Credit Card Debt Statute of Limitations

State Laws on Time-Barred Debt

Often, debt buyers purchase debt that is so old that it is passed the debt collection statute of limitations. This is also known as time-barred debt. But what does this really mean?

Essentially, each state has a law that says that, after a certain number of years, a credit card debt can no longer be legally enforced. This means that the credit card debt is so old that a debt collector can’t obtain a judgment against you in court. This is the credit card debt statute of limitations. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you’re in the free and clear, though. Although some states are in the process of changing their laws so that, when filing a lawsuit, debt collectors have to prove a debt isn’t past the credit card debt statute of limitations, all too often debt collectors get away with obtaining judgments even though they’re past the statute of limitations on debt collections.

There are four other things that complicate matters. First, each state has a different statute of limitations on debt collection. Second, states often have different statutes of limitations for different times of debt. For example, there can be several years’ difference between the statute of limitations on oral contracts, written contracts, open-ended accounts, and promissory notes. Third, some states define things like credit card debt as a written contract, others define it as an oral contract, and still others define it as a category unto itself. Finally, in some states the courts have stepped in and redefined the credit card debt statute of limitations.

In addition to those factors, the state under which your debt falls may be the state in which you reside, or it may be the state named in the agreement with the original creditor. Typically, if you are being pursued by a debt collector in regard to a time-barred debt, you should consult with a fair debt attorney.

Given the caveats listed above, these are state statutes of limitations for open-ended accounts, like credit cards. You should, however, consult your state attorney general’s website for more specific information about your credit card debt statute of limitations.

Alabama – 3 years
Alaska – 3 years
Arizona – 3 years
Arkansas – 3 years
California – 4 years
Colorado – 6 years
Connecticut – 3 years
Delaware – 4 years
District of Columbia – 3 years
Florida – 4 years
Georgia – 4 years
Hawaii – 6 years
Idaho – 4 years
Illinois – 5 years
Indiana – 6 years
Iowa – 5 years
Kansas – 3 years
Kentucky – 5 years
Louisiana – 3 years
Maine – 6 years
Maryland – 3 years
Massachusetts – 6 years
Michigan – 6 years
Minnesota – 6 years
Mississippi – 3 years
Missouri – 5 years
Montana – 5 years
Nebraska – 4 years
Nevada – 4 years
New Hampshire – 3 years
New Jersey – 6 years
New Mexico – 4 years
New York – 6 years
North Carolina – 3 years
North Dakota – 6 years
Ohio – 6 years
Oklahoma – 3 years
Oregon – 6 years
Pennsylvania – 4 years
Rhode Island – 10 years
South Carolina – 3 years
South Dakota – 6 years
Tennessee – 6 years
Texas – 4 years
Utah – 4 years
Vermont – 3 years
Virginia – 3 years
Washington – 3 years
West Virginia – 5 years
Wisconsin – 6 years
Wyoming – 8 years

If a debt buyer has been hounding you, to speak with a representative directly and immediately call 844-685-9200 for a free, no obligation case evaluation. Our attorneys have experience in fighting debt buyers and standing up for consumers. If a debt buyer has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you’re entitled to file suit in federal court, and could be awarded up to $1,000.

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