Statute of Limitations for Credit Card Debt

Statute of limitations for credit card debtTime is one of the most important factors related to credit card debt. Your level of delinquency, the state of your credit report, whether you can be successfully sued for what you owe: each of these things depends on time. This, in and of itself, is not confusing; however, the nuances and state-by-state variations characterizing the relationship between debt and time are. Nevertheless, it’s important that you understand them in order to avoid a lawsuit, minimize credit score damage, and stick up for your consumer rights. And while things certainly change throughout the process, as you’ll see below, it all starts with the statute of limitations.

The Statute of Limitations

Various timeframes are important to debt, but one of the most significant is its Statute of Limitations (SOL). This is essentially the time during which a lawsuit is legally relevant. Before the statute of limitations expires, you can be successfully sued for amounts owed. Once it runs out, a suit can be initiated, but it will be thrown out of court if you make it clear that the debt is “time barred,” or older than the statute of limitations.

The age of debt depends on how recently you made a payment towards it. The statute of limitations clock begins at the time of last payment and resets each time you make a payment, thereby re-aging your debt.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations has nothing to do with how long negative information remains on your credit report and that making a payment in no way affects this amount of time. In addition, if a lawsuit is brought against you and the lender wins (i.e. a judgment is rendered against you), the statute of limitations is no longer relevant, as the lender is essentially granted unlimited time in which to collect amounts owed.

You can find your state’s statute of limitations for debt in the table below. Keep in mind, however, that there are caveats to the time frames laid out in the table below. For example, if you move states after opening your credit card, you could be sued in either the state you originally lived in or the state you moved to, as jurisdictional issues related to SOL aren’t always clear.
 

 

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

(The Statutes of Limitations shown in this chart are for written contracts like credit card agreements. Oral contracts have shorter periods in many states.)

Having your state’s statute of limitations run out does not mean that your creditor no longer has the right to try to collect money owed. However, it does mean that the courts will not be a viable method of doing so, provided that you explicitly notify the judge that your debt is time-barred. Failing to bring this information to the court’s attention could result in the progression of a lawsuit that could have easily been dismissed.

Consider the disclaimer that creditors in New York City are required to include in collection efforts:

“The legal time limit (statute of limitations) for suing you to collect this debt has expired. However, if somebody sues you anyway to try and make you pay this debt, court rules REQUIRE YOU to tell the court that the statute of limitations has expired to prevent the
creditor from obtaining judgment.”

Making a payment is not always the only act that can re-age debt (i.e. make the statute of limitations reset) either. According to the New Mexico Attorney General’s handbook, this occurs if you:

  • “make any payment of the debt”
  • “sign a paper in which you admit that you owe the debt or in which you make a new promise to pay”
  • “sign a paper in which you give up (“waive”) your right to stop the debt collector from suing you”

Determining Your SOL

If you believe that the statute of limitations on your debt has expired and you are still hearing from debt collectors, the first thing you should do is ask whether what you owe is time-barred or not. It’s illegal for debt collectors to lie when answering this question. They can, however, simply decline to respond, in which case you should inquire as to the date of your last payment. If you get a response, you’ll be able to determine whether the statute of limitations has run out or not. If you don’t get a response, you can send a letter to the debt collector disputing what you owe and asking for verification that you do indeed owe it. Debt collectors are legally required to suspend collection efforts until verification is provided.

Ultimately, this should give you an idea of where you stand, at least as far as a lawsuit is concerned. If your debt is time-barred, debt collectors don’t really have any power over you, and you can send cease-and-desist letters to get them off your back. If it’s still legally relevant, all that’s left to do is either wait and hope not to get sued before the SOL expires or seek to reach a settlement with your creditor. The latter should be your preferred option, but be very careful what you say because the last thing you want to do is inadvertently reset the statute of limitations. So unless you plan to pay off your debt in full or have reached a settlement that will contractually eliminate the threat of a lawsuit, don’t start making small payments in hopes of stopping the calls, as you’ll neither become debt free nor stop debt collectors from bothering you.

Judgment Against You

When a creditor wins a lawsuit (i.e. a judgment is made against you), the statute of limitations is no longer in play given that it merely dictates when you can use the age of your debt as a viable defense against a lawsuit, and that ship has clearly sailed already. With that being said, a judgment will be listed on your major credit reports and will remain for seven years from the date it’s filed, no matter what you do, which will damage your credit standing significantly. The decision will also open up a number of different means of collection for the creditor (or whoever has purchased your debt). Depending on the state, the collecting party may be able to garnish funds from your bank account and/or your monthly salary, force you to sell property, or even put you in jail. As if that weren’t enough, the amount you owe may accrue interest until it is paid off in full, and debt collectors generally have 10-20 years to collect on judgments, depending on the state – a timeframe that can typically be renewed

Given that many consumers become indebted due to job loss or other financial hardships, there’s no guarantee that the aforementioned collection techniques will work. That’s why credit card companies will often accept settlements, and if you can afford to pay a significant amount of what you owe in one lump sum, it might be a good idea.

Credit Reports

As mentioned earlier, making a payment has no effect on the length of time information about your debt will remain on your credit report. This clock begins 180 days after you first become delinquent and nothing you do thereafter affects it. Debt is only removed from your credit report when the requisite amount of time (usually 7 years) has passed, but you could change the status of your debt to “paid” or “settled” by making payment. This is marginally better for your credit score than having your debt classified as “not paid.”

Summary

Ultimately, the decisions of whether or not to pay outstanding credit card debt and when to do so are yours alone to make. However, as is the case with any major decision, it’s imperative that you have all of the facts and know your options. Be sure to understand the statute of limitations, and do not let a creditor bully you into doing or saying anything that will extend the time during which you are liable. Finally, if a creditor files a lawsuit when your debt is time-barred, remember that you must take action to have the courts throw it out. If you don’t prove that the debt is too old, the creditor will likely win his case.

This can all get a bit confusing at times, especially when you have debt collectors breathing down your neck. To help, we compiled the following table, which provides quick tips and information for you to reference at different times during the process of handling credit card debt.

 

