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    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 24th Feb 09, 4:19 PM
    • 868Posts
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    Former MSE Wendy
    Question of the week: Is it true unpaid debts get wiped after six years?
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 09, 4:19 PM
    Question of the week: Is it true unpaid debts get wiped after six years? 24th Feb 09 at 4:19 PM
    Q. Is it true unpaid debts get wiped after six years?

    A. Yes and no. It's very complex, and it's rare to have a debt completely wiped... here's a broad brush answer.

    What's commonly called the 'statute of limitations' means you can't be persued in court for civil issues six years after the event (five in Scotland).

    So for a personal loan, credit/store card or bank a/c where there's has been no contact for 6+ years a lender usually can’t get a court action against you. This is increased to 12 years for mortgages/secured loans and indefinite for most tax debts.

    Yet contact can mean anything, including making a payment, and that restarts the clock; courts may also extend the time e.g. if it thinks a lender has taken reasonable steps to contact you.

    Plus some lenders still chase for the money after that period, but only a court can force you to pay. If that's happening, National Debtline has a good template letter, or get help before speaking to the creditor.

    If you'd like to discuss this click reply below.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 24-02-2009 at 7:15 PM.
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