Statute of Limitations 2021 for Credit Card Debt

Each state has its own law for how long a credit card company can sue a person for non-payment. This is a good consumer protection, but then we have to ask, which state does the law go by?

Most of the major credit card companies tell you in the contract which state applies to their agreement. Others go by the state the consumer lives in — but not all. So be careful and speak with an attorney in your state if you aren’t sure. (Charts below.)

Three main things to know:

  1. Just because the Statute of Limitations is reached, it doesn’t mean they still can’t contact you to ask for payment. The debt doesn’t magically disappear; it’s just that they cannot force you to pay by going to court.
  2. A collector might still file a lawsuit in an attempt to collect, even past the SOL. If you don’t show up in court to tell the judge the debt is old, you automatically lose and the creditor automatically wins. Therefore, you must never ignore a summons to court.
  3. The Statute of Limitations is different than the date a debt ages off your credit report. A debt past the SOL can remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of first delinquency or last payment or last acknowledgement of the debt.

This chart shows major credit card issuers, which state law they go by for SOL, and the years they can sue in court.

IssuerStateYears credit card debt is collectible in court
American ExpressUtah6
Bank of AmericaNorth Carolina3
CitiSouth Dakota6
Capital OneVirginia*3**
US Bank******
Wells FargoSouth Dakota6
*Capital One says Virginia law rules, unless the cardholder’s state has a longer statute.**5 years if creditor produces signed account agreement and documentation of interest rate and repayment terms.***US Bank’s terms and conditions agreement specifies which state law should apply to arbitration, but not for other matters, such as unpaid debt.

