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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 receivedPsychology Articles, 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

ALABAMA
Open Accounts: 3
Contracts in Writing: 6
Domestic Judgments: 20
Foreign Judgments: 20

ALASKA
OPEN ACCOUNTS:6
cONTACTS IN WRITING: 6
DOMESTIC JUDGMENTS: 10
FOREIGN JUDGMENTS: 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Steve Lewis
Sterling Companies
http://www.sterlingcollections.com/

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I have been in the accounts receivable collection field for 30 years.  We handle consumer, commercial and judgment collections.



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