Arizona Legislature Changes Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Accounts.
The Arizona Legislature recently changed the law to make most credit card collection cases subject to a six year statute of limitations. A.R.S. Sec. 12-548 now states that "if the indebtedness is evidenced by or founded on . . . a credit card. . ." it is subject to the six year statute of limitations.
The following case will no longer provide the persuasive precedent that we have previously enjoyed.
Maricopa County Court Commissioner Eartha K. Washington recently dismissed a collection lawsuit stating that the First USA Bank credit card debt was an open account and therefor subject to the three year statute of limitations under A.R.S. § 12-543.
DSS Financial Group, LLC filed suit in the Arizona South Mountain Justice Court against an Arizona consumer on a credit card debt it claims it purchased from Unifund CCR Partners, which claims it purchased the debt from Chase bank, the predecessor to First USA Bank. The case went to trial and the Justice entered judgment in favor of DSS Financial. The court denied DSS Financial’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. The consumer appealed Judge Cody Williams judgment to the Maricopa County Superior Court arguing that the statute of limitations had run since the debt had been in default more that three years prior to the suit being filed, and that DSS Financial had not properly shown ownership of the First USA Bank debt.
Commissioner Washington did not address the question of whether DSS Financial or Unifund had purchased the debt from First USA Bank or Chase, but rather ruled that the case should be dismissed based upon the three year statute of limitations. Commissioner Washington also awarded the Arizona consumer all her attorney’s fees and costs of the litigation.
Debt buyers are filing hundreds of lawsuits each month against Arizona consumers on accounts they claim to have purchased. Many of these credit card accounts are not collectable because 1) they are too old, meaning the statute of limitations has run; 2) they have no proof of ownership of the accounts; 3) they cannot prove the balance owed or how the claimed balance was calculated; and 4) the Arizona consumer either does not owe the debt because of identity theft or misuse of a stolen credit card.
These debt buyers file suits against Arizona debtors believing that most consumers (over 90%) will not know their rights, and the debt buyer will be able to obtain judgment by default without having to prove their case. Common debt buyers who file suits in Arizona include:
• American Commercial Credit
• Arrow Financial
• Asset Acceptance, LLC
• CACV of Colorado, LLC
• Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC
• Centurion Capital Corporation
• Debt Buyers Inc.
• DSS Financial
• Easy Loan Corp.
• Faslo Solutions, LLC
• First Resolution Investment Corporation
• Generation Funding
• Hilco Receivables
• Hudson & Keyse
• LVNV Funding LLC
• Midland Credit Management
• Midland Funding, LLC
• MRC Receivables Corp.
• NCO Financial
• Palisades Collection LLC
• Persolve, LLC
• Portfolio Recovery
• Resurgent Capital Services
• RJF Financial
• Unifund CCR Partners
• Western States Financial
• World Wide Asset
There are also many new debt buyers showing up all the time.
If you are an Arizona consumer who has recently been served with a lawsuit by a debt buyer, please call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 for a free phone consultation to see if you may have a defense to the lawsuit.