|Nicholas R. Hood|
Submitted by Nicholas R. Hood, Associate Attorney, Hood & Stacy, P.A.
Published by The National List of Attorneys
For more than thirty years, Hood & Stacy, P.A., has been serving the needs of a broad range of clients in the areas of creditor bankruptcy, commercial and retail collections, mortgage foreclosures, landlord-tenant relations, corporate business, wills, probates, and real estate.
Mr. Hood, a native Arkansan and second-generation Hood & Stacy attorney, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Missouri Valley College in 2008 with a dual-degree in Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. He obtained his Juris Doctor cum laude from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2011, where he was a member of the honors program and publishing note-writer for the Valparaiso University Law Review Mr. Hood is currently licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Oklahoma and specializes in the areas of collections, replevin, foreclosures, and creditors’ rights.
Oklahoma laws concerning the collections of accounts receivable may seem rather uncomplicated initially. However, a more in-depth examination reveals that many different rules—of the state, federal, and even local variety—intersect to regulate the actions of those lending credit, purchasing debt, and rendering legal services in Oklahoma as it relates to debt collection. Thus, understanding the basics of Okalahoma debt collection is vital to not only debt collectors, but their clients as well.
1. Oklahoma Debt Collections Basics
a. Statutes of Limitation
A statute of limitations sets the period of time in which a party (most often a credit issuer or debt buyer in the collections scenario) has to file a lawsuit alleging damages incurred by an individual(s)’ failure to pay debts when they come due. Oklahoma imposes a different statute of limitations depending on the type of debt involved: the statute of limitations for an action on a contract not in writing, either express or implied, is three years, while actions on written contracts have a statute of limitations period of five years. Okla. stat. tit. 12, § 95(A)(1)–(2).
While Oklahoma courts have not definitively resolved whether a cardmember agreement (sometimes called the terms and conditions of account) is a written or non-written contract for purposes of calculating the applicable statute of limitations, they uniformly hold that the cardmember agreement establishes the material terms of the contract between the issuer and cardholder. See, e.g., Discover Bank v. Worsham, 176 P.3d 366, 368–69 (Okla. Civ. App. 2007) (affirming a grant of summary judgment where the “cardmember agreement [was] part of the record,” its “terms [were] clear,” and the consumer never objected to those terms, the consumer was liable for charges and fees as stated in the cardmember agreement).