Maine Debt Relief
Maine Credit Card Debt law provides a 6-year time limit on lawsuits against debtors with outstanding open-ended accounts. Unlike most states, Maine keeps this time limit, or Statute of Limitations (SOL), static. The SOL will not restart if the debtor makes any partial payments. Defendants have 20 days to answer a summons, unless another period is specifically stated on the summons. Answers should be sent by certified mail, ensuring proper delivery.
Maine judgments allow for a 20-year enforcement period, but with a complicated set of caveats. For example, a creditor must secure a writ of execution within a year of judgment and can renew the writ within three years and every three years thereafter, until the judgment is satisfied or 20 years have passed. There is provision for renewing if more than three years elapses, but no renewal is allowed after 10 years has elapsed. Judgment interest is a complicated matter as well. For debts below $30,000, the pre-judgment rate is set by the contract or posted at 8%. Above $30,000, the rate is 1% above the 52-week Treasury bill rate. Post judgment interest is 15% and 7% above the 52-week Treasury bill rate, respectively.
Homestead exemptions are allowed up to $12,500 for individuals or $25,000 for family residences, and can go as high as $60,000 for those over age 60. Some types of personal property may also be exempt. Wages can be garnished up to 25% of the debtor’s income with an exemption of $226 per week.
Debt Settlement is a useful option for those facing a debt judgment. Such agreements provide consumers with a structured payment plan, free of interest. They also give consumers more say in how much is paid every month, rather than leaving it to the courts.