Judgment Against You

Yes No
Within Statute of Limitations Timeframe? Yes
  • If you’ve already lost a lawsuit, it does not matter how old your debt is (SOL is irrelevant)
  • Debt collectors may be able to garnish funds from your bank account and/or your monthly salary, force you to sell property, or even put you in jail
  • Your debt may still be accruing interest
  • Seek to reach a settlement with the debt collector
  • Develop a payment plan
  • Verify the age of your debt
  • Make reaching a mutually-agreeable settlement with your creditor your top priority (determine exactly what you can afford to pay and make an offer; ask creditor to waive majority of fees and interest, at a minimum)
  • Don’t agree on a settlement or payment plan that you cannot afford
  • You have rights when it comes to debt collection
  • Debt collectors cannot threaten a lawsuit unless one is actually being considered
  • Consult an attorney if you get sued
  • Verify the age of your debt
  • Make reaching a mutually-agreeable settlement with your creditor your top priority (determine exactly what you can afford to pay and make an offer; ask creditor to waive majority of fees and interest, at a minimum)
  • Don’t agree on a settlement or payment plan that you cannot afford
  • You have rights when it comes to debt collection
  • Debt collectors cannot threaten a lawsuit unless one is actually being considered
  • Consult an attorney if you get sued
No (Time-barred)
  • You still technically owe money, but are not legally required to pay it back
  • Only make a payment if you can pay in full; otherwise, you might reset the SOL
  • If debt collectors continue to hound you, send cease-and-desist letters
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POST YOUR COMMENT
May 1, 2014
Photo of Mary S.
By: Mary Lou Stroh
Also can the company who bought the debt only charge what they paid for the debt or the whole amount of the judgment?
May 1, 2014
Photo of Mary S.
By: Mary Lou Stroh
Does the SOL on a judgment begin when you last had contact with the creditor or when the judgment was filed in court?
Apr 15, 2014
Photo of JoAnn C.
By: JoAnn Cunningham
Question: Can time-barred credit card debt be collected from a deceased's estate?
Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Ellijah W.
By: Ellijah White
How, where and what Do I do to get an SOL, is it a sheet I need to send out to the credit agency? or is it my own letter to write? How do I find out my last payment, would it be a good idea to call the agency and ask? would it affect the SOL? also, How do I make a dispute and with whom if they reported again on my report? Thank You
Mar 27, 2014
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By: Lena Brown
someone please help. cc 17 yrs old, north Carolina, bank sent it to irs as income in 2012, I received no notification until this month, account was charged off in 2001 or 2004, now irs wants money. what do I do? I will be filing bankruptcy next month.
Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Celeste D.
By: Celeste Desmarais
Just like everyone else on here i too went into default due to job loss. Lowes (which is capital one) has sold my debt to a collection agency. They sent me a letter stating if I don't come up with 500 down and further payments they will forward it to an Attorney. I live in NH. SOL is 3 years and I think it's been 3 years since my last payment to them. How do I find out? should I call the collection agency, if so, would that affect the SOL? and where , what and how do I go about the SOL, is it something I print out online more
Feb 26, 2014
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By: Jerry Straits
Capital one sued me 12 years ago and are just now trying to garnish my bank account is this legal after that many years?
Mar 20, 2014
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Timothy Terrell
I don't know if it is "Legal or Not" I am not an attorney, but the SOL is clearly expired and if they did not revive the "Judgement" then they lack standing to proceed. Also you may be able to use the concept of "Lack of Prosecution" which is not the correct term as that is for criminal matters, but the concept is this, they did not express an interest in "Enforcing the Judgment" in a timely manner. A lawyer may be able to sue and recover far more than they took.
Feb 8, 2014
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By: Cristian Marin Cornejo
I am a US citizen (Miami , Florida) and I moved to South America in 2009 , I left two credit cards unpaid ,nothing major , both $1000 and I was also involved in a car purchase with my wife ,and we did not finish paying the car. I wish to return to the country this year (California) , my fear is being detained at the airport for having some sort of court case against me ... is that possible?
Feb 21, 2014
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Card Hub
You cannot be arrested for unpaid debts, unless the collecting party sued while you were out of the country and a default judgment was issued against you due to a failure to appear in court. Even then, arrests are only allowed in certain states. But lawsuits, property liens, and wage garnishment are real possibilities. We recommend that you contact an attorney prior to your return, so that you are aware of the status of your debt as well as your options and risks.
Feb 5, 2014
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By: Yorey Yohnson
Hey, looking for a little help. I have been getting bills from a company in Florida as I lived there in 2009. Last time I paid was in 2009 when I lived in Florida. Since I have moved to New York, but collections companies are still looking for the money. What statute of limitations would that debt fall under, Florida's 5 years or New York's 6 years?
Feb 7, 2014
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Card Hub
It's likely that Florida's 5-year statute would apply, but that can vary from case to case, depending on where your lender is based and the terms of your original agreement. Your best bet is to consult an attorney for guidance.
Feb 2, 2014
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By: Kaz Dhakal
I filed chapter 7, 4 years ago. One of the credit agency i filed it on barely reported that it was filed(after 4 years) and lowered my score substantially. Do i have any option to get that removed ?
Feb 7, 2014
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Valid information cannot be removed from your credit report until it has been on there for a certain amount of time (http://www.cardhub.com/edu/negative-information-on-credit-report/). Are you saying the credit agency improperly reported your records?
Jan 18, 2014
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By: Gaylene Hermann
What is tax mss of 2012?
Jan 28, 2014
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Card Hub
Hi Gaylene.

I am not sure I understand your question. Can you clarify it a bit?
Jan 10, 2014
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By: Laura Loy
I just received a call from a collection agency saying I owed a debt from 1995. They told me a different agency reopened it and sold it to them. I told them I was not paying as it was almost 20 years ago. They tried to get info. from me but I refused. I live in Florida. Is this legal?
Jan 15, 2014
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Debt collection agencies often buy and sell old, noncollectable accounts to one another, hoping that a fresh approach and new tactics will trick the consumer into paying. You were correct to say that you would not pay or provide them with any information. Your debt seems likely to be time-barred, which means you cannot successfully be sued for it. But your best bet is to contact an attorney, and if the collection agency calls again, to ask for proof that you owe the alleged balance. That is often enough to discourage them from trying further.
Dec 17, 2013
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By: Kathleen Eastwood
I received an income execution paper by certified mail Dec. 6 from the Orange County Sheriff's Office in New York State. I was told that I didn't show up for court. I never received a notice to show up to court. This evidently was for a Nov. court date. I went to the Orange County court and saw there was a judgment against in 1998. The debt collector is attempting to garnish my wages for a judgment that is 18 years old and as far as I can tell, has never been renewed. In the court papers, there was an affidavit from a process server that said I was served more
Dec 30, 2013
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Card Hub
Based on the facts you've laid out, it would certainly appear that you have a good case. However, the best advice we can give you at this juncture is to contact an attorney. Good luck, and don't hesitate to let us know how things play out!
Oct 25, 2013
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By: Sisca Lily
Thanks for the helpful information!! My dilemma is that I have received a notice from an out of state collection agency trying to collect on past debt. I was heavy into debt back in 2007 and had too many credit cards. By 2009 I settled my debt with them. But I guess it's possible I missed one. For I had over 12 accounts in that time period. (SO BAD) But I'm NOT admitting to the owing monies until further research. This way my statute of limitations does not change. But my question is: If I see that I owe the debt, and I decide to pay for it, rather in more
Nov 21, 2013
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Card Hub
Hi,

There's relevant information in this article http://www.cardhub.com/edu/negative-information-on-credit-report/#Late-Payments . The length of time a charged-off account remains on your credit report runs from the date of the charge-off, not the last payment. And since the debt seems to have been sold to an outside debt collection agency, your payments to the agency would not impact the fact that you did not abide by the terms of the agreement with the original creditor. It is important to understand that paying would re-set the SOL so you might want to consult an attorney before making a decision.
Jul 27, 2013
Photo of Jutta C.
By: Jutta S. Cordon
I had a credit card that I haven't paid. It's been since 2002 and it went to court and I have no idea about it because I moved and possibly was sold to a different collection agency. I have not paid this because I do not make enough. Today I received a letter from their office that they will file to renew the judgement for another 10 years. what should I do? Please help...
Jul 29, 2013
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Card Hub
The two things that are most important in your situation are the age of the debt - and if any judgement was issued against you in the past. If they successfully had a court rule against you the Statute of Limitations will be thrown out and the debt will be held over you in perpetuity.
Jul 18, 2013
Photo of Jorge R.
By: Jorge Rodriguez
These third party collection agencis can't take your money from your bank unlese they sue in court. You make sure you don't ignore any court documents because it is how they can win and take your money.

If you know for sure that those credit card debt is past SOL then you should send them a letter that SOL has expired. here is site with a sampe letter.