Credit card debt statute of limitations, by state

StateYearsState statuteSource
Alabama3 yearsTitle 6 Ch.2 Sec. 37State law
Alaska3 years9.10.053State law
Arizona6 yearsHB 24121State law
Arkansas5 years4-3-118State law
California4 yearsCode of Civil Procedure S.337State law
Colorado6 yearsColorado Revised Statutes Title 13 S.80-103.5State law 2
Connecticut6 yearsChapter 926 Sec. 52-576State law 3
Washington, D.C.3 years12-301D.C. code 4
Delaware3 yearsTitle 10, Sec. 8106State law
Florida5 years495.11State law
Georgia6 years59-3-24State law
Hawaii6 years657-1State law
Idaho5 years5-216State law
Illinois5 years7Code of Civil Procedure 5/13-205State law
Scroll to 735 ILCS 5/13-205
Indiana6 yearsTitle 34 Art.11, 2-9State law
Iowa5 yearsCh. 614.1.4State law See note.14
Kansas3 years60-512State law
Kentucky5 or 15 years413.120 and 413.090Conflicting state laws 12
Louisiana3 yearsCivil Code Sec. 2 Art. 3494State law
Maine6 years14-205-752State law
Maryland3 yearsSection 5-101State law
Massachusetts6 yearsGeneral Laws Part III Title V Ch. 260-2State law
Michigan6 yearsCh. 600.5807.8State law
Minnesota6 yearsCivil Procedure Ch.541.05State law
Mississippi3 years15-1-29State law
Missouri5 yearsCh. 516-120State law
Montana8 years27-2-202State law
Nebraska4 years25-206State law
Nevada4 years11-190State law
New Hampshire6 years382-A:3-118 (g)State law
New Jersey6 years2A:14-1State law
New Mexico4 years37-1-4State law
New York6 yearsCivil Practice Law & Rules, 2-213State law
North Carolina3 yearsCivil Procedure 1-52.1State law
North Dakota6 years28-01-16State law
Ohio6 yearsCourts – Common Pleas, Ch. 2305.07State law
Oklahoma5 years12-95A(1)State law
Go to Title 12 and click on the link. Open the file and go to Section 12-95.
Oregon6 yearsOregon Revised Statutes, Civil Procedure Ch. 12.080State law
Pennsylvania4 yearsJudicial Procedure 42 Pa. C.S. 5525(a)State law
Rhode Island10 years9-1-13State law
South Carolina3 yearsCode of Laws Title 15 Ch. 3 Sec.530State law 8
South Dakota6 years15-2-13State law
Tennessee6 yearsTitle 28 3-109State law 9
Texas4 yearsCivil Practice and Remedies Code, S.16.004State law
Utah6 years78B-2-30910State law
Vermont6 years9A-3-118State law
Virginia3 years8.01-246State law. See note.13
Washington6 yearsRevised Code of Washington 4.16.040State law
West Virginia10 years55-2-6State law
Wisconsin6 years893.43State law 11
Wyoming8 years1-3-105State law
1On April 12, 2011, the governor signed House Bill 2412 into law. This bill amends Section 12-548 of the state code and makes the statute of limitations for credit card debt six years.
2Clicking on this link takes you to a third-party website. Click “I Agree” to the terms. Click on the Colorado Revised Statutes link on the left column. On the page that appears, type 13-80-103.5 on the search line and hit enter. Scroll down to and click on the link for 13-80-103.5 to go to the section.
3Go to Statutes, then Browse statutes, scroll to Ch. 926, Sec. 52-576.
4 Search by section number.
5 According to the Georgia Department of Law, appeals court cases have found the six-year period for contracts applies to credit card debt. See Phoenix Recovery Group Inc. v. Mehta, 2008.
6 An Illinois appeals court ruled on May 20, 2009, that a credit card agreement did not qualify as a written contract subject to the 10 year statute of limitations.
7 Court decisions have affirmed that card agreements qualify as written contracts with a 10-year statute of limitations. However, the state appeals court ruled in 2011 that the plaintiff must provide the debtor’s actual agreement, not a generic agreement. If the debt collector can’t produce an original credit card agreement, the five-year clock for nonwritten contracts applies, the court ruled. See Gemini v New, 2011.
8 At “Quick Search” section select “Code of Laws” from menu and type “15 3 530” into search window, without dashes; press “Enter.” In search results, select link for “Chapter 3.”
9 Clicking on this link takes you to a third-party website. Click “I Agree” to the terms. On the page that appears, type 28-3-109 on the search line and hit enter. Click on the item for 28-3-109 for “Contracts not otherwise covered.”
10 Utah courts generally apply law of the card issuer’s state.
11 See section 893.43.
12Conflicting state laws and a lack of definitive court ruling make it too hard to say whether Kentucky’s five-year statute or its 15-year statute applies to credit card debts.
13Three-year expiration applies to unwritten contracts; courts may apply five-year clock for written contracts if creditor produces signed account agreement and documentation of repayment terms.
14The 10-year expiration for written contracts could apply if the creditor was able to produce sufficient documentation of the amount of the debt. In practice, however, creditors have only general descriptions of the account, such as the terms and conditions, which fails to meet the standard for a written contract of debt.

One of my book readers was sued for an old debt. Wisely, she contacted a local attorney who accompanied her to court. Not only did the attorney get the case dropped, the attorney then proceeded to file a lawsuit against the creditor for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and my book reader ended up GETTING MONEY from the bad collection company. Ha! That’s what I call justice.

Please check your credit report for accuracy. Please don’t ignore letters from creditors and collectors. And especially, please don’t fail to show up in court which causes you to lose, even if you were in the right!

30 New Letters for Credit Repair Businesses and Entrepreneurs

If you are a credit repair business owner or entrepreneur helping others with credit repair (or a non-profit enterprise), this is especially for you.

Available now: 30 letters to help you take your clients’ dispute process to the next level. Available for business and commercial use.

