Debts that are past the statute of limitations may be uncollectible, unreportable or capable of simple resolution.
You do not have to deal with an abusive debt collector or old debts lingering on your credit report, you may be able to eliminate these problems under fair debt laws and fair credit laws. In some situations you may even be able to sue the company violating your consumer financial rights.
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Use the Statute of Limitations listed below to determine your state’s debt collection time limits!
Contracts under seal: 10 years, (A.C. 6-2-33)
Contracts not under seal; actions on account stated and for detention of personal property or conversion: 6 years (A.C. 6-2-34)
Sale of goods under the UCC: 4 years (A.C. 7 -2- 725)
Open accounts: 3 years (A.C. 6-2-37)
Actions to recover charges by a common carrier and negligence actions; 2 years, (A.C. 6-2-38)
Actions based on fraud: 2 years (A.C. 6-2-3)
Action on a sealed instrument: 10 years (A.S. 09.10.40)
Action to recover real property: 10 years (A.S. 09.10.30)
Action upon written contract: 3 years (A.S. 09.10.55) Note: prior to 8/7/97 -the statute of limitations for written contracts was six years.
Action upon contract for sale: 4 years (A.S. 45.02.725) However, limitations by agreements may be reduced, but not less than one year (A.S. 45.02.725).
Written contracts: 6 years, runs from date creditor could have sued account.
Oral debts, stated or opens accounts: 3 years.
Actions for fraud or mistake: 3 years from the date of the discovery of the fraud or mistake.
Actions involving fiduciary bonds, out of state instruments and foreign judgments: 4 years. NOTE: Arizona applies its own statute of limitations to foreign judgments rather than that of the state that originally rendered the judgment whether the judgment is being domesticated under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act or pursuant to a separate action on the foreign judgment.
An Arizona judgment must be renewed within five years of the date of the judgment.
Written contracts: 5 years, NOTE: Partial payment or written acknowledgement of default stoppeds this statute of limitations. (A.C.A. 16-56-111)
Contracts not in writing: 3 years, (A.C.A. 16- 56-105)
Breach of any contract for the sale of goods covered by the UCC: 4 years, (A.C.A. 4-2- 725)
Medical debts: 2 years from date services were performed or provided or from the date of the most recent partial payment for the services, whichever is later. (A.C.A. §16-56-106)
Negligence actions: 3 years after the cause of action. (A.C.A. § 16-56-105)
Written agreements: 4 years, calculated from the date of breach.
Oral agreements: 2 years.
The statute of limitation is stopped only if the debtor makes a payment on the account after the expiration of the applicable limitations period.
Domestic and foreign judgments: 6 years and renewable each six years. Note: If for child support, maintenance or arrears the judgment (lien) stays in effect for the life the judgment without the necessity of renewal every six years.
All contract actions, including personal contracts and actions under the UCC: 3 years (C.R.S. 13-80-101), except as otherwise provided in 13-80-103.5; All claims under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, except sections 5-5-201(5); All actions to recover, detain or convert goods or chattels, except as otherwise provided in section 13 -80-103.5.
Liquidated debt and unliquidated determinable amount of money due; Enforcement of instrument securing the payment of or evidencing any debt; Action to recover the possession of secured personal property; Arrears of rent: 6 years, (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
Written contact, or on a simple or implied contract: 6 years, (CGS 52-576)
Oral contract, including any agreement wherein the party being charged has not signed a note or memorandum: 3 years, (CGS § 52- 581)
General contracts: 3 years;
Sales under the UCC: 4 years
Notes 6 years;
Miscellaneous documents under seal: No limitation.
Contract, open account or credit card account: 3 years from the date of last payment or last charge. NOTE: An oral promise to pay re-starts the three years.
Contracts under seal: 12 years.
UCC Sales of Goods: 4 years.
Contract or written instrument and for mortgage foreclosure: 5 years. F.S. 95.11.
Libel, slander, or unpaid wages: 2 years.
Judgments: 20 years total and to be a lien on any real property, it has to be re-recorded for a second time at 10 years.
The limitations period begins from the date the last element of the cause of action occurred, (95.051). NOTE: The limitation period is tolled (stopped) for any period during which the debtor is absent from the state and each time a voluntary payment is made on a debt arising from a written instrument.
