Virginia Debt Relief
The Virginia state Credit Card Debt law provides for a 3-year Statute of Limitations (SOL) on open-ended Credit Card Debt. One of the shortest in the country, this SOL starts from the date when the consumer first missed a payment. Subsequent partial payments will not affect the expiration date of the SOL. There is a time limit of 21 days for answering a summons. Answers should be sent by certified mail to ensure proper delivery and avoid default judgment for the Plaintiff.
Judgments in Virginia remain enforceable and renewable for 10 years or 20 years depending on the Court where filed. The limit in General District Court is 10 years, while the Circuit Court limit is 20 years. The judgment becomes a lien when filed in the judgment lien docket of the appropriate county or city. Homestead exemptions protect real property up to $5,000 and may be increased by $500 for each dependent child. Wages may be garnished but are limited to 25% of income or the amount exceeding 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage for a given week.
Virginia residents should be aware that the state recognizes “judgment by confession” clauses. Such contract language allows for automatic judgment in favor of the creditor. However, the court allows an automatic 21-day stay on enforcement to give the creditor time to seek a court order against it.
Rather than allowing for property seizures and wage garnishments, consumers have two options in dealing with a summons for Credit Card Debt. They can either file bankruptcy, or take the easier course of Debt Settlement, which allows for interest free payment plans.