us for bankruptcy help on 01425 600129 or for an informal chat about your circumstances.




Bankruptcy UK

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