http://credit.about.com/od/statuteoflimitations/a/solletter.htm

Also, just because it is not on your credit report it does mean anything. I hope this helps.
Jul 17, 2013
Photo of Emily L.
By: Emily Lowa
I have a question.. my credit report does not show any collections or debts, I had lots of credit cards that I never paid so for some reason they went away after so many years.. now my cs is 670 and I have gotten new cards one is with $10k limit the other $4K.. also I was able to lease a car under my name. however I still get letters from collection agencies saying I owe and I can settle for half.. my question, can these third party collectors still get money from my bank account. even if there is nothing on my credit report that shows I owe anything?
Jul 14, 2013
Photo of Jorge R.
By: Jorge Rodriguez
Credit card debt is considered a oral contract. Please see this case law for Florida is 4 years - http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=181842. You can also see this other court hearing stating the same... http://www.scribd.com/doc/141425526/Credigy-Receivables-v-Allen-Hillsborough-Credit-Card-Statute-Limitations-Florida Contracts -- Credit agreement -- Limitation of actions -- No error in dismissal of statement of claim for breach of contract, account stated, and unjust enrichment for debt incurred on credit card based on expiration of four-year statute of limitations -- Construction of conflicting statutory provisions establishing five-year limitations period to recover on contract founded on written instrument and four-year limitations period to recover on liability not founded on written instrument and on store accounts requires that store more
Jul 10, 2013
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By: Lindsey Turner
I opened a credit card back in 2008 in California. I stopped making payments when the economy dropped and I was out of the job.
The last payment I made I think was in 2009. I have recently moved to Alabama. Yesterday I received a letter from another collection company. So I am a little confused on what to do.
Which SOL do I need to follow?
Jul 10, 2013
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Card Hub
You'll need to follow the state's SOL that you got the credit card in, so California's.
Jul 5, 2013
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By: Roman A. Ventura
I am a U.S citizen/ Florida resident, about 7 years ago, for work reasons, I moved out of the country to South America, closed all my accounts and credit cards. I´m about to return to the U.S and yesterday I tried to get an annual credit report from the three bureaus and none of them where able to provide it , online at least. What are my options? Thanks
Jul 5, 2013
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Card Hub
This is likely because you haven't had a US address for sometime, which is what the credit bureaus use as identifying information. Most likely you'll need to resubmit your request in writing using the forms provided by annualcreditsreport.com
May 4, 2013
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By: Cassandra Crawford
After my divorce I was left with $25,000 in credit card debt since the account was in my name. My last payment was in May or June 2009. The account has been sold to a new collection agency (6th time) that recently called me to make an offer of $8000 to settle the debt. The offer sounded good, but unfortunately I do not have those funds. I refused to even make payments on the generous $8000 because I am not able to at this time and have been avoiding their calls. After reading about Statue Of Limitations can I request that the collection agency provide proof of when my last more
May 8, 2013
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Card Hub
No, asking them for proof of payment will not reset your SOL. You should check your credit report to make sure they have not created new hits on your report for the same debt; each debt should only ever show up once on your report no matter how many times it has changed hands. If they have you should dispute the extra accounts, whittling it down to the original debt. In the end the debt will likely remain on your credit report for 7-10 years depending on a few factors, if you need more information you can read about it at these two links: http://www.cardhub.com/edu/negative-information-on-credit-report/ http://www.cardhub.com/edu/credit-report-dispute/ more
Apr 26, 2013
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By: Ji Peckinpaugh
I had a cc from 2002. Today I received a call from a debt collector about that debt. I said I was unable to make payments. She said she would mark as "Refused to pay" does this re-age that debt?
Apr 30, 2013
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Card Hub
No, your response should not re-age the debt.
Mar 26, 2013
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By: Marie Higginson
My mom passed away June 8, 2012 in New Jersey A letter with the death certificate was sent to Sears as mom had an outstanding credit card balance of $1400.00. Being the executor of the estate, I received a letter from a collection agency dated March 19, 2013. demanding payment. Has the statute of limitations passed on this?
Mar 28, 2013
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
I'm sorry to hear of your loss, managing a loved one's estate after they pass is never an easy task. On your question, the statute of limitations in New Jersey is 6 years, so it doesn't look like that time has passed. While the credit card companies cannot come after you or anyone else not on your mother's accounts, they can legally ask for payment from your mother's estate.
Mar 25, 2013
Photo of Robin A.
By: Robin Epperson Atterton
I was just contacted by fsm. Say I owe from a cc that was charged off in 2001 but apparently a payment was made in 2008. I did not own this type of cc. How can I findout any information pertaining to this so called payment in 2008?
8
Mar 28, 2013
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Card Hub
The first thing you should do is get a copy of your credit report so you can check and make sure there are not any accounts listed that don't belong to you. In regards to the payment, it might not matter, depending on the state you live in. If it does still matter, then I would ask for proof that the account belongs to you and of the payment made in 2008.
Mar 21, 2013
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By: Libby Kimberlin
We have a collection company calling us...yes we had a credit one card that we defaulted on...this was because of ny wife's medical problems..the company that is calling does not have an office name so when you call the lady asks for your ohone number...this debt has been sold five times...we are both on socisl security and have no house, carm boat or land in our name...my husband try to talk to the guy but all he was interested in was our bank information...we don't have a bank account...our SS benefits are applied to the new debit card from the treasury...they even threatened to have my husband put in jail more
Apr 2, 2013
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Card Hub
If the company will not stop calling even after you've clearly asked them, then you should send them a cease and desist letter. There are many examples listed online, but if possible having a lawyer write one up for you would be best. As long as you are in the right on the case, the company should stop hounding you after receiving such a letter.
Mar 6, 2013
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By: Vonnie Sarju Sohan
I had a CC in 2004 in FL state, a judgement was made in 2008 from a dept collecter I did not know anything about this cause I had moved, now I receive a letter for this dept that is not on my credit Report, can they sue me again ? What should I do please and thank you
Mar 6, 2013
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Slim Aaron Holmes
Use an attorney. LegalShield is great to use. The have great customer relations
Mar 6, 2013
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Card Hub
Once a judgement has been made against you there isn't much you do. Your best bet would be the contact the courthouse that issued the judgement and find out why you were not notified of the lawsuit when it was placed against you.
Mar 4, 2013
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By: Michael Howard
I made arrangements after threats to pay...after reading this find out in GA SOL is 6 yrs....this is from 2002. What can I do?
Mar 6, 2013
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Card Hub
What kind of threats? Debt Collectors are not allowed to make any type of threats, and as a result you may want to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Mar 2, 2013
Photo of Jennell M.
By: Jennell G. Mohr
I have a judgement on my credit report from back in 02 or 03, I didn't even know I had a judgment on my credit report! I called the courthouse and they said somebody delivered me the paperwork in person. I did not receive nor did I talk to anybody about this. at first I thought it was an error but they have all my info and my address at the time. to this day I don't have a copy of the judgement or anything. what should my next steps be on getting this off my report? thanks
Mar 6, 2013
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Card Hub
I would ask for a copy of the judgment, but unfortunately I don’t think there is much you can do because having a valid judgment against you means that you have already been sued and lost. The real question is why you were never notified about being sued, and that’s what you should inquire at the courthouse about.
Jan 28, 2013
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By: Gary O'Neal
Yes the list. Is totally wrong....In California the statued of limitations is two years and three years in Delaware!!
Feb 16, 2013
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Card Hub
Credit card debt is considered a written contract under the law and as such the above information is correct. Please feel free to respond with specific references.
Jan 8, 2013
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By: Tammy Ames
when I came home from work today there was court papers here waiting for me they r for bank one from 2001 I live in indiana I'm not sure of what to do any suggestions please.
Jan 8, 2013
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Sharon Wilson
Send them back and say person no longer exists, dies in 2001. Just kidding, depends on what they are about and too many years have passed for some things at least in Canada after 10 years it is obsolete.
Jan 8, 2013
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Sharon Wilson
Check with a lawyer.
Jan 9, 2013
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Slim Aaron Holmes
Tammy, I dealt with an attorney. I have unlimited access to one, let me know how I can help
Dec 7, 2012
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By: Kelly Young
I had one contact me yesterday saying I owed originally 900, now it 1900 cuz interest rates are 49%. That they tried to serve me but no one was home, bunch of bs. Also, named my children and fiance. I was like my children and fiance have nothing to do with this. Obviously had been on my facebook. Says the debt is from 06.
Nov 20, 2012
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By: Nicole Walsh
I received a call today and dont know how they got my number but they were full of threats. I live in California and owe Chase credit card company. I haven't paid since 2005 and they say it went delinquent in 06'. I told the lady I didn't appreciate the way she was talking to me and she told me fine she would report back to the company and say it was a refusal to pay so they could take further action on me. What do I do or what can they really do now?
Feb 5, 2013
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Card Hub
If you haven't paid on this debt since 2006, you probably don't have much to worry about. As you can see on the table above, the statute of limitations for credit card debt in California is 4 years.
Nov 9, 2012
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By: Jackie Kelley
I had an electric bill back in 1990. I was married but the bill was in my name. My husband hit an electric pole while drinking, we divorced and because they could not collect for the pole from him they added it to my electric bill in which they say I still owe till this day an will not give me service... its like 700.00 and he has since died... how can I fix this?
Feb 5, 2013
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Card Hub
You might try calling the electric company or their collection agency (if applicable) to see if they will arrange out a settlement with you. Since the debt has gone unpaid for so many years, they might be willing to work out a deal for as little as a $100 or a $150.
Nov 7, 2012
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By: Leticia Pedroza Perez
I received a message from a Collection agency claiming I owe 595.00 for a payday advance loan in 2002/2003, and they are saying if I don't agree to pay that they will take it to court, the original debt was from Money Mart, I asked that they send me a certified letter with the information they had, but they refused. I am in TX and this collection agency is in New York...Check & Credit Recovery, Inc 255 Great Arrow Avenue # 4 Buffalo, NY14207-3024 This is definitely passed the statute of Limitation for TX. what should I do...
Sep 29, 2012
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By: Nikos Ponirakis
I left NY back in 2004 and moved to Europe. I didn't pay any of my credit cards and my student loan. I want to return to the States and I'm worried if I face any legal problems when I enter the country.
Sep 30, 2012
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Joe Weider
How much money are we talking about? I bet you thought that you were very smart to leave the country and not pay your obligations... What goes around comes around!
Sep 25, 2012
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By: Heather True
all I can say is thank god I don't live in the states that have 10 year SOLs!
Sep 19, 2012
Photo of Joelle D.
By: Joelle S. Della
I sent a letter to LVNV Funding LLC to prove my date of my debt because on my credit report it just shows first 2 numbers of the year but not last two. I would like to know what my next step is since they have not replied to my letter.
Sep 16, 2012
Photo of Terry G.
By: Terry Griffith
will a creditor sue if the amount owed is close to 1500 dollars, I live in GA and the account was opened in texas and was with wamu in mid 2008, cant deal with orginal creditor cause wamu is not open and not sure of change of venue clause.
Sep 28, 2012
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Katrina Gulisano
WAMU is now Chase. Chase will have all the records of this account. Good luck.
Oct 5, 2012
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Card Hub
The more money you owe, the more likely a lawsuit becomes, but credit card companies have been known to sue for that much. You may want to see if Chase has your records or can show that your debt was sold to a debt collection company. Just make sure not to admit that you owe something or make a promise to pay.
Oct 5, 2012
Photo of Terry G.
Terry Griffith
well on my credit report it shows this as written off by wamu, before they were sold to chase and the last activity on this was july 2008- my guess is if this was wriiten off than its off chase/wamu's book and sold to a junk dealer aka Midland Funding
Sep 15, 2012
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By: Anna Finona
I'm asking all these questions to help my sister know what to do.. Even seeking an attorney for bankruptcy.
Sep 15, 2012
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By: Anna Finona
My ex I'm suspecting opened a credit card under both our names thru the mail preapproved. We broke up I lefted for vacation, upon my return I was being informed I had a credit card debt. A letter from the court. Was taped to my door a writ, I went to the attorney to ask if any payment plan can be considered and the attorney said no. I asked the bank for a copy of original application so I can see if it's my signature. The bank gave me a very poor copy so I complained and ask for another one. I also requested for proof of debt. I was more
Sep 15, 2012
Photo of Trish C.
By: Trish Cummings
My bank account was seized and now the attorney is trying to get my wages garnished on a credit card that was charged off in 2004. It was a secured card and the principal was paid, this is only fees they are collecting (as far as I know). The attorney's office is refusing to send me proof of debt, although I asked them in writing. I have also sent a Vacate form to them and to the courts. Is there anything else I can do...or just wait for a court date? I think the collection agency received this debt in 2009 because the attorney told me this was from 2009. more
Sep 2, 2012
Photo of Darrick C.
By: Darrick B. Caccamo
Hi, I have a total credit card debt of $25,000 on 14 different credit cards. All of those accounts were opened in a span of 5 years while I was living in Indiana, Illinois and Virginia.I stopped making payments on them and it has been 6 months when I made my last payment. I am not a U.S. citizen. Unable to cope with debt and visa issues, I left to my home country. After reading about what happens after defaulting on a credit card debt, I have some questions. 1. In order for the credit card companies to sue me, do they have to serve papers to me physically? or more
Sep 28, 2012
Photo of Katrina G.
Katrina Gulisano
To be served is to physically have to be handed the papers. If you never get served by your local law enforcement agency you have not been served. Secondly, a default judgement is only issued if you do not show up in court. So be sure to show up in court and fight! SOL applied in ALL cases that involve credit card companies. The SOL will probably be determined by the state you are currently residing in and the state court you are going into. Good Luck!
Oct 5, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
acushle - For a lawsuit to proceed, you must be served with a summons to appear in court. This must be done in person. A default judgement cannot be entered if you have not been properly summoned. With that being said, this debt will likely only be relevant if you return to the US. In that case, the SOL used will probably be that of the state in which you opened a particular card.
Aug 30, 2012
Photo of Natasha K.
By: Natasha MzRed King-Sanford
I have a question. I received a letter from a collection agency for a old credit card debt from when I lived in CT. I have lived in NC for 6 years now and the last time I probably dis anything with that card was maybe between 2004-2006, although I thought I paid it off when I got my car accident settlement. This has not been on my credit report since I left CT, what should I do about it?
Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Jenny B.
By: Jenny Brengelman
Copied from http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml : AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. I decided to take my own advice and get a current free copy to make sure the GE/Penny card no longer shows owed on my credit report. Since I had to look up how to get the truly free one, I'm sharing it :)
Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Jenny B.
By: Jenny Brengelman
Jeffrey, you will feel better knowing exactly what is on record for all payments.This is very easy to get. Each of the major credit reporting agencies are required to provide one free credit report yearly. The most important thing is to make sure you are using the truly free report due to you annually. If it requires a credit card, even if that card is not supposed to be charged and the report is claimed to be free, it really isn't. The free credit report will show all current and past credit cards and any and all payments made on them as well as the balance owed. I used the more
Aug 15, 2012
Photo of Brandy M.
By: Brandy McNeal
I was just contacted by a collection agency about a dept. store cc. They said the last payment was made in 1997. I know the SOL has run out, I live in MD, and they told me I could not be sued but this was never closed. I did not admit to the debt but said I would look into the laws/rights I have in MD about my options. (I hope that's not admitting to it). I'm sure I'll receive a letter as they have my correct address. Can I ignore it? Ask for proof of debt then send a cease and desist letter to not contact me? Did I more
Jul 30, 2012
Photo of Kelle C.
By: Kelle Luoma Clark
Wish I had known this. I had a court hearing about a 21 year old debt the day before I was to leave for my wedding. They got the judgement because I couldn't make the 2 hour drive to make it to the courthouse. Now, I am being garnished and not a blasted thing I can do about it.
Jul 30, 2012
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Chance Daniels
Sure there is. You file an appeal to have the judgment vacated based upon either A) hardship or B) that you weren't properly served.
Jul 30, 2012
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Kelle Luoma Clark
Hardship like having to replace my roof?
Jul 26, 2012
Photo of Michael R.
By: Michael Rapp
This table is not correct. In many states credit cards are deemed oral contracts and not written contracts because they can be unilaterally changed by mailing you new terms. That means the SOL is much lower in many cases.
Jul 27, 2012
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Card Hub
In all the cases that we have looked they are considered written contracts. Please give us an example of a state where credit card agreements are considered oral contracts.
Sep 10, 2012
Photo of Kim S.
Kim Sievers
Your chart is inaccurate.
The Statute of Limitation on Credit Card Debt in INDIANA is 6 YEARS.
Please make sure your information is 100% accurate as this could be an Unfair Practice to Consumers.
Please note: a Credit Card is ALWAYS an Open Account.
This is established under the Truth-in-Lending Act: People from Indiana, do not go by this chart.