I have personally written each letter to accomplish 8 criteria:

  1. Sounds like it was written by an individual, not by a business.
  2. Wording must be something that a real person would say.
  3. Grammatical structure must not look like it was professionally written.
  4. Must have a non-business closing.
  5. Cannot have the appearance of a template letter.
  6. Voice of the letter must sound genuine and sincere.
  7. Must be short, one page. Representatives are under pressure to process many letters per hour and don’t want to read long letters. A letter that is too long is in danger of being quickly rejected.
  8. Cannot be part of any other template package.

    For more information, including a list of the 30 letters, please see here.

10 Worst Collection Companies For Illegal Debt Collections

Being in debt is bad enough, but when there are greedy companies out there actively violating U.S. federal law, committing fraud in an attempt to get money out of people who are already struggling, well, that is an OUTRAGE!

I expose the 10 worst companies for illegal debt collection practices below, as per complaints received and recorded by the CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau), a federal agency set up to protect United States citizens.

But first, let me tell you what’s coming soon! In response to the many questions from new credit repair businesses and people who want to start a business, I have created a brand new, unique package of letters for disputes and challenges. The letters that go with the book are copyright protected and are for personal use only. A business would need something different and more unique. I am putting the finishing touches on these super dynamic letters now, and they will soon be released for purchase.

Back to law violators! Look to see if you recognize any of these companies on the Hall of Shame for Debt Collectors:

  1. Encore Capital Group
    The CFPB ordered Encore to pay $42 million to repay customers, plus a $10 million penalty, and to stop collections on $125 million worth of debt.

2. Enhanced Recovery (ERC)

3. Portfolio Recovery Associates

4. Convergent Resources

5. Transworld Systems

6. Diversified Consultants

7. AFNI /Anderson Financial Network (Specialize in working with cell phone and direct TV providers)

8. Citibank, N.A.

9. Resurgent Capital Services

10. Synchrony Financial

Thank you to RewardExpert for compiling this list. You can read their report here.

If you receive a phone call from one of these companies for a past due debt, immediately ask for their contact information (name and mailing address), then ask them to contact you by mail only. DO NOT DEMAND CEASE AND DESIST ALL CONTACT, because that gives them no recourse except to sue you in a court of law. Do not set yourself up for a lawsuit!

There is a lot of bad “info” on the Internet, such as telling people to send a Cease and Desist Letter. Next thing they know, they have been slapped with a lawsuit. Pick up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros: How credit attorneys and certified consultants legally delete bad credit and restore your good name here for the proper way to handle debts.

Student Loan Late Payments Removed

Did you know? Most student loan companies will remove the late payments on a student loan account after you have established 9 months of paying on time.

This is for federal student loans, not private money student loans, although you can still ask.

When you call to request the deletion of the previous late payments, there is a “magic word” you must say, and it is not please. The magic words are, “I have completed the 9-month rehab program of paying on time.”

9-month rehab is the magic code. Use it even if you were not officially pre-enrolled in a student loan rehab program. If you paid on time for 9 months, then that is good enough.

This is a one-time goodwill gesture for federal student loans. You cannot have late payments, then 9 months of on-time payments, then be late again. You need to show perfect payments after your time of financial hardship that caused the lates.

Ask the loan company to report this to the credit bureaus and to give you a copy (just in case you need to send it to the credit bureaus yourself). Most companies are happy to do this.

You can make the request by letter, but why not save time and postage by placing a phone call?

For more tips and strategies about getting late payments removed, see Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.

Available on Amazon

Thank you for helping!

Two weeks ago, I pledged to send my royalty income from book sales to help feed people who are literally starving to death due to the draught that destroyed crops and livestock in Ethiopia.. Food from the Ethiopian government goes through Muslim leaders who refused to give any food to Christians unless they denounced their faith.

New Life Ethiopia asked for funds, with the goal of feeding 400 families for one month to get them past this famine.

Thanks you to all who ordered my books in the last two weeks, I was able to donate $500. And thanks to all who donated directly and to all the caring and generous people on New Life Ethiopia’s newsletter who donated, not only were they able to supply food to all 400 families for one month, they were able to supply food for TWO MONTHS!

