Their Knowledge Of Limitations Is Limited

, , , , | Working | April 28, 2019

(Sometime after I cease attending a local university part-time, I get a parking ticket on campus in February of 2014. The statute of limitations on such tickets is three years in my state. Aside from a form letter, they make no attempt to collect it in that time, and there’s a three-and-a-half year gap in communications afterwards. About four years out, they apparently re-contract their collections account to a firm in another state, and they get rather aggressive out of the gate — threatening to garnish wages or intercept tax returns. I send back a letter initially disputing their claim — I have no recollection of the ticket by this time; initially, I am not even sure I owned the car in question at the time — and get all of the information from them. Okay, it’s valid… but time-barred. I call them, and this rough conversation transpires in May of 2018, four years and three months after the initial offense.)

Phone Agent: “Hello, [Collection Agency]. Can I have your name and account number?

Me: *gives them the information*

Phone Agent: “So, how much would you like to pay on the account?”

Me: “Actually, that’s the thing: this debt is statute-barred under Virginia law. There’s a three-year time limit.”

Phone Agent: “What year was the offense?”

Me: “2014.”

Phone Agent: “Oh, we have four years to collect, not three.”

(This is patently false, but…)

Me: “Well, the ticket was in February 2014. It is May 2018. So, even if you were correct, by your own admission just now, you’re out-of-statute.”

Phone Agent: *after a moment of silence* “Uh… we’ll make a note.”

(About a month later, the university tried to bill me for it again. I told them the same thing and they tried to pass the buck on the “oversight,” but they seem to have otherwise let the matter drop. We’ll see if that’s truly the end of it, but I feel like I may be dealing with this at odd intervals for a long time to come.)

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