The Statute of Limitations is 6 years in Indiana, please contact the Indiana Attorney General for more accurate information or to make a complaint.
Sep 27, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Hi Kim, thanks for your input. You’re right that the Truth in Lending Act would seem to define credit cards as being open-ended accounts for the purpose of that law, as it states: “The term “open end credit plan” means a plan under which the creditor reasonably contemplates repeated transactions, which prescribes the terms of such transactions, and which provides for a finance charge which may be computed from time to time on the outstanding unpaid balance. A credit plan which is an open end credit plan within the meaning of the preceding sentence is an open end credit plan even if credit information is verified from time to time.” more
Jul 20, 2012
Photo of Asley H.
By: Asley Huhtasaari
I made my last payment in 2008, per what the agency told me. I opened the cc in Maryland and I now live in Florida...which state's SOL do I go by? Thanks in advance.
Oct 11, 2012
Photo of Gabriela M.
Gabriela Martin
If you move from one state to another, the SOL stops counting until you return back to that state. It's hard to prove, by the credit card company or other where you lived, but not impossible.
So if you opened the card in Maryland, stopped paying in 2009 for example, then move to Florida in 2010, only one year of SOL has passed and will only resume when you come back to live in Maryland.
Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Candy H.
By: Candy Harrison
I was just threatened by a company called Credit Smart that were going to file a suit (fist they said that evening then they said Monday morning) on a debt from Capital one that started out as a @ under $900.00 but is now $2200.00. I was injured in 1998 and lost all benefits in 6/2006 - so I KNOW no payments were made after that date. I also had pulled all credit reports 7/11 & all debts had had dropped off. I also ran all 3 yesterday & again - all clear. The "lawyer" on the phone told me they had gotten Experian to accept the old dept from more
Sep 14, 2012
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David Everett
I would check with your Social Security Office, to the best of my knowledge it is illegal for someone to garnish your social security payments.
Jul 5, 2012
Photo of Mary R.
By: Mary A. Rowe
Thank you, Card Hub. I was just threatened by Asset Recovery Associates today (July 5, 2012) with a "judgment" for the amount claimed ($2000) with the addition of their legal "processing fee" of $1500 because they are not a collection agency, but some other sort of business entity. Further, because the address and account information belonged to a "federally validated debt", and the account went to them in 2008, the statute of limitations (last account activity was in January 2005) has not yet expired. They offered me an "amnesty" payment for senior citizens (I'm 59) of $1,000 which is politely declined. "Mr. Stone" claimed to have "return receipt address" verification more
Jun 27, 2012
Photo of Stephanie O.
By: Stephanie Owens
~Correction, it isn't a lien but a 1099c that would require me to file as income with the IRS. I have read several (all very confusing) articles about this but it seems these very old debts can in fact be considered "income" though it many years ago. I don't understand one thing~ can they file a 1099c at anytime or does it have to be within the 36 months of the last reported payment? It seems to me a little ridiculous that companies can sell these accounts for pennies on the dollar but in the end the amount you "owe" is insanely high.
Jun 27, 2012
Photo of Stephanie O.
By: Stephanie Owens
Thank you so much for this site by the way. I have just been contacted by a collection company for a cc that is 12 yrs old~ and am well past my SOL~ to which they acknowledged. However, I was told that the Cross Country Bank could actually file the debt as a lein with the government (IRS?) and assuming we get a return held from any monies we would receive. Is this true and what if anything do I need to do? this does not show up on any of my reports as of today~ should I send a letter stating I am well past the SOL and leave more
Jun 25, 2012
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By: RogerandVicky Strimbu
Is taking your your State Taxes considered a payment on your behalf....therefore resetting your Sol?
Jun 25, 2012
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By: Gina Perez
I am in Texas and have a lawsuit filed against me for CC debt. I believe it to be beyond the SOL date, is there a sample letter available I can send as a response to the court? I am desperate here and can't afford an attorney.
Jun 24, 2012
Photo of Ewing S.
By: Ewing Sean
My state is 4the years for statue of limitations (pa). My capital one card was sold off.however capital one send statements still and collectors also for different amounts. The day account was sold in 2008. What should i do at this point? Sold off at 800the dollars and capital one has added interest after it was sold off and now up to almost 3000. Are they allowed to add interest after they sell off the account?
Aug 10, 2012
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Wilson Setio Kaiba
no
Jun 22, 2012
Photo of Amy G.
By: Amy Keilman Gallon
I recieved a notice from a collection agency regarding a cc that was last paid on in 2005. I live in washington staten.
Jun 21, 2012
Photo of Ronald K.
By: Ronald B. Kallenberger
I have been contacted about a balance on a CC that last had activity in June of 2003. I assume the new collector cannot report it as the original debt is over 7 years. What about legal action? I did live in Louisiana for a time (which has a 10 year SOL). I am now in Texas (which has 6).
Jun 20, 2012
Photo of James W.
By: James Wenger
I am being garnished on a credit card that has been charged off and the SOL has since passed, I went to court today to ask for a hearing and to challenge the writ to garnish, Can I do this and expect to win? I have an attorney friend that will be going to the hearing with me,
Jun 19, 2012
Photo of Nadia C.
By: Nadia Cottone
What happens when the original creditor sells it to a collection agency, does the statute of limitation resets or does it just start and stay at when the last payment was made?

