Autovest, LLC Collection Suit Defeated on Statute of Limitations – Alabama Consumer Rights Attorney Judson E Crump 12

Autovest, LLC Sued my client for a deficiency balance owed after her car was repossessed.  We beat the lawsuit by showing that the suit was illegal due to the passage of the Statute of Limitations.

My client had in fact owed money to Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance for a 2007 Dodge Magnum she had purchased back in April 2007.  But as often happens, the car broke down and when the dealer wouldn’t fix it, my client had to find new transportation.  She couldn’t afford to pay both, so she stopped paying in May 2009 and the car was repossessed in May 2010.  For 4 years, nothing happened.

Then, in June 2014, my client received a summons from some company called Autovest, LLC, relating to a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama.  She had never heard of Autovest, and had no idea who they were.  She certainly had never entered into any contract with Autovest.  So who are they?

Autovest is a debt buyer located at 26261 Evergreen Rd, Suite 390 Southfield, MI 48076.  They purchase charged off accounts from creditors who no longer wish to collect them.  In this case, they claimed that Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance had assigned my client’s auto sale contract to Autovest, and that by virtue of the assignment, they had the right to sue my client.

She came to my office and naturally she was very upset.  After all, they were asking the court to force her to pay them almost $10,000 and she had no idea what to do about it.  But when showed me the paperwork, I saw an immediate problem: they were too late.

See, if someone owes you money, you cannot wait forever to take them to court.  The law places a time limit on every lawsuit.  It’s called the Statute of Limitations.  For most contracts in Alabama, the statute of limitations is 6 years.  But on a contract for the sale of goods, we have a different rule: the statute of limitations is 4 years.  Why?  Because sales for goods are subject to a special rule in the Uniform Commercial Code: Article 2, Section 725.

A vehicle sale contract – even one where the car purchase was financed over a 60 month installment contract, is still a contract for the sale of goods.  And in this case, the collector waited until more than 4 years after my client’s last payment to sue her.  In fact, they waited longer than 4 years after the car was repossessed.  This was undisputed.

Well, you can’t do that.  The law is clear.  If you want to sue on an retail installment sales agreement, you better do it in 4 years.  The court agreed with me.


Court Order Granting Summary Judgment to Consumer Defendant who was sued after the 4 years allowed by UCC Article 2 had passed.

Court Order Granting Summary Judgment to Consumer Defendant who was sued after the 4 years allowed by UCC Article 2 had passed.

About Attorney Judson E Crump

I am an Alabama consumer credit attorney. I specialize in defending people from their creditors. I fight (and usually win) credit card and collection lawsuits. I fight unjust predatory lenders, foreclosures, and I help people recover from credit reporting errors and identity theft. I live in Mobile, Alabama, and I have a wife and 3 children. I love reading and growing things.

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12 thoughts on “Autovest, LLC Collection Suit Defeated on Statute of Limitations – Alabama Consumer Rights Attorney Judson E Crump

  • Michael owens

    My wife and I are going through a very similar deal like the story posted here.we had a 2005dodge strattus financed through Wells Fargo it was repossessed in 2008.and then in 2012 we got our first court papers.from this company called autovest.and the car loan was originally about 12,000 dollars.and now today November 9th 2015.we just got more ct papers again from autovest.and they are now wanting over 20,000 .and have been trying to garnish us.and even tried to take our posessions .we have never heard of this company either.and so we are still suffering almost 8yrs dealing with this company.we r both on a fixed income.and can’t even afford to do bankruptcy.we would very much like some kind of help in this matter.we r at r witts end.please feel free to email us back with any suggestions thanks.

  • Penny

    I’m in Montana and AutoVest tried suing me. It shockede because it was about 6 to 7 yrs later when I had never heard anything from them. Anyway I got scared and file bankruptcy before the lawsuit defaulted. I would of never claimed bankruptcy if they hadn’t came after me and now that’s on my record for 10 yrs! Is there anything I can do?


  • Kevin Olson

    I am being sued by Autovest and they as of yesterday decided to garnish my wages and my employer has no choice but to take 25% out of my check in order to pay back the loan. I need your help. I can not afford to live on what is left after they take the money out. The car loan was in 2008 and my Truck was repoed in July of 2009. Do you know of any attorney’s in Florida that would help me?

      • Kevin Olson

        I reached out to this company and i hope that they will get back to me. My loan was from March of 2008 to March of 2011 but i defaulted on the lease in July of 2009. I was never contacted by anyone until AutoVest did in September of 2015. I did some research and there is a 4 year window they have to collect a debt in the State of Florida. My question is do you there is anything anyone can do to stop this. As of last week they have garnished 25% of my wages until the loan is back back. The loan was through Chrysler Financial who declared or filed for bankruptcy no too long ago. Is there anything anyone can do to stop this? Apraently a judge did sign off on this but why would they come after me when it has been nearly 7 years

      • Curtis

        Exact same issue as Kevin. I live in Georgia, but the judge signed off on the judgment in Nevada. Can anything be done? I was blindsided by this wage garnishment.

        • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author


          unfortunately, that’s a pretty hard question to answer, and definitely not something I can do based on short email message. If you want to attack the judgment, you’re going to have to go to the court where the judgment was entered. That means you’re gonna need a lawyer in that area.

          Best of luck on this.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author


      Where was the lawsuit filed against you? Without knowing what jurisdiction your’re in or the details of your case, I can’t really help you. However, it is generally a good idea not to go down without a fight. If you never made a payment after the 2009 repo, then in most states, it is too late to sue you on that account.

      I strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer in your area to fight this. Best of luck!