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Statute Of Limitations - How It Might Help Your Debt Problems

Updated on October 12, 2011

Its wise to be financially responsible and not get caught up in owing too much debt if you can help it. There are so many ways to get deep in debt and it can snowball out of control. It is highly recommended to get out of debt, pay it off as soon as you can, so that you actually get to keep and spend more of your money. Owing debt means the creditor gets so much of your money through interest and feeds just because they finance your debt.

The statute of limitations on a number of different kinds of debt. This basically means that your creditors only have a specific amount of time, depending on your state, that they can legally sue you as a means of collecting the debt.

The details vary from state to state so you want to check with your particular state to find those out, but it can vary on the kind of debt that is in question as well. It is a bit different for credit card accounts than for your mortgage on your house.

What is the time frame involved? The time at which the "clock starts ticking" on the statute of limitations is from the last date of any activity on whichever accounts are in question. So say the statute is approximately 3 years, then 3 years to the day after your last account activity, that debt is legally not collectible. That account is still considered delinquent, and it will still show up that way on your credit report for about 7 years. The biggest point to be made is that the creditors and/or collection agencies can no longer collect the money from you. The statute of limitations will have run out. They may still try however, to collect the debt.

If you need to find out more for a past state you have lived in, or for your current state, the state Attorney General's office will usually have this information. You can call them or visit them on the Internet.

What if they try to collect after the statute has run out? If they try to collect after the fact, you can tell them that the debt can't be collected on any longer. In essence, they can't go to court and try to get a judgement against you.

Have Proof of your last account activity. Its smart to have some proof of your last account activity and you can do this by getting a copy of your credit report. That report will have a list of the dates reported by the creditor. That constitutes proof if you are called to go to court on the debt.

While this is not the best scenario, this may be a great help to people that have been through huge struggles. Its always the best thing to pay off your debts, but this is something that can perhaps take away the hopelessness or helplessness that can sometimes come with overwhelming debt.


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you for the comment PhoenixV.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Good information on dealing with debt.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I didn't realize it for a long time either, KoffeeKlatch Gals... I have a feeling many don't realize it. Thank you for stopping by and for the comment!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I had no idea there was a statute of limitations on debts. Interesting.