I've been doing lots of research and just want a simple answer would be great. Thanks!
Jun 19, 2012
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Card Hub
The SOL is not affected by how many times your debt gets sold.
Jun 19, 2012
Photo of Nicholas S.
Nicholas Stringfellow
How do you know when the SOL actually starts? Some I've read that it starts on your last payment you made with the OC, some the next day and some a month after the next missed payment? Which one is it?

For example: last payment was 03/16/2008

Does it start on that day, the day after or the next month of missed payment?

Thanks so much!
Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Anna C.
By: Anna Costanzo
In new york state, I have a 5 year old judgment on a 10 year old credit debt, I understand the judgment is for 10 years here in NY and it has never been on my credit report, what happens if I move to another state? does the same judgment follow me with the NYS limitations or the new states? they have been trying to garnish my wages but I do not make enough for them to garnish....any info please?
Aug 10, 2012
Photo of Wilson K.
Wilson Setio Kaiba
yes
Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Corrine A.
By: Corrine F. Anderegg
Hi there, If I have CC debt that has just past the 3 yr SOL in NC but still shows up on my credit report as in collection, do I risk extending the SOL to 6 yrs if I move to GA? Or can I still claim NC SOL if I ever get harassed by collectors in GA?
Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Unfortunately, there are no clear rules and credit card companies will argue whatever suits them best so yes you run the risk of extending your SOL. You can read more about this here:
http://www.cardhub.com/edu/which-states-statute-of-limitations-applies/

Also remember that whether or not debt shows up on your credit report has nothing to do with the SOL timeframe.
Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Kat K.
By: Kat Kramer
We're also having a problem with the tenant screening company in Denver. They said that his credit score is below their cutoff, and gave us a really low number. We went up to TransUnion and checked his credit, and it was WELL ABOVE the number they wanted. The agency tells us that the number we saw on TransUnion's site is incorrect, and their subscription number is correct, and that we don't qualify. I verified the number with TransUnion, and it IS correct. This doesn't make sense, and it makes me think the screening company could be liable! Have you ever heard of this?
Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Kat K.
By: Kat Kramer
Greetings! My fiancee was previously married, and he and his ex-wife had bought a washer at Best Buy and put it on a BB card for 12 months same as cash. They closed the account after it was paid off. They subsequently divorced, but two years later she went back into Best Buy, ran up $800 in charges, and never paid anything. It went to collections. We didn't learn about it until we went to buy his son a car, and it was on his credit report. The card was closed, and was not even listed in their divorce agreement because it was closed. Now it's showing up on his more
Aug 10, 2012
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Charlotte de Berry
talk to an attorney on your end
Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Kim G.
By: Kim Gerhardt
I received a call today from a collection agency asking for full payment on a Capitol One card from 2003, the acct was charged off but they are asking me to pay $1500 today to close out the charge they bought.No payments since 2003. I lived in NY and CA so it looks like the SOL is 6 years at most and it's been nine. I am assuming from this page I do nothing. I asked them to call back tomorrow so I could research but I don't have any communication from them other than this call today. I refused to do anything today. Thank you for any help.
Jun 14, 2012
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Kim Gerhardt
Think it's a scam I dont remember it at all...
Jun 10, 2012
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By: Marie Starlings
Hi there,

I recently applied a credit card to Best buy which I have been approved for. Little did I know it is being operated by Capital One. About 12 Years ago, I had a CC from capital one that went into default. That has now past the statue of limitation and has since been sold to various collection agencies. I am wondering now that I've reopened an account with Best Buy.. Could they use that to pursue an old debt or to make it valid, although it's a completely different account # and CC?
Jun 11, 2012
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Card Hub
They cannot use your activity on another account to reset the statute of limitations. I would personally do not worry too much about it especially since the old debt has been sold to collection agencies and it is no longer owned by Capital One.
Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Amanda H.
By: Amanda Hapsch
Amanda Hapsch · ASA College. I have a law office calling me about a credit card that I haven't paid anything on since summer of 2006, the office actually can't tell me the last time I paid on said credit card but says I last made a purchase on Sept. 14, 2006. The credit card compamy wrote off the account in March of 2009 and it went to judgement in 2010. I live in NY and that's where the card was opened. The SOL is 6 years but when I brought this up to the woman I spoke to she said that its now extented 20 years because it went more
Jun 6, 2012
Photo of Madie G.
By: Madie Goodreau
I just got papers in the mail I'm being sued for credit card dept in pennsylvania, Do I go to court this credit card was from 10 years ago I have never talked to them or made a payment and can not afford a lawyer and what can I say to win this.
Jun 6, 2012
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Card Hub
Make sure that indeed this debt is outside the SOL. If it is, call the court and ask them how can the lawsuit get dismissed since since the statute of limitations has expired. Definitely do not ignore the lawsuit since you will hand the creditor a victory!
Jun 5, 2012
Photo of Charlyn L.
By: Charlyn R. Loisel
My husband had a credit check done recently and capitol one was on it with a 3104 balance that hasn't had any activity( Payments) on since 4/06 on the report it says closed-credit grantor charge off does this mean its no longer an issue and closed or would he fall into the SOL for the state of California? Do you think I should contact someone from capitol one and discuss a pay off amount?
Jun 5, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
There are two things goings on here:
1) Damage to your credit report since you charged-off >> Nothing you can do about that until it gets removed from your credit report (7 years after you charged-off)

