Time Restriction On Debts

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asked on Jul 11, 2010 at 05:01
by   Seven Strings
Hi all,

I've have a question...

I've signed up for a University course sometime in 1998 and stopped after 3 semester, that is around 1999.

There were some outstanding fees which I didn't settle. They added the 4th semester fees into my account, for which I didn't attend at all.

Now, after more than 10 years, they engaged with a debt recovery agency to chase me for the outstanding amount. They've threatened to take court action if I ignore their notices.

My question - isn't there a time restriction on when you can take legal action, like 7 years or something like that.

Would appreciate if someone can share with me on this because I'm pretty hard pressed at the moment to settle my 10K credit card debts, and I can't be paying for course fees which I've never attended.

Thank you so much!
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answered on Jul 11, 2010 at 05:38
by   Drew
STAR ONLINE Tuesday October 9, 2007
A time to act based on Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254)
The law of limitations provides a time frame for seeking relief through the courts.
LEGAL words and phrases have defined meanings which can be found in a legal dictionary. A reader who looked up a dictionary found a listing with regards to limitations, as follows:
“Provisions whereby, after a certain period of time stated by statute, action cannot be brought. Generally in the case of land, twelve (12) years from the date of actual accrual of action, in the case of tort and simple contract, six (6) years from the date of accrual of action.”
Mozley and Whitley’s Law Dictionary explains the term more clearly by saying that “a statute of limitations is one which provides that no court shall entertain proceedings for the enforcement of certain rights if such proceedings were set on foot after a lapse of a definite period of time reckoned as a rule from the violation of the right.” The law of limitations therefore places a limit in terms of the time frame within which a person who wishes to commence a legal action against another must act. If action is not so instituted, the right to sue is forever lost.
The law of limitations in Malaysia is contained in the Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254) which declares itself to be an Act to provide for limitation of actions and arbitrations. However, this Act applies in Peninsular Malaysia only.
Sabah has it own Limitation Ordinance [Chapter 72] and Sarawak, the Limitation Ordinance (Chapter 49). The Sabah and Sarawak Ordinances share a similar format but, in terms of the underlying principle, share the same spirit with the Peninsular Malaysian Legislation, except for some differences.
The scheme of the Limitation Act 1953 generally allows a period of six years, sometimes 12, to bring an action for the relief that is sought.
Contract and tort covers an area that impacts most people’s lives. Contract impacts almost every aspect of a person’s activities. Tort is a topic that covers subjects such as negligence, nuisance, defamation, occupier’s liability, etc. For most people, grievances arise out of dealings and transactions in this area. Where an action is founded or based on contract or tort, it must be brought before the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
It is necessary to establish when the cause of action accrues. This is the effective point from which the time for purposes of limitations is computed. Lawyers say that this is the point of time from which “time begins to run”. And when the point is reached when the time allowed to file an action comes to an end, the right to file an action is lost and we say that the claim is time-barred.
You have to know when time begins to run, when a cause of action accrues. A simple example is when money is lent and borrowed. When does time begin to run and when does limitation set in? This depends on the basis and the manner in which the money is borrowed and lent.
Where money is borrowed from a friend or relative without anything else being discussed and no time frame is set for repayment, time begins to run immediately. This would mean that at the end of six years from the date on which the money is lent, the right to sue for recovery would be lost!
On the other hand, where money is borrowed on the basis of an agreement to repay at the end of three years, then it is only at this point of time that the obligation to repay arises and time begins to run and the lender would have six years after that to sue.
While in Peninsular Malaysia the limitation period in such circumstances is six years, the limitation period in Sabah and Sarawak is different and varies depending on whether the claim is for money lent under an agreement that it shall be payable on demand – in which case the limitation period is three years from the date of the loan, or six years if the claim is based on a claim for compensation for breach of contract in writing.
However, there are longer periods allowed in relation to certain transactions. Section 9, for example, provides that “no action shall be brought by any person to recover any land after the expiration of 12 years from the date on which the right of action accrued to him.”
In some cases, the limitation period is the same in all the territories. Such is the case where what is involved is recovery of rent where the limitation period is six years, whether the claim is made in respect of property in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia.
However, a significant example of the position being very different arises in the case of libel and slander. The cause of action no doubt comes into existence when the defamation is communicated. However, the limitation period in Sabah and Sarawak is only one year compared to Peninsular Malaysia, where the aggrieved person has a six-year period to file an action.
Readers may wonder about cases that go on in the courts well beyond the periods mentioned above. There are cases in court which have not been disposed off even though the act which underlies the grievance occurred 10 years ago or more.
However, in order to understand the delay, one needs to know the facts. If a claim is only filed five years 11 months and 28 days after the cause of action has accrued, there is no basis to point fingers at anyone for what appears to be a delay because the delay has been caused by the litigant himself.
In any event, the law of limitations does not limit the time within which a case must be dealt with and disposed off but it refers to the time within which the required papers must be filed in court. Upon doing so, the action is registered and the law relating to limitations does not thereafter generally have much relevance.
Generally the law of limitations is relevant to civil disputes. As such, an aggrieved person can seek to be compensated by the other party and, where appropriate, prevent the continuation of a wrongdoing. The right where the wrongdoing has ceased does not exist or last forever. The right must be exercised by going to the court and seeking the required remedy and relief within a specified period.
It must, however, be said that limitations do not operate in an entirely absolute manner. There are situations where the limitation period is extended because there is fraud or a mistake. In other cases, there may be a revival of the limitation period on account of a written acknowledgement.
The act also does not apply to any proceedings by the government for the recovery of any tax, duty or interest thereon or to any forfeiture proceedings under any written law in force in Malaysia relating to customs duties or excise, or to any proceedings in respect of the forfeiture of a ship.