Almost all other actions fall under the 4-year catch-all limitations period, (F.S. 95.11(3)(p)).
Breach of any contract for sale: 4 years, (OCGA 11-2- 725) NOTE: Parties may reduce limitation to not less than one year, but not extend it. A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless of the aggrieved party’s lack of knowledge of the breach.
Contract, including breach of warranty or indemnity: 4 years, (OCGA 11- 22A-506) NOTE: The parties may reduce the period to one year.
Written contract: 6 years from when it becomes due and payable and the six (6) year period runs from the date of last payment. (OCGA 9-3-24)
Open account; implied promise or undertaking: 4 years, (OCGA 9-3-25). NOTE: Payment, unaccompanied by a writing acknowledging the debt, does not stopped the statute. Therefore, the statutory period runs from the date of default, not the date of last payment.
Bonds or other instruments under seal, 20 years, (OCGA 9-3-23) NOTE: No instrument is considered under seal unless it’s stated in the body of the instrument.
Breach of contract for sale under the UCC: 4 years.
Contract, obligation or liability: 6 years.
Judgments: 10 years, renewable if an extension is sought during the 10 years.
NOTE: The time limitation stopped during the time of a person’s absence from the state or during the time that an action is stayed by injunction of any court.
Breach of contract for sale under the UCC: 4 years.
Written contract or liability: 5 years.
Contract or liability that is not written: 4 years. NOTE: The time period begins as of the date of the last item, typically a payment or a charge under a credit card agreement. A written acknowledgement or new promise signed by the debtor is sufficient evidence to cause the relevant statute of limitations to begin running anew. Any payment of principal or interest is equivalent to a new promise in writing to pay the residue of the debt.
Judgments: 5 years but may be renewed for another five-year period. NOTE: An independent action on a judgment of any court of the United States must be brought within 6 years.
The time limitation for the commencement of any action is tolled during the time of a person’s absence from the state or during the time that an action is stayed by injunction or by statutory prohibition action.
Breach of contract for sale under the UCC: 4 years.
Open account or unwritten contract: 5 years. NOTE: Except, as provided in 810 ILCS 5/2- 725 (UCC), actions based on a written contract must be filed within 10 years, but if a payment or new written promise to pay is in made during the 10 year period, then the action may be commenced within 10 years after the date of the payment or promise to pay.
Domestic judgments: 20 years, but can be renewed during that 20-year period.
Foreign judgments are the same time as allowed by the laws of the foreign jurisdiction.
Tolling: A person’s absence from the state or during the time that an action is stayed by injunction, court order or by statutory prohibition tolls the time limit.
Non Sufficient Funds (NSF or Payment of Negotiable Instruments) checks: 3 years of the dishonor of the draft or 10 years after the date of the draft, whichever expired first: 810 ILCS 5/3-118
Breach of contract for sale under UCC: 4 years.
Unwritten accounts or contracts and promissory notes or written contracts for payment of money executed after August 31, 1982: 6 years.
Written contracts unrelated to the payment of money: 10 years.
Written acknowledgement or new promise signed by the debtor, or any voluntary payment on a debt, is sufficient evidence to cause the relevant statute of limitations to begin running anew.
Judgments: 10 years unless renewed.
Open account: 5 years from last charge, payment, or admission of debt in writing. Unwritten contracts: 5 years from breach.
Written contracts: 10 years from breach.
Demand note: 10 years from date of note.
Judgments: 20 years. However, an action brought on a judgment after nine years but not more than ten years can be brought to renew the judgment.
NOTE: Deficiency judgments on most residential foreclosures, and judgments on mortgage notes become essentially worthless two years from date of judgment.
Written agreement, contract or promise: 5 years.
Expressed or implied but not written contracts, obligations or liabilities: 3 years.
Relief on the grounds of fraud: 2 years.
Recovery of real property: 15 years (KRS 413.0 10).
Judgment, contract or bond: 15 years (KRS 413.110).
Breach of sales contract: 4 years (KRS 355.2- 725).
Contract not in writing: 5 years (KRS413.120). NOTE: Action for liability created by statute when no there is no time fixed by statute: 5 years (KRS413.120).
Action on check, draft or bill of exchange: 5 years (KRS 413.120).
Action for fraud or mistake: 5 years (KRS 413.120).
Actions not provided for by statute: 10 years (KRS 413.160).
Contracts: 10 years.
Open accounts: 3 years.
Lawsuits, which are filed but not pursued, become null three years after the last action taken.
Judgment: 10 years, and if not renewed within the ten years become a nullity.
Generally all civil actions must be commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrues. (14 M.R.S.A. 752)
The primary exception is for liabilities under seal, promissory notes signed in the presence of an attesting witness, or on the bills, notes or other evidences of debt issued by a bank, in which case, the limitation is twenty (20) years after the cause of action accrues. (14 M.R.S.A. 751)
Judgments are presumed paid after twenty (20) years. (14 M.R.S.A. 864)
Civil action: 3 years from the date it accrues, unless:
Breach of contract under any sale of goods and services under the UCC: 4 years after the cause of action, even if the aggrieved party is unaware of the breach.
Promissory notes or instruments under seal, bonds, judgments, recognizance, contracts under seal, or other specialties: 12 years.
Financing statement: 12 years, unless a continuation statement is filed by a secured party six (6) months prior to end of twelve (12) year period. (Maryland, Commercial Law article Sec. 2-725; Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article Sec. 5-101-02, 9-403).
NOTE: The 3 year statute of limitations begins again if creditors can document that a debtor has reaffirmed a debt by a good faith basis by a written agreement, orally, or by payment.
Debt instruments issued by banks, Contract under seal: 20 years.
Judgments: 20 Years.
Oral or Written Contracts: 6 Years.
Consumer Protection Actions: 4 Years.
Recovery of Property: 3 Years.
Probate Claims: 1 Year from date of death.
Claims on mortgage notes following foreclosure or on claims junior to a foreclosed mortgage: 2 Years.
Breach of Contract: 6 years, (MCL 600.5807(8).
Breach of Contract for Sale of goods under the UCC: 4 years: including deficiency actions following repossession and sale of goods subject to a security interest, (MCL 440.2725(1).
Judgments: 10 years, but are renewable by action for another 10 years, MCL.600.5809(3).
NOTE: Another state’s limitation period may apply check statutes carefully.
Breach of contract for sale under the UCC: 4 years, (MSA 336.2.).
NOTE: Except where the Uniform Commercial Code otherwise prescribes, actions based on a contract or other obligation, express or implied, must be brought within 6 years after the cause of action occurred (Chapter 541).
Tolling: New written acknowledgement or payment tolls the statute of limitations for the debt.
Judgments: 10 years.
Contracts and Promissory Notes: 3 years (MCA 75-3-118, 75-2-725, and 15-1-49).
Open Accounts: 3 years from the date at which time the items on the account became due and payable,(MCA 15-1-29 & MCA 15-1-31).
Judgment liens on real estate: 7 years, but can be renewed by filing suit to renew judgment prior to expiration of 7th year, (MCA 15-1-47).
Deficiency claims: 1 year from sale of collateral, (MCA 15-1-23)
Enforcement of construction liens: 1 year from date lien is filed, (MCA 85- 7-141)
Written agreement that contemplates the payment of money or property: 10 Years, (Mo.Rev. Stat. §5l6.ll 0). NOTE: Under certain circumstances, the contractual statute of limitations may be reduced to five years.
Open accounts: 5 years, (Mo. Rev. Stat. §5l6.l20).
Sale of goods under the UCC: 4 years. NOTE: The statute begins to run from the date when the breach occurred for contracts and from the time of the last item in the account on the debtor’s side for actions on accounts.
Written contract, obligation or liability: 8 years.
Contract, account or promise that is not based on a written instrument: 5 years.
Montana obligation on to provide a certain level of support for a spouse, child or indigent parent: 2 years.
Obligation or liability, other than a contract, account or promise not based on a written instrument: 3 years.
Relief on the grounds of fraud or mistake: 2 years.
NOTE: A written acknowledgement signed by the debtor or any payment on a debt is sufficient evidence to cause the relevant statute of limitations to begin running anew.
Judgment or decree of any U.S. court: 10 years. NOTE: Judgments rendered in a court not of record: 6 years.
Real estate or foreclosure mortgage actions; product liability; 10 years.
Foreign judgments, contract or promise in writing, express or implied: 5 Years.
Unwritten contract, express or implied; Recovery of personal property; Relief on grounds of fraud; breach of contract for sale of goods; and open account: 4 years.
Liability created by federal statute with no other limitation: 3 years. Malpractice: 2 Years.
NOTE: SoL can be interrupted by partial payment or written acknowledgement of debt. The statute starts to run anew from the date of the partial payment or written acknowledgement, (Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-216)
NOTE: Actions on breach of contract for sale may be reduced to not less than one year.
Written contract: 6 years.
Verbal contract: 4 years.
Property damage: 3 years.
Personal injury: 2 years.
Contracts and open accounts: 3 years, (RSA 508:4).
Contracts for the sale of goods under UCC: 4 years, (RSA 382-A: 2- 725).
Notes, defined as negotiable instruments: 6 years (RSA 382-A: 3-118)
Judgments, recognizance, and contracts under seal: 20 years (RSA 508:5)
Notes secured by a mortgage: 20 years and applies even if the mortgage has been foreclosed, (RSA 508:6).
Tolling: Payment on an account tolls the statute.
NOTE: Installment loans allow for separate measurement of the statutory period as each separate payment comes due, unless the loan has been accelerated.
Conversion of an instrument for money: 3 years, (N.J.S.A.12A: 3-118(g)).
Sale of goods under the UCC: 4-years, (N.J.S.A. 12A; 2-725).
Real or personal property damage, recovery and contracts not under seal: 6 years (N.J.S.A. 2A: 14-1).
Demand Notes when no demand is made: 10 years. If demand made: 6 years from date of demand, (12A: 3-118(b)).
Obligations under seal for the payment of money only, except bank, merchant, finance company or other financial institution: 16 years, (N.J.S.A. 2A: 14-4) actions for unpaid rent if lease agreement is under seal, (N.J.S.A. 2A: 14-4).
Real estate: 20 years, (N.J.S.A. 2A: 14-7); Judgments: 20 years, renewable, (2A: 14-5); Foreign judgments: 20 years (unless period in originating jurisdiction is less), (2A: 14- 5).
Unaccepted drafts: 3 years from date of dishonor or 10 years from date of draft, whichever expires first, (12A: 3- 118(c)).
Contract in writing: 6 years (except any contract for the sale of personal property is 4 years or the last payment, whichever is later).
All other creditor-debtor transactions are 4 years after accrual of the right to sue.
NOTE 1: An action accrues on the first date on which the creditor can sue for a breach or for relief, generally from the last purchase or the last payment.
NOTE 2: If the limitations period has expired, an acknowledgment or payment starts the period running again.
Judgments: 14 years.
N. Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules: Chapter Eight of the Consolidated Laws, Article 2 – Limitations of Time:
211. Actions to be commenced within twenty years. (a) On a bond. (b) On a money judgment. (c) By state for real property. (d) By grantee of state for real property. (e) For support, alimony or maintenance.
212. Actions to be commenced within ten years. (a) Possession necessary to recover real property. (b) Annulment of letters patent. (c) To redeem from a mortgage.
213. Actions to be commenced within six years: where not otherwise provided for; on contract; on sealed instrument; on bond or note, and mortgage upon real property; by state based on misappropriation of public property; based on mistake; by corporation against director, officer or stockholder; based on fraud.
213-a. Actions to be commenced within four years; residential rent overcharge.
213-b. Action by a victim of a criminal offense.
214. Actions to be commenced within three years: for non- payment of money collected on execution; for penalty created by statute; to recover chattel; for injury to property; for personal injury; for malpractice other than medical or dental malpractice; to annul a marriage on the ground of fraud.
UCC, Section 2–725. Statute of Limitations in Contracts for Sale. (1) An action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued. By the original agreement the parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year but may not extend it. (2) A cause of action accrues when the breach occurs, regardless of the aggrieved party`s lack of knowledge of the breach. Contract for lease of goods: 4 years (N. Y. U.C.C. 2-A-506(1).
S 203. Method of computing periods of limitation generally. (a) Accrual of cause of action and interposition of claim. The time within which an action must be commenced, except as otherwise expressly prescribed, shall be computed from the time the cause of action accrued to the time the claim is interposed.
Express or implied contract, not under seal: 3 years.
Contract and sale of personal property under seal: 10 years.
Open account: 3 years, NOTE: Each payment renews the SoL on all items purchased within the 3 years prior that payment. If no payment is made, the SoL runs from date of each individual charge. Contracts: From date of breach or default, unless waived or performance under the contract is continued.
Judgments: 10 years
Partial payment BEFORE the SoL expires renews the SoL from date of payment.
Payment AFTER SoL expires renews SoL ONLY if, at time of payment, circumstances infer the debtor recognized obligation to pay. Partial payment on open account restarts SoL on purchases made within 3 years of payment date, if acknowledgment can be inferred, starts the statute anew as to the full obligation acknowledged, even if all of the charges were not made within the last three years.NC Continued…
Partial payment by one debtor does not renew the statute of limitations as against any a co-debtor unless that co-debtor agreed to, authorized or ratified the partial payment.
Partial payments DO NOT affect the ten-year limitation on enforcing or renewing judgments.
Bankruptcy, Death or Disability: Filing of a bankruptcy tolls the statute of limitations for the enforcement of contracts and judgments.
The death, minority, disability or incompetence of a debtor also tolls the limitation period until such time as a personal representative of the estate or a guardian of the incompetent or minor is appointed.
Breach of contract for sale under the UCC: 4 years.
All other actions based on a contract, obligation or liability, express or implied: 6 years.
NOTE: A new written acknowledgement or promise or voluntary payment on a debt revives the statute of limitations for the debt.
Judgments: 10 years.
Written or oral account: 6 years, (O.R.C. §2305.07).
Written contract: 15 years, (O.R.C. §2305.06).
Oral contract: 6 years (O.R.C. §2305.07).
Note payable at a definite time: 6 years, (O.R.C. § 1303 .16(A)); (2)).
Demand note: 6 years after the date on which demand is made or 10 years if no demand is made and neither principal nor interest has been paid over that time (O.R.C. §1303.16(B)).
Dishonored check or draft: 3 years after dishonor, (O.R.C. §1303.16 (C)).
Written Contract: 5 Years, (O.S. § 95(1)).
Oral Contract: 3 Years, (O.S. § 95(2))
Attachments: 5 Years, (O.S. § 95(5))
Domestic Judgment: 5 Years, (O.S. § 95(5))
Foreign Judgment: 3 Years, (O.S. § 95(2)
Unlawful trade practices: 1 year, (ORS 646.638(5).
NOTE: There is no statute of limitations for a cause of action brought as a counterclaim to an action by the seller. (ORS 646.638(6)).
Contract or liability: 6 years, (ORS 12.080)
Judgment: 10 years, (ORS 12.070).
Contracts: 4 years, (used to be six).
Contracts under seal: 20 years.
Sale of goods under UCC: 4 years.
Negotiable instruments: 6 years (13 PA C.S.A. .§3118).
Contracts and open accounts: 10 years (9-1-13(a)).
Breach of a sales agreement under the UCC: 4 years, (6A-2- 725(1 )).
Contracts or liabilities under seal and judgments: 20 years, (9-1-17).
Hospital liens: 1 year from payment, (9-3-6).
Against insurer to enforce repairer’s lien: 1 year from payment to insured, (9-3-11).
Support obligations of common law father: 6 years, (15-8-4).
Mechanic’s lien: notice given is one year and one hundred twenty days, (34-28-10. 10).
Breach of Contract: 3 years, (SCCLA 15-3-530).
NOTE: A partial payment or acknowledgment in writing tolls the SoL, (SCCLA 15-3-30).
Foreign or Domestic Judgments: 10 years, (SCCLA 15-3-600).
Contract: 6 years, (SDCL 15-2-13).
Domestic Judgments: 20 Years, (SDCL 15-2-6).
Foreign Judgments: 10 Years, (SDCL 15-2-8).
Claims of Fraud: 6 Years, (SDCL 15-2-13).
Sealed Instrument: (except real estate): 20 Years, (SDCL 15-2-6).
Actions not otherwise provided for: 10 Years, (SDCL 15-2-8).
Open Accounts: 6 Years, (SDCL 15-2-13).
Sale of Goods: 4 Years, (SDCL57A-2-725).
Breach of contract: 6 years, (T. C.A. 28-3-109).
Open accounts: 6 Years, (T. C.A. 28-3-109).
Domestic or foreign judgments: 10 years, (T .C.A. 28-3-110).
The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code provides a 4-year limitations period for types of debt. The SoL begins after the day the cause of action accrues, (Section 16.004 (a) (3)).
Any signed, written contract, obligation or liability: 6 years.
Unwritten contract, obligation or liability: 4 years.
Open account for goods, wares, merchandise, and services rendered or for the price of any article charged on a store account: 4 years.
NOTE: A written acknowledgement signed by the debtor revives the SoL.
Judgment or decree of any court or State of the United States: 8 years.
Open account: 3 years from the last payment or last charge for goods or services rendered on the account.
Written contracts (non-UCC): 5 years.
Sale of goods under the UCC: 4 years.
Virginia Judgments: 10 years, and renewable (extended) to 20 years.
Foreign judgments: 10 years.
Contracts and goods on account: 6 years.
Witnessed promissory notes: 14 years
Written contracts and accounts receivable: 6 years, (RCW 4.16.040).
Oral contract: 3 years (RCW 4.16.080).
Recovery of property and judgments: 10 years, (RCW 4.16.020).
Unwritten and implied contracts: 5 years, (W. Va. Code 55-2-6 (1923)).
NOTE: If a debtor makes an acknowledgment by a new promise, or voluntarily makes a partial payment on a debt, under circumstances that warrant a clear inference that the debtor recognizes the whole debt, the statute of limitations is revived and begins to run from the date of the new promise, (W. Va. Code §55 -2-8 )
Breach of a sale of goods, lease of goods, negotiable instruments and secured transactions under the UCC, is found Article 46 of the West Virginia Code.
Contracts, professional services, or an open account based on a contract: 6 years.
NOTE: Payments made toward the obligation toll the statute and the time period will then run from the date of last payment or last charge by the debtor, whichever occurs later.
Any contract, agreement or promise in writing: 10 years, (WS 1-3-105(a)(i)).
Unwritten contract, express or implied: 8 years, (WS 1-3-105(a)(ii)).
Recovery of personal property: 4 years, (WS 1-3-1 05 (a) (iv)).
Dishonor of draft (check): 3 years, (WS 34.1-3-118( c)).
Judgment: 21 years.
NOTE 1: Judgments cannot be revived after twenty-one years unless the party entitled to bring the action was a minor or subject to any other legal disability at the time the judgment became dormant, in this case action may be brought within 15 years after disability ceases, (WS 1-16-503).
NOTE 2: If no execution is issued within 5 years from date of judgment or last execution is issued, the judgment becomes dormant and ceases to operate as a lien on the estate of the debtor, (WS 1-17-307).
NOTE 3: A dormant judgment may be revived in the same manner as prescribed for reviving actions before judgment or by action, (WS 1-16-502).
Since most debt actions are based in contract: 6 years from the date the cause of action arose (date of last payment or written acknowledgment of the debt).
NOTE: If the contract provides that the law of another jurisdiction governs it, the limitation period of that jurisdiction will apply.
The post-judgment enforcement remedy of filing a writ of seizure and sale provides that the writ is valid for 6 years from the date it is issued, subject to renewal, which is the responsibility of the creditor. A discretionary procedure exists to renew an expired writ.
Actions on foreign judgments, including those from the United States, must be commenced within 20 years from the date of the foreign judgment. The merits of the defenses, if any, which were raised in the foreign debt action, are generally not available as defenses to the action on the judgment.
Civil action under a contract or liability, express or implied: 3 years.
Instruments under seal, judgments or decree of any court of the United States or of any state, commonwealth or territory within the United States: 20 Years, (Title 5, Section 31, Virgin Islands Code).