2) Debt collectors asking for payments on that debt >> I would not call anyone proactively. Maybe the SOL will expire and they will not bother you before that point in time :)
Jun 1, 2012
Photo of Cindy O.
By: Cindy Ovalle
I have bank debt that took place in 2002, the account was eventually sold off to a collection agency. my original intentions was to pay it off, but as the years went by it got difficult. now a thrid party collector is calling me, we spoken I and I decline to pay in full. he give my an ultimatum either pay or he will report it to his creditor with a responce of refusing to pay. what can I do?
Jun 1, 2012
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Card Hub
You have already been reported to the credit bureaus as having charged off on that debt so the collector cannot report anything that will create additional damage to your credit history.
Jun 4, 2012
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Cindy Ovalle
thank you Card Hub for your response. i have another question, can they take me to court?
May 30, 2012
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By: Donald Zarzecki
Capitol one, is trying to sue my wife for a credit card debt in Florida, which is over 6 years old, we never even received notice to collect from them, until we received a notice to appear in court. I'm sure if my wife brings up the SOL, and time bared in this matter it should be dismissed correct?
May 30, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
That is correct, as long as the SOL has definitely expired :) You might also want to read this: http://www.cardhub.com/edu/which-states-statute-of-limitations-applies/
May 30, 2012
Photo of Donald Z.
Donald Zarzecki
Do you know if we would be able to write to the courts and show them proof of the credit card being past the statute of limitation time, to stop the notice to appear? It's the first appearance most likely to hear both sides.
May 30, 2012
Photo of Trevor T.
By: Trevor Anthony Triumph
Hi, I have a credit card company trying to collect on a debt from about 13 years ago. I live in NYC, and I checked all of my credit reports and there is on info about that debt. What should I do?
May 30, 2012
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Card Hub
I would ignore them, but up to you... :)
May 29, 2012
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By: Cordia S. Weiker
Hi Card Hub, I have a few questions. I found out by doing a credit check that I have a judgment. I went to the court house to get copy's of it, and found that it was my ex husband that was served. I tried to do a refuse judgment, but was told the statue of limitations was up to file that. It's 3 years old now. Would you know what else I could do to take care of this? It's from a company called Asset Acceptance. I also had a credit card company that took me to court and that case was dismissed. I'm now getting mail from a more
May 29, 2012
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Card Hub
The judgement must have been under your name as well, otherwise it should not be showing up on your credit report. If it was only under your ex-husband's name and you were not a co-signer on that loan or line of credit then you should file a dispute with the credit bureaus - http://www.cardhub.com/edu/credit-report-dispute

As far as the collector is concerned, why was the case dismissed?
May 31, 2012
Photo of Sherrie Y.
Sherrie Yeo
Thank you for answering my questions... Yes the Judgment was in my name only.
The credit card company that took me to court was dismissed, why I don't know. I showed up to court only to find out it was dismissed. I have disputed the judgment with the credit reporting company's and they won't take it off. I looked up Asset Acceptance and there in San Francisco, I got there number and there no longer there. What action can be taken for this?
May 31, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
briteyes32 - I am confused. Was the judgement under your ex husband's name or under your name or both? If it was only under your ex-husband's name and you were not a co-signer on that loan or line of credit then you should file a dispute with the credit bureaus otherwise the judgement was valid.

As far as the collector is concerned they have a right to try to collect on the debt as long as it is valid. So check the SOL on your state and act accordingly.
May 27, 2012
Photo of Tony S.
By: Tony Singh
hi I had a judgement on my credit report from six years ago that I just got vacated because I was not served properly. my origional debt is from nine years ago. Can the collection agency still collect on this debt? this is in ny state.
May 15, 2012
Photo of Laura S.
By: Laura Franks Smith
We have some old items on our credit report that are past the states (colorado) SOL. What's the best way to go about getting those old items removed from our credit report? We are trying to qualify for a mortgage. Our "current" credit is good. Just these old things haunting us that shouldn't even be there. Is there a sample letter we can look at to send the credit bureaus? Thanks.
May 15, 2012
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Kristin Dinkins
I have samples I will email you later tonight. :-)
May 15, 2012
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Sue Custodio
YES! I've been through this exercise already. On each reporting agency's website there is a place to file your request. Easiest way to start is pull a free credit report from each agency - you are entitled to one from each every year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and it will let you get a report from TRW, Equifax, and Experian. Another thing I did at the advice of y loan officer was write a letter of explanation to the mortgage company and attached copies of my payment to the creditors to show I took care of the balance. I used a copy of my bank statement for one, and I was more
May 15, 2012
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Sue Custodio
BTW, they have 30 days to answer your request, and they are VERY reliable about meeting their deadline. Each one of mine were addressed and resolved within 30 days.
May 15, 2012
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By: Sherry Yanez
if a credit card company tries to sue you and it is past the statue of limitations, therefore dropped in court, can you have this removed from your court files?
May 15, 2012
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By: Arissa Smith
My husband's ex wife forge his signature on one of those checks that those credit company sends out. She then had the money deposited into her own checking account and then had monthly withdrawals from that same account. This was in 2006 while they were still legally married. We recently found out about it by pulling his credit report. It looks like the last payment (activity) was in 2007. The check that she forged was solely his, it was not joint with her. We found a promissory note while going through his box of stuff she sent him awhile back, that is how we knew she had it deposited in more
May 15, 2012
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Card Hub
Since this did not happen in a joint account it sounds to me that he was the victim of fraud. As a result, he should report this to the credit card company and consult an attorney as he might also have to file a police report. Unless he can prove that there was fraud on his account then he is liable.
May 15, 2012
Photo of Arissa S.
Arissa Smith
Thanks Card Hub for your reply. Since we are in California and the debt last activity (payment) has been over 5 years, is that over the statue of limitations now? Technically they can no longer sue us or go after us for the money anymore right? I have a another question to ask and I really appreciated if you can help me. We've recently been contacted by Calvary Portfolio Services, I've google them and they are notorious for pursuing their debtors. They've sent my husband a statement letting him know that he can have a plan to pay off his debt. They purchase this from a creditor (let's call them more
May 15, 2012
Photo of Linda C.
By: Linda Conlon
can an old debt be sold to more than one collection agency? I have a debt that is over 16 years old, and just recently received letters from two different collection agencies both offering settlement payoffs of different amounts on different sears accounts....both dated the same date and wanting a response by the same date, but two different account numbers? I had one account but like I said that was probably 17+ years ago...... I ignored it as it is so old.....can they sue me?
May 15, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Yes, old debt gets sold all the time but there should only be one owner at any point in time. So it sounds that either there is a mistake or that this collection agency is employing some shady practices in trying to collect on that old debt.

Finally, yes you can be sued but one you bring up to the judge that the Statue of Limitations has expired then your lawsuit will be dropped.
May 9, 2012
Photo of Antonella D.
By: Antonella Dirocco
I received a letter for a credit card I owed 1250 on in 2008, I don't mind paying in small increments, but how do I go about responding to the letter? I would like to avoid court and just get it over with.
May 9, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Call them and see what they have to offer. Then understand that there is room for negotiation. The larger the installments you can make the more you can demand in return.

For example, how much of the $1250 is principal vs interest and fees? You can ask them to waive the interest and fees in return for you paying it down in a lump sum. Don't be surprised if the vast majority of the 1250 is fees and finance charges.

