Limitation Act

Section 24 Limitation Act 1980:

  • No action can be brought upon any debtor after 6 years of the date of an enforceable judgement e.g. CCJ.
  • And no arrears of interest in respect of any judgement debt is recoverable after the expiration of 6 years from the date on which the interest became due.
  • As with most laws there are exceptions.
  • A property mortgage is enforceable for 12 years after judgement
  • Provided no new action is claimed then an apparently old case can still be enforced.
  • If a debtor agrees to pay a debt over a time exceeding say six years then the debt continues to enforcible for a further 6 years beyond the last payment or acknowledgement of the debt.
  • Some debts are enforceable for up to 20 years e.g. Crown debts.
  • Lowsley v Forbes 1998 established than no new action can be enforced after 6 years but that a pre-existing judgement is enforceable within 6 years of the judgement date.
  • E.g. say a rent debt is enforced after 5 years and 11 months (within the limitation), the creditor still has a further 6 years before becoming time barred, in this case 11 years and 11 months.  Almost 12 years!
  • Any extension of time beyond 6 years requires leave of a judge (i.e. permission) to enforce and would have to have good grounds for extending.

What are your thoughts?

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