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Rachel Hunter, J.D. | Article

Debts and the Statute of Limitations

11/22/2012
All civil causes of action are governed by the statute of limitations and debts are no different. The statute of limitations begins to run as soon as the right to suit first arises. In regard to credit card debt, that typically is the date on which the last payment was made or the date on which the first delinquency occurred. The problem with debts is that the statute of limitations can be a tricky thing – sometimes statutes say one thing and courts say another. Moreover, a debtor may take out a credit card in one state and then move to another state. This brings up the question of what statute of limitation applies (generally, its either the state where the debtor resides, the state where the credit card was obtained or the state law referenced in the contract – for more on this see Tolling and the Statute of Limitations).

Here is a link to a very handy chart: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-state-statute-limitations-1282.ph. Most states generally fall somewhere between 3 and 6 years, although a few states have longer statutes of limitation. Because each situation may be different, if you think that a debt may be barred by the statute of limitations, check with competent legal counsel in the state where you reside to see whether the debt is barred.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Rachel Lea Hunter

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