So bottom line, call, negotiate, and do not agree to anything that you cannot afford!
May 8, 2012
Photo of Camie W.
By: Camie Thurlow Wilson
How long can the state of Maryland hold open a debt that was the result of over payment of unemployment? The last payment to the person collection unemployment was made in April 2004. They were never notified that there was an over payment until they received a notice today to pay almost $8200.00. Does it matter that they now live in MO?
May 8, 2012
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Card Hub
hmm - I am not sure that the Statue of Limitations applies if the state paid you by mistake more money than it should... You should consult a lawyer and also confirm that indeed they paid you more than they should. Sorry we could not be of more help.
May 1, 2012
Photo of Fonda S.
By: Fonda M. Stacer
I received a letter from debt recovery solutions saying that they acquired my account from a credit card company. I was divorced in 2005 so this debt must be from before that because I have not opened any credit cards since then. Do I need to respond to this letter - they are offering a settlement on the account.
May 1, 2012
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Card Hub
Has the Statute of Limitations expired? Be careful in responding to any letter because you might inadvertently reset your statute of limitations on that debt.
May 3, 2012
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Dennis S. Laditka
I definitely think it has expired. I live in NJ and the SOL is six years. I was afraid to just ignore it because I had my bank account levied once before because of a credit card. I found a sample letter online to send notifying them that the SOL has expired and not to contact me again. Should I send it?
May 4, 2012
Photo of Card H.
Card Hub
Absolutely send the letter - that is a great idea! Just because the SOL has expired does not mean they cannot sue you. The responsibility is on you to bring up that the SOL has expired and once you do that then the lawsuit will be thrown out.
Apr 28, 2012
Photo of Sylvie L.
By: Sylvie Linssen
I have been receiving calls regarding a credit card account that was last paid on around 2004/05. When I started receiving calls last August, I advised the caller I couldn't pay, because at the time, I didn't remember anything about the account. I live in New Mexico and the time limit for collecting and such is 6 years. What I am wondering is, did I do something to "reset the clock" by stating I can't pay or do I need to actually have signed and/or agreed to a payment plan or something?
Apr 28, 2012
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Card Hub
It does not sound that you did anything to reset the clock so just tell them that the SOL has expired and not to call you again. Remember that the SOL starts from the date of your last payment and also keep in mind that they can still sue you but the moment you tell the judge that the SOL has expired he/she should dismiss the lawsuit.
Apr 27, 2012
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By: Moira C. Grabowsky
I have a credit card bill from like 2004. During the last year or so I have been receiving collections calls regarding this debt. Last summer I said I didn't have the money, as I wasn't sure what this bill was even for. It's been so long, I'm not even sure I owe this. Is there anything I can do about this as they are threatening me with a lawsuit.
Apr 28, 2012
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Card Hub
Has the SOL expired on your state? If not, you can start by asking them for proof that you owe that money.
Apr 19, 2012
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By: Howe Huston
I incurred credit card debt while living in Florida. My last payment towards the debt was 2005/2006 on various credit cards. I have since moved to NJ. Which state do I follow as far as statue of limitations? I have not gotten nor used any past or present credit cards since 2006. I haven't received any phone calls over the past 2 years either. What do I do or think?
Apr 20, 2012
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Card Hub
Depending on when exactly you made the last payment on your credit card, your debt may already be time-barred (i.e. older than the statute of limitations) in both states. Florida’s statute of limitations for written contracts is 5 years and New Jersey’s is 6 years. In most cases, credit card companies will sue for amounts owed in the state you were living in when you opened your card (i.e. Florida), so you should be good. You should, however, check your credit card agreement to see if there is a “Choice of Venue” clause. Credit card contracts often have such clauses, which dictate where any legal issues related to your card more
Mar 29, 2012
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By: Living No Lye
Negative information goes off your credit report after seven years, I wonder , if sued, if I can use the fact that my credit card account was removed afrom my report as proof that my debt has passed my states 5yr statute of limitations since I no longer have any proof of the last payment on the account or any statement?(also I have never acknowledged this debt on the phone, by payment, or in writing).
Mar 29, 2012
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Card Hub
You can absolutely do that, but I would not worry about it since it is the creditor's responsibility to prove when you made your last payment.
Apr 18, 2012
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Living No Lye
k thanks :)
Mar 29, 2012
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By: Netey S Brissett
Okay thanks... That's the same thing one of the credit bureau reps told me. She said if it isn't on my report don't worry about it. I requested all three reports, it isn't on neither one. They also have my birthday wrong saying I was born in 1968 which I was not. I think I know what year I wa born. They tried to do a settlement but I've been refusing because I know for a fact I did not have a capital one card in 2001. They just keep saying find the person and press charges. How am I suppose to do that? I think I'll stop stressing over more
Mar 28, 2012
Photo of Netey B.
By: Netey S Brissett
Starting January I've been receiving calls from a debt collector for capital one. They are saying I owe 2k since 2001 and the last payment was received in 2001. I never had a capital one card in 2001 cause I was only 15 I was born in 1986. I am also wondering if I owe them why isn't it appearing on my credit report. They are asking me to settle but hasn't the statue of limitation passed on this debt. I live in NJ and its beyond 6 years.
Mar 29, 2012
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Card Hub
If you did not have the credit card they are talking about AND you are sure that there is no record of such a card on your credit report (a possible sign of identity theft), then I think you are dealing with some sort of scammers. Just ignore them :) The statue of limitations is not even relevant if that is not your credit card debt.
Mar 27, 2012
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By: Marty Weems
Thank you for your indepth response....you guys/girls are the best! I see that I.
need to do some research of my own, based on the info you have given me. It
is most helpful. Thank you very much.
Mar 26, 2012
Photo of Marty W.
By: Marty Weems
No payment has been made, nor have I acknowledged owing the debt, nor have.
I responded to their once or twice yearly attempts to collect. The first Social.
Security check witholding was for the month of February and March of 2012.
Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Marty W.
By: Marty Weems
I have a credit card debt that is about 20 years old. I have ignored requests.
regarding payment so have made no admission of owing this debt. The
credit card company has notified Social Security and $123 is being witheld.
out of my monthly social security benefits (I am 71 years old). Is this legal?
Mar 26, 2012
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Card Hub
Just to clarify. You have NOT made a single payment toward this debt for around 20 years. Correct?

Also when exactly did they start withholding the $123?
Mar 27, 2012
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Card Hub
Martha - Judging from your comment below, it certainly sounds like your debt would be outside of the statute of limitations in any state. However, is it possible that what you owe does not originate from a credit card? Section 207 of the Social Security Act prevents anyone but the federal government from garnishing social security benefits (http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/426/~/garnishing-social-security-benefits-due-to-a-debt), and there are a limited number of reasons why it can do so. According to the Social Security website: “Social Security will garnish benefits: • To collect unpaid federal taxes under 26 USC 6334(c). • To enforce a valid garnishment for court-ordered victim restitution under 18 USC 3613. • To have a more
Jun 11, 2012
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Dolly Defazio-Ferguson
it is illegal for anyone but the IRS to touch your social security !
Mar 21, 2012
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By: Angie McCullough
My statute of limitations expires in 6 weeks and 2 days. I received a small claims court notice giving me 14 days to respond. If my statute expires before my court date will the judge dismiss it or will the judge consider the date the plaintiff submitted the suit to the clerk?
Mar 21, 2012
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Card Hub
Angie, according to Alamaba Civil Code, "Actions to recover money due by open or unliquidated account ... must be commenced within three years." "Action" is just another way to say lawsuit, and the commencement of a lawsuit is its filing.

That, unfortunately, means as long as the plaintiff in your case filed suit with the court before the clock ran out, a trial would not be dismissed because of statute of limitation considerations.

We recommend consulting a local attorney who can instruct you on how to proceed.
Feb 25, 2012
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By: Card Hub
@GREGG - Missouri is actually a rather confusing state when it comes to statutes of limitations. It has a 10-year statue for written contract breaches that involve the payment of money as well as a 5-year statue for all other matters related to a breach of contract. The Supreme Court of Missouri clarified this issue in the 1997 case of Hughes Development Co. v. Omega Realty Co. As a result, the 10-year statute that what we have on the table above is correct for credit card payment disputes. With that being said, if the creditor is unable to produce a written contract, the statute of limitations would be 5 years, more
Feb 18, 2012
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By: Denise
I have a credit card that was charged off in 2006. The debt was purchased by a collection agency in 2009. They have listed the date of the debt as 2009 on my credit report. Which date is correct for reporting purposes?
Feb 13, 2012
Photo of GREGG
By: GREGG
http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c500-599/5160000120.htm

