Statutes of Limitation on Debt Collection by State

Many people are unaware of the statute of limitations on debt collections. You can not be made to pay a debt that is older than the limit set by your state.  Every state has set a time limit that requires a creditor to institute legal action against a debtor for non-payment of their debt.  Once that time limit is exceeded a creditor or debt collector no longer has a right to file suit to collect that debt. As each state is different I have included a chart to determine that limitation in your state.

These statutes do not prevent the creditor from filing suit against you after the statute of limitations has expired but if a creditor or debt collector does file suit, you can ask the judge to dismiss the lawsuit for the reason that the statute of limitations has expired.  In many cases as the statute of limitations is about to toll you may hear from your creditor or a collection agency. This approaching deadline may force the creditor to sue you immediately.

Some states apply their statute of limitations differently to different types of debt.  For example in Florida an open account, one without a contract in writing, only allows the creditor a four year window to litigate.  By contrast, accounts with a contract are afforded a five year time limit.  If you haven’t paid your debt by the end of the statutory period and the creditor gets a judgment before the limit tolls the state grants a twenty year period wherein the creditor may pursue court award.

Typically the statute period begins when there is a breach of contract.  In a number of states the creditor can restart the statute period when a partial payment is received, a promise to pay is received or some other acknowledgement of the debt is made.

Creditors and collection agencies are able to report statute barred debt to the credit bureaus provided they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Statute of Limitations

ALABAMAOpen Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

ALASKAOPEN ACCOUNTS:6cONTACTS IN WRITING: 6 DOMESTIC JUDGMENTS: 10FOREIGN JUDGMENTS: 10

ARIZONAOpen Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 5Foreign Judgments: 4

ARKANSAS                    Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

CALIFORNIA                 Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 4Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

COLORADO                    Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 6

CONNECTICUT                 Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: No Prov.

DELAWARE                   Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: No Prov.Foreign Judgments: No Prov.

District of Columbia        Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 3Foreign Judgments: Foreign Statute

FLORIDA                     Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

GEORGIA                     Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 7Foreign Judgments: 5

HAWAII                      Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 6

IDAHO                       Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 6Foreign Judgments: 6

ILLINOISOpen Accounts: 5                                                              Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 5

INDIANA Open Accounts: 6                                                                             Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

IOWA                                                  Open Accounts: 5Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

KANSAS                      Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 5Foreign Judgments: 5 (Renewable indef)

KENTUCKY                   Open Accounts: 5Contracts in Writing: 15Domestic Judgments: 15Foreign Judgments: 15

LOUISIANA                   Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

MAINE                        Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

MARYLAND                    Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 12Foreign Judgments: 12

MASSACHUSETTS              Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

MICHIGAN                   Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

MINNESOTA                                             Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

MISSISSIPPI                 Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 7Foreign Judgments: 7

MISSOURI                                               Open Accounts: 5Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

MONTANA                     Open Accounts: 5Contracts in Writing: 8Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

NEBRASKA                   Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 5Foreign Judgments: 5

NEVADA                      Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 6Foreign Judgments: 6

NEW HAMPSHIRE               Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 4Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

NEW JERSEY                  Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

NEW MEXICO                  Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 14Foreign Judgments: 14

NEW YORK                   Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

NORTH CAROLINA              Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

NORTH DAKOTA                Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

OHIO                      Open Accounts: 15Contracts in Writing: 15Domestic Judgments: 21Foreign Judgments: 15

OKLAHOMA                  Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 5Foreign Judgments: 5

OREGON                      Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

PENNSYLVANIA                Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 4Foreign Judgments: 4

RHODE ISLAND               Open Accounts: 10Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

SO. CAROLINA                Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

SO. DAKOTA                  Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 3Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 10

TENNESSEE                   Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

TEXAS                      Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 4Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

UTAH                        Open Accounts: 4Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 8Foreign Judgments: 8

VERMONT                     Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 8Foreign Judgments: 8

VIRGINIA                     Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 5Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 10

WASHINGTON                   Open Accounts: 3Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

WEST VIRGINIA               Open Accounts: 5Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 10Foreign Judgments: 10

WISCONSIN                   Open Accounts: 6Contracts in Writing: 6Domestic Judgments: 20Foreign Judgments: 20

WYOMING                     Open Accounts: 8Contracts in Writing: 10Domestic Judgments: 5Foreign Judgments: 5

Steve LewisSterling Companieshttp://www.sterlingcollections.com/