How long can you be chased for debt payments
4 July 2024

Sometimes, financial uncertainties make it impossible to be regular with payments. It could be in unemployment, business loss, income reduction, etc. Moreover, family feuds also result in pending debts. In such situations, you can hardly think of anything but the truce.  In this situation, one may wish for the debts to disappear somehow. However, it does not happen. The more you delay the payments, the more legalities you may face.

The creditors and debt collection agencies may chase you for payments. At worst, they may claim the assets to retrieve the loss. However, sometimes situations are manageable. Yes, sometimes, you can be free from debt chase. The blog lists the facts regarding debt payments and nullification.

When do the debts get written off?

Usually, the debts have a statutory limitation of 6 years, after which they become barren. They would not be visible on your credit profile after that period. However, it is not simple to wipe out the entire financial history. The period of debt after which you could be financially free depends on some aspects. It considers-

  • the type of debt
  • the courtly actions
  •  the place you put up in the UK
  • the amount you owe

Usually, you don’t need to pay the student loan in full. If you can’t pay it within 25 years of the original date, it will be waived. However, sometimes, paying such loans supports your lifestyle goals. Non-repayment would not be the solution either.

It damages your credit health.  Thus, try to pay minimal payments on high-interest debts or long-term loans. For example, if you are behind on paying a home renovation debt with a few pounds, do so. Check whether you can save extra by cutting on some unnecessary debts. If you can pay the last payment by bridging some amount do so. You can get help from other sources.

 For example, you may get a loan for bad with instant approval today. It may help you meet critical requirements while you save for the pending payment. You may have bad credit because of the pending payments. Hence, this financial facility will be the best for your needs.

What does the law say about the time limit for debt chase?

The law and the legislation to follow depend on the area you live in. The following lists the laws in the popular areas of the UK. This is how the creditors take action after 10 years of non-repayment on debts:

a)     England and Wales

These cities follow the law Limitation Act of 1980 to chase debts. In legal terms, it is also known as  “statute of limitations”. It implies- how long the debt is chased for. The law chases unpaid, unsecured debts for 6 years.  For secured debts, the creditors can no longer chase you after 12 years. After which it disappears from the credit report and records. However, the creditors will make the best use of power to get the dues back. Thus, it’s a wise decision to budget and pay the debts.

b)     Scotland

In Scotland, the time limit to pay the debts is governed by “ the prescriptions and limitations” Act, 1973. It means the same as the statute of limitations. According to this law, the creditors cannot chase the debtor after 5 years of non-repayment. However, there exist exceptions to this.

The statute of limitations is only valid if there is no ongoing case against the pending debt payments. Don’t just stop replying to creditors’ emails or calls. He may hire a debt collection agency to get the money back. It could prove worse than they can tap your assets to claim the payments. However, it is not valid for every debt.

Which debts can you claim debt relief from under statute of legislation?

There are some debts that you may not get relief from despite the statute of legislation. On the other hand, you can skip some debts and never pay. Here is the breakdown:

Debts that get written off after 6 years  Debts that get stay even after 6 years
Credit cardsPersonal loansOverdraftsStone cardsPayday loansPending rent  MortgagePersonal jury claimsCourt hearings (CCJs)Benefit overpaymentsCouncil taxCapital gains tax

Thus, the creditor can claim some debts only up to 6 years. After that, the debts can be written off. However, if the creditor remembers that you had a pending past, provide the last payment proof. It reveals that the court did not take any action to claim it in 6 years. If you prove this, the creditor can no longer chase you legally. Instead, it gets written off.

Can you be chased for secured debts over 13 years?

The answer to this question is- “Yes, a creditor may chase you for secured debts even after 12 years.” Secured debts have some security against the loan. It could be a car or a property. If you cannot pay the loan within this time, he claims the securities. The most common examples include- mortgages, car loans, home equity loans, etc.

It is very unlikely to forget the secured loan for a lender. If you don’t make payments within these 12 years, he can take action. However, if you can prove the expiry of the limitation period, you no longer need to pay.

How long does it take for a debt to become uncollectable in the UK?

For a debt to become uncollectable, it must be deemed statutory barred. It is the most difficult thing. In this, the creditor must forget about the debt you hold. He should not remember it within the statutory period.  He cannot claim it after the period ends. To summarise, for a debt to become uncollectable, the following must happen:

  • You have not made any payments on the debt within 6-12 years
  • You have not communicated with the loan provider during the limitation period
  • You have not made to acknowledge the debt you owe
  • The creditor has not officially threatened you to pay the dues
  • You don’t hold debts like income tax, capital tax, or overpayments to Work and Pension departments.

Thus, contact the expert consultant to discuss the best way to get debt-free. He may help you by analysing the status.

Bottom line

Thus, it could be hard to tell whether you must pay old debts. The statute barren indication decides that. It is only helpful in some debts that you don’t need to pay. It could be student debt or related debts. Thus, approach debts with utter caution. Check the minimum you can pay to reduce the debts. It is better than waiting for 6 years for a debt to get written off. It may not always end up in your favour. So, decide well accordingly.

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