Statute Of Limitations On Debt Per State

The definition of a statute of limitations on debt is a window of time that a creditor or debt collector has to pursue legal action against a debtor of an unsatisfied or defaulted debt.  Once this statute of limitations on debt period expires, the debt collector and/or creditor can no longer pursue the collection of the debt and the debtor is no longer responsible.  The court system is not a debt collector and it is up to the debt collector to utilize this statute of limitations on debt period to pursue their right to collect on an unpaid debt.

Expiration Of Statute Of Limitations

Statute of Limitations are set by the individual states and not the federal government.  Each state has its own statute of limitations on debt.  Old debts that has expired and passed the statute of limitations on debt time limits are know as time barred debts.   Technically, you still owe on the debts that have past the statute of limitations period but the courts cannot issue a judgment against you.  If you get sued by a creditor or debt collector on an aged debt that has passed the statute of limitations limits, go to court with proof that your statute of limitations has expired and the judge will throw the case out.

Types Of Debts

There are four different types of debt structures and there is a separate statute of limitations concerning these four different types of debt categories.

  • Oral contract debt structure:   Oral agreements are verbal contractural agreements made between a debtor and creditors and it is not in writing.  Normally oral agreements are tough to prove unless there is a recording made or eyewitnesses.
  • Written agreements and/or contracts:  Written agreements and/or contracts are contractural agreements between the debtor and creditor.  It normally includes the terms of the the debt and the repayment method as well as the interest charged and consequences of the default.   Medical debts would be an example of written agreements.
  • Promissory note contract:  A promissory note is a written agreement between the debtor and creditor.  The promissory note has the terms and rates of the note.   Residential mortgage loans, and student loans are examples of promissory note contracts.
  • pen-ended credit accounts: Revolving open-ended credit accounts are revolving credit accounts where you can charge up to a set credit limit by the creditor and pay a minimum payment until the balance is zero.  You can then charge it again up to the credit limit.  Credit cards, department store cards, jewelry store credit cards, and furniture store cards are examples of revolving open-ended credit accounts.

Statute Of Limitations By Each State

As mentioned earlier, each individual state has their own statute of limitations expiration period on the four categories of debt.  Each category has different statute of limitations expiration periods.

The chart below is a summary of the statute of limitations on each individual state per category.  Double check your debt type and confirm the statute of limitations guidelines with your state or your attorney.  The chart below may be outdated or the state might have modified their statute of limitation period.

State Oral Written Promissory Open
Alabama 6 6 6 3
Alaska 6 6 3 3
Arizona 3 6 6 3
Arkansas 6 6 3 3
California 2 4 4 4
Colorado 6 6 6 6
Connecticut 3 6 6 3
Delaware 3 3 3 4
Florida 4 5 5 4
Georgia 4 6 6 4
Hawaii 6 6 6 6
Idaho 4 5 5 4
Illinois 5 10 10 5
Indiana 6 10 10 6
Iowa 5 10 5 5
Kansas 3 6 5 3
Kentucky 5 15 15 5
Louisiana 10 10 10 3
Maine 6 6 6 6
Maryland 3 3 6 3
Massachusetts 6 6 6 6
Michigan 6 6 6 6
Minnesota 6 6 6 6
Mississippi 3 3 3 3
Missouri 5 10 10 5
Montana 5 8 8 5
Nebraska 4 5 5 4
Nevada 4 6 3 4
New Hampshire 3 3 6 3
New Jersey 6 6 6 6
New Mexico 4 6 6 4
New York 6 6 6 6
North Carolina 3 3 5 3
North Dakota 6 6 6 6
Ohio 6 15 15 6
Oklahoma 3 5 5 3
Oregon 6 6 6 6
Pennsylvania 4 4 4 4
Rhode Island 15 15 10 10
South Carolina 3 3 3 3
South Dakota 3 6 6 6
Tennessee 6 6 6 6
Texas 4 4 4 4
Utah 4 6 6 4
Vermont 6 6 5 3
Virginia 3 5 6 3
Washington 3 6 6 3
West Virginia 5 10 6 5
Wisconsin 6 6 10 6
Wyoming 8 10 10 8

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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