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Statute of Limitations (w/PDF) Copy

Statute of limitations are a set of rules or guidelines on how long a creditor can enforce payment on a debt using our legal system (a.k.a. Sue You for A Judgment/Lien); they vary by state and debt type.
 
The ‘clock’, or time frame to sue, usually starts when the debt first becomes delinquent or when a payment was last made.
 
The clock can restart if a written payment arrangement is made.
 
It can also be paused if you leave the state, the country, file bankruptcy, etc. depending on state law.
 
When a debt is past your statute of limitations, this DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT BE SUED, it simply means you can use the expiration of the state’s statute of limitation time frame as an affirmative defense (except MS & WI; it’s illegal there).
 
It is up to you to inform the court that the SOL has expired.  The judge will not do this on your behalf – this is YOUR job.

Attached are a list of statute of limitations by state.
 
  • PLEASE DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH FEDERAL REPORTING LIMITATIONS.
  • THEY ARE 2 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.  ONE IS FEDERAL – IT GOVERNS HOW LONG SOMETHING CAN REPORT ON OUR CREDIT REPORTS.
  • ONE (STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS) IS STATE-BASED. IT GOVERNS HOW LONG A DEBT CAN BE LEGALLY ENFORCED.
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