Hope this helps
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answered on Jul 12, 2010 at 22:17
by   Seven Strings
Hi Drew,

Thank you so much. Yes, this helps a lot!
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answered on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:35
by   William
I received a letter from JIM stating that I am a bankrupt base on a judgement dated 11-6-2003 and requeested me to reported to JIM within 21 days. But now is 2013 and the judgement is nearly 10 years ago.

Does JIM restricted by Limitation Act above?

Apparently, the court order was back dated. I have try to negotiated for repayment. However, the bank need lump sum payment and not allowed installment. After some difficulties in getting a job. I try to venture out on my own. I have difficulties open a bank account for my company when they chekc my background. I was blacklisted on CCRISS. Every bank stated I was black listed but nobody said I was bankrupt even up to few year ago.

I also apply for "Micro Credit" one or two years ago. The bank also check my background and I was rejected as I was blacklisted by CCRISS but not a bankrupt. Why there is a judgement dated 2003 in 2013?

As I have difficulties getting finance to growth my business. I still have difficulties repay the debt despite I want to clear my black listed CCRISS status

Further, I am very sure my debt are below RM30,000 for each individual bank and not subject to bankrupt.

Another question is if the judgement is on 2003. Can I apply for Discharge of bankrupt immediately as it is nearly 10 years already. People said usually can apply for discharge after 5 years?

It is not sure whether the judgement is apply by one bank or a few bank. If it is apply by one bank. Do I need to inform JIM that there is still other bank. Does other bank limit by Limitation Act of 6 years above? What if other bank also make up a back dated judgement again after I settle with this bank?
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answered on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:42
by   guarantor
William,as long as you hv an I/C,government hv yr records and since you hv banks dealing,they too have yr record. Tell me how you want to avoid the system. So I think in yr case, think of the worst and prepare to deal with it. Better be ready rather than caught off-guard.
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answered on Mar 23, 2013 at 11:30
by   William
Hi guarantor,

I am not try to avoid the system. In fact, I have same handphone no and same permanent address on IC for past 15 years but they never contact me but now I become bankrupt.

I read message on other thread and people said can get a good lawyer to delay the process after received Bankruptcy notice but I don't have the chance as I never received such notice.

My question is does Limitation Act appy to DGI or JIM or court only?

I check content of the letter again and found out that the case no end in 2001. This mean the case start in 2001 and can be bankrupt below RM30,000.00. Can they do that as the government increase the limit to RM30,000.00 is to reduce bankruptcy no in Malaysia but I become bankrupt in 2013 below RM30,000.00

After thinking calmly for one night. I feel it make no different.