If you want to read more about the work of New Life Ethiopia, here is a link to a story about an infant who was found lying on the ground, crying in the night.

Abandoned baby was placed in Joyful Place orphanage until he was adopted.

Personally, I believe in giving to my local church, but also giving to worthy causes like New Life Ethiopia. Here in the United States, no one has to starve to death. I cannot save all the starving people, but I can make a difference for someone, and together, our impact is HUGE! Thank you.

Three Credit Repair Success Stories

May I encourage you with a few more success stories from people who have followed the strategies in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros?

G.R. wrote to say their TransUnion score went from the low 600s to 760.
And Equifax went from the low 600s to 740.
Scores were obtained from Vantage Score, which tends to be a little higher than FICO. But what a difference!

G.R.’s late payments were removed using the Credit Investigation Form in the book.
Collections were removed using slightly customized letters from the book and writing “Urgent” in red across the top.

G.R. is still working on a few minor issues.
Well done! Your credit score improvement will save you money in interest, fees, and premiums.

P.J. wrote to say they received a refund of over $400 in fees collected by the credit card company due to their illegal charges. P.J. wrote, “Your book was awesome!!!!!”
Well done, P.J., and thank you for the five exclamation points!

Katia (who gave permission to use her first name) wrote to say she went from 574 credit to 720 credit in 8 months.

The moment I took repairing credit seriously, I began to reap the benefits. ~ Katia

If you, too, are ready to take your credit and your future seriously, do yourself a favor and grab your copy of the life-changing book from Amazon. This current edition gets you ALL the letters; the old version some resellers are peddling does not contain all the current letters and is missing about 5,000 words of information. Please be aware that an author does not get any royalty payment on used, resold books. Thank you for purchasing new.

Emergency! And what I’m doing about it.

Pictures of dust blown fields, failed crops, children so weak from hunger that they can no longer run and play confirm the bad news. The drought in Ethiopia has caused a crisis in food that is beyond anything America has ever experienced.

The Ethiopian government is trying to help, but there are not enough resources for everyone.

City Administrators distributing food in the small villages are Muslim, and they refuse to give anything to the Christian citizens unless they renounce their faith. This Discrimination is an Outrage!

An organization called New Life Ethiopia run by volunteer Americans and a small staff of paid Ethiopians are asking for help to get food to villages. Top priority goes to the children who are severely malnourished.

How can we turn our faces away? How can we not offer a helping hand?

This woman was so weak she could barely move. Zerihun, the Director, gave her two bags of maize. When he checked on her a week later, he was encouraged to find the woman was able to sit in a chair, having been strengthened from the corn cereal.

Together, we can save lives!

I depend on my book sales for my living, but I am donating 100% of my royalty income retroactive from Sunday through the end of this month to help these dear fellow Believers in crisis.

If you ever thought of purchasing a book for friends or family, now is the time when your purchase can save a life.

If you are a realtor or finance professional, grab some books and staple your business card to the cover. People value and keep books, and then your business card will be top of mind when they need your services.

$50 feeds a family for a month. $25 feeds a family for two weeks. New Life Ethiopia’s goal is to provide food for 400 families for a month to get them past this crisis and literally save their lives. We can help!

If the rains do not come, none of us will survive without help, explained a father.

If you would like to donate directly to New Life Ethiopia, more information and the donation link is HERE.

If you would like to pick up some books, knowing 100% of my personal royalty income goes to this cause, you can do so HERE and HERE.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and God bless you!

Five Money Tips From People with 800 Credit Scores

Would you like to know the “secrets” that people with top tier credit use that people with below average credit don’t seem to know?

As a mortgage broker since 1998, I have seen thousands of credit reports, bank statements, and loan applications. While there are always exceptions, here are five things differences between top tier and below average credit users.

Tips From People with Excellent Credit that Everyone Can Us

  • 1) People with