The statute of limitations is 5 years in Missouri - NOT 10 as indicated.
Feb 5, 2012
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By: Holli Hafemeister
I defaulted on several credit cards a few years back. My family relocated to Arkansas from Missouri in October 2011. Last payments on accounts were late 2008. Will Arkansas SOL take affect since they would now have to sue me here or Missouri since that's where I lived when the cards were taken out?
Feb 2, 2012
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By: Buckeye
For Nikita..Ohio is 15 years, but...they need PROOF of the debt. Contact a NACA consumer rights attorney. Check the NACA website for one near you.
Jan 31, 2012
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By: tom
a collector called and said they would send a 1099C to the IRS and say this is income for me,is this legal
Jan 29, 2012
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By: Tami
My husband has a credit card from 2003 and we lived in Michigan then. Now we live in South Carolina. We have been here for 6 years and the credit card hasn\'t been used in about 7 or 8 years or paid. A lawyer just contacted him and he acknowledged the debt but never made a payment. He just received the letter about the acknowledgement of the debt and a date to pay it for a settlement. Because of that acknowledgement over the phone does his statute of limitations start over?
Jan 21, 2012
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By: Carolyn
I'm wondering if all credit card debt shows up on a credit report? My husband has collection agencies calling for him but none of the debt shows up on his credit report. One is back in 2003.
Jan 12, 2012
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By: Nikita
I have credit card debt that dates back to 2003. I live in Ohio and an attorney told me that this is beyond the statute of limitations in our state. Your table states 15.
This is a debt-relief/bankruptcy attorney. Which is it?
Jan 1, 2012
Photo of A.J.Lily
By: A.J.Lily
I have 12 credit cards, been out of work 3yrs, I owe about 60k, live in N.Y. Don't remember the last payment for any of the cards. How can I find out when I sent payments to any of them. I want to take advantage of the SOL I have not sent any payments to anyone for at least 3yrs. I don't want to make any mistakes and reset the time. When an acct passes the SOL should I advise the creditors? I have 2 judgements but I don't own anything I am living on social security I am a veteran if that means anything. Please help me.
Nov 18, 2011
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By: Margo
Can a collector have your wages garnished via your employer?
Oct 28, 2011
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By: Mark
I made a payment to a collection agency after the StaTute of limitations had expired. Is there a way to reverse it or collect it back??? I also made the mistake of paying it before requesting a verification of debt. I had sent them a letter requesting a verification of debt and after 30 days I haven't received it. I've called them several times and they said they have mailed it. They're mailing it a second time. If it's been over 30 days, is the debt automatically dismissed?
Oct 10, 2011
Photo of TJ
By: TJ
Hi: My husband's account was charged off by AMEX back in 2001. It was recently sold to a collection agency who sent him a letter last week seeking payment saying no response means the debt is owed. The SOL in NJ is 6 years. Does he need to send the collection agency a letter citing expiration of the SOL or ignore the letter altogether? thanks
Oct 20, 2011
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Odysseas Papadimitriou
@TJ - The SOL starts from the date of last payment. Assuming your husband did not make a payment after 2001, I would recommend that he sends them a letter so that they stop bothering you.
Sep 22, 2011
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By: xxlaloxx
article extreamly helpfull..thx, im not worried any more..I will be able to sleep well tonight...thx again..
Aug 28, 2011
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By: HelpUnsure
When does the SOL begin? If you are sued prior to the end of the SOL then when does it become effective...ie Date of judgement or date you were sent notification? If unsure and you request a verificatiion letter, does this affect any time frames?
Aug 21, 2011
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By: jessica
If a judgement was filed against me after my statute of limitions had expired, but I did not know my rights at the time and I was forced to make payments by court order and my bank account was garnished, do I have any rights now or is it too late? The judgement is still on my credit report as well, is there anyway to get it taken off?
Aug 20, 2011
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By: james
I went through a divorce in 2005 in Georgia and there was a good amount of credit card debt. My ex didn't pay it at all and I havn't heard a word about it. I have moved to a different state, is the limatations from the state you lived in when you got the credit card or where you live now? Thanks in advance.
Aug 1, 2011
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By: nematode
Lost home to foreclosure, lost car, defaulted credit cards, creditors on the phone constantly menacing to take me to court. Lost employment in CA, benefits ran out. Creditors still call, I explained the situation, they could care less. One told me he had heard all those sorrow stories before, and that I was not going to get away with it. I heard him until he finished, then said good bye then. I wish I had their monies to pay them and shut them, but without a job, it is difficult.
Jul 22, 2011
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By: Joan
I lived in CA and had a serious run of bad luck, major health problems etc. I defaulted on my credit cards while living in CA and made the last payment in CA 2006. I went to live in Wisconsin with relatives. Now, slowly getting back on my feet. Can the credit card companies still sue me since the SOL in CA in 4 years but in WI it is 6 years?
Jul 21, 2011
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By: Nancy
I am being sued by DB Servicing Corp on behalf of Discover. The payments are at least 4 years in errrors and possibly even 5. I haven't found all of my old files yet to confirm last payment. My question is - what is the time-barred (*statue of limitations in Arkansas) for Credit Card (*Open end) accounts. Can I get this suit thrown out?
Jul 13, 2011
Photo of lisa
By: lisa
Hi: My account was charged off by AMEX. It was sold to a collection agency. The collection agency is called me to make payment arrangements. My question is this: If I begin payments with the collection agency, is that going to help my case with AMEX. I mean, on my credit report, for the next 6 years (GA), it will show an AMEX charge off - correct? thanks
Jul 14, 2011
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Odysseas Papadimitriou
@lisa - Unfortunately, nothing will make the charge-off go away for the next 7 years after you charged-off.
Jul 7, 2011
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By: Dave
Nice article, good advice, but your table is incorrect about the length of the statute of limitations in Louisiana, according to Statute 2-3494-4, the statute of limitations for credit card debt in Louisiana is 3 years, not 10. Might want to research the others as well.
Jul 8, 2011
Photo of Odysseas P.
Odysseas Papadimitriou
@Dave - In most cases credit card agreements fall under the statute of limitations for written contracts which is 10 years for Louisiana. Is there any evidence that credit cards are held to the 3yr limit in Louisiana?
Jun 16, 2011
Photo of dawn
By: dawn
if my last payment was june of 2008 and i recvd a summons to court 1st week in july...does this fall under time barred?. there has been no judgement made and it is 3 yrs from last payment i made?
Jul 6, 2011
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Odysseas Papadimitriou
@dawn - I assume the SOL in your state is 3 years and that is why you are asking this question. However, I also assume that your creditor filed his claim before the 3 years expired, even though your summons date is after the 3 years - right?
Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Centerville
By: Centerville
If I make a payment on a debt that it's SOL expired, will this (payment) reset the SOL?

Thanks
Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Centerville
By: Centerville
If the time I had the debt I was living in KY for instance, and before SOL expired I moved to another state. Which state's SOL will be considered?

Thanks
Apr 26, 2011
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By: Centerville
If I live in, say, NY and the credit card grantor is based in CA for instance, which state the SOL will be considered?

Thanks.
Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Centerville
By: Centerville
How about if a creditor filed a case against me before SOL expiry (lets say one year from the last payment I made), but I was not there in the court. Now, SOL has expired. Can the creditor get his money back with this scenario?

Thanks
Jul 6, 2011
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Odysseas Papadimitriou
@Centerville - lets try to address your questions: 1) How about if a creditor filed a case against me before SOL expiry (lets say one year from the last payment I made), but I was not there in the court. Now, SOL has expired. Can the creditor get his money back with this scenario? >> Yes they can 2) If I live in, say, NY and the credit card grantor is based in CA for instance, which state the SOL will be considered? >> NY 3) If the time I had the debt I was living in KY for instance, and before SOL expired I moved to another state. Which more
Feb 7, 2011
Photo of Odysseas P.
By: Odysseas Papadimitriou
@cmemo3 - We recommend NOT paying small amounts unless those amounts are part of a mutually agreed payment plan that the customer can realistically afford. Otherwise the dent on the overall debt amount will be small and the statute of limitations longer.
Feb 7, 2011
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By: Odysseas Papadimitriou
@Mike - short sales are done with the banks approval and therefore they can not come after you since they have already agreed to a reduced amount.
Feb 4, 2011
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By: goodnelly
Excellent article! I think this chart will be extremely helpful for the consumers. A lot of consumers don’t know the statute of limitations period in their state. Well, I think they should know about it. It will help them to fight with their credit card debts. The reason is, if the SOL period on a credit card debt has expired, then the creditors can’t sue the consumers for it.
Feb 1, 2011
Photo of cmemo3
By: cmemo3
This looks like you are recommending NOT paying small amounts on a debt to help decrease the debt if you can't pay what is owed. If the statute of limitations is 6 years (as in Georgia), isn't the likelihood of lawsuit by the creditor higher if you make no payments?
Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Mike
By: Mike
With all these foreclosures can a mortgage company chase you for money still owed from a short sale?

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