I have been blacklisted on CCRIS and it seem there is no way I can get out of it. However, there is "discharge of Bankrupt" after 5 years under bankruptcy despite the process not automatice yet in Malaysia. thus, there is an ending. However, my question is my 5 years start from 2003 or 2013?

Being blacklist on CCRIS. I have difficulties open a bank account. The bank won't allowed a limited company to open a bank account if I am a director of the company. Eventually, I have to transfer my majority shares of the company to my sister and I resigned as director of the company just to open a bank account. I hold a minority share in the company and cannot become a cheque signatory. I become employee of the company without drawing any salary. Just some allowance for transport and food.

Now it become a blessing as my sister still controlling the company if they want my minority shares and there is ending of my blacklist CCRIS.

I just feel being rip off as I become bankrupt for judgement in 2003, and I never get a chance to defence and it happen for a case below RM10,000 in 2013

If I want to clear all the blacklist on CCRIS and Ctos. It seem I have to contact other bank to ask them to claim from DGI and JIM to do it once for all. Like voluntary bankrupt. However, the question is should I reactivate it after 6 years limit? Can they charge interest for 10 years if there is no judgement earlier? It is a bit difficult to discharge from bankrupt after 5 years if they charge interest for 10 years to inflated the debts.
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answered on Mar 24, 2013 at 06:22
by   guarantor
I think it is very simple if you want to solve yr problem. First,only you know the amt you owed and if you feel like settling it you can go to JIM and  ask them to make appointment with the bank/s and negotiate the amt to settle.Once agreed,some paper works involve and a small fee,you are a free man 2months later. If you don't want to settle, like me,then find a different route. Either way,if you are focus on what you want to achieve,you are ok. Try avoid lawyers coz it is not necessary to waste money. I use a lawyer to negotiate for me(50%of amt charge)before being charged.Also kalah,so no need lawyers.
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answered on Mar 25, 2013 at 02:28
by   William
I have try self search on ctos and there is really a RO & AO issued on the above date 11-6-2003. However, when I open a bank account of my company in 2012. The bank said I have been blacklosted but not bankrupt. Ctos search also show there is another RO & AO on 23-5-2006 by another bank. Both also below RM30,000 respectively. However, ctos delay 24 hours revert back to me. I am not sure there is any back date on their part or not.

Are you sure the case can be settle within 2 months. If that is the case, it seem better to negotiate rather than get a lawyer to fight on below RM30,000 and 6 years limitation. Further, 50% of legal fee is high and I cannot afford it. Are you really sure a bankrupt can be discharge within 2 months?

I might not have the cash to settle. However, I feel shareholding of my sister's company worth some value.
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answered on Mar 25, 2013 at 05:21
by   guarantor
50% is not the lawyer's fee. It was the amt i propose to pay coz I m a single guarantor to a friend's business loan. I propose the amt to be shared but the bank didn't agree,so be it. JIM will help if you want to pay but the amt proposed is still up to the bank to agree.
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answered on Mar 28, 2013 at 02:53
by   William
Hi guarantor,

I have read the Bankruptcy Act and now I understand what you mean by freeman after 2 months. Now is RO stage, after reporting to JIM and first creditors meeting. Then only AO will be issue. If an agreement has been reach by first creditor meeting. Then no AO will be issue and I am a free man.

However, I see your post on another threat that bank representative usually never attended first creditor meeting. Then how to negotiated full settlement.

I went to KL yesterday to search my CCRIS report. There is another charge card company on CCRIS. Thus, it seem all 3 financial institution have file for bankruptcy. It seem difficult to negotiate for 3 financial institution. Thus have to negotiate through First Creditor meeting.

Posting by Drew stated that 6 years rule doesn't apply after litigation start. It seem I cannot used that 6 years limitation as a defence  to pressure financial institution to agreed settlement on first creditor meeting even RO issue 10 years ago. Have to find other defence
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answered on Mar 28, 2013 at 05:11
by   guarantor
If an appointment has been set by JIM between you and the bank,just confirm with JIM again that the bank rep is coming.If JIM say confirm then ok. Try to avoid further disappoinment.
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