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Statute of Limitations For Credit Card Debt and What it Means For You 1

The statute of limitations period in the US is a boon as well as a curse for creditors. The same applies to debtors. However, if you think from a debtor’s perspective, you will see that it is more of a boon than a curse. Go through the next sections to see why and how.

What is the statute of limitations period?

The statute of limitations period is a timeline within which creditors and debt collectors can sue debtors for unpaid credit card debt, utility bills, cell phone bills, rents, and so on. Each state has a unique timeline set by the respective government. The timeline varies from 3 to 10 years, depending on the state where you live.

The statute of limitations period on a debt begins from the date of first default on the debt.

What is the objective of the statute of limitations period?

The objective of the statute of limitations period is clear. This is to prevent debt collectors from filing a lawsuit against debtors after evidence of the debt has disappeared. When the state statute of limitations period is over, creditors cannot sue debtors anymore. This means that they cannot garnish the wages of debtors henceforth. However, if the state statute of limitations period is not over, then creditors can drag debtors to the court and garnish their wages after winning a judgment against them.

Statute of Limitations For Credit Card Debt and What it Means For You 2

Debt collection statute of limitations by state

The statute of limitations period varies from state to state. The statute of limitations on debt in Florida is five years for written contracts and promissory notes. The statute of limitations period for oral contracts and open-ended accounts is four years.

The statute of limitations on debt in California is four years for written contracts, promissory notes, and open-ended accounts. The SOL period for the oral contract is two years.

The statute of limitations on debt in New York is six years for all kinds of accounts. Again, the statute of limitations on debt in texas is four years for all types of accounts.

If you have unpaid debt, make sure you check the statute of limitations period in your state beforehand. You can go for credit card debt settlement or debt consolidation options when the statute of limitations period is not yet over. This will help you avoid lawsuits and other hassles. However, if the statute of limitations period is over, then you can ignore the debt.

Can a debt collector call you after the SOL period is over?

Yes. Debt collectors can call you after the SOL period is over. They can also file a lawsuit against you for the debt. You still owe the debt. Remember that. However, if debt collectors sue you for the debt, you can inform the court that the statute of limitations period has expired. The debt is time-barred. A court judge will dismiss the case.

Make sure you respond to the summons and attend the court hearing. If you stay back at home, then collectors will win the case, and the court will issue a judgment against you.

How long can you legally be chased for a debt?

Most people feel that debt collectors cannot sue beyond the statute of limitations period. But that is not true. Debt collectors can sue you even after the statute of limitations period has expired. You have the right to inform the court that the statute of limitations period has expired.

Who can restart the debt statute of limitations?

Partial payment or acknowledgment of the debt is enough to restart the statute of limitations period on the debt. When the statute of limitations period restarts, debt collectors get the opportunity to sue you. They can take legal action against you.

Make sure you do not acknowledge the debt or make small payments once the statute of limitations period has expired. You would only invite trouble in your life. Inform the debt collector that you do not recognize the debt.

Words of wisdom

Please note that debt collectors can call or sue you even after a debt has dropped from your credit report. Usually, unpaid debts fall from your credit report after seven years. If the statute of limitations period in your state is ten years, then debt collectors can sue you and win a judgment against you. See also: How to repair bad credit

Conclusion

The state statute of limitations period for credit card debt is a boon for debtors as they get respite from legal hassles after a point. The only disadvantage of this law is that creditors can sue debtors within three to six years. That is the statute of limitations period in most states. However, it is better to have a timeframe instead of living with the fear of getting sued throughout life. The statute of limitations period for credit card debt is more of a curse for creditors as they cannot sue debtors beyond that point.

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Author

  • Statute of Limitations For Credit Card Debt and What it Means For You 3

    Linda Richardson is a New Jersey-based financial writer and a perennial student with an ongoing interest in learning new things. She uses her curiosity, connected with her knowledge as a financial expert, to write about a valuable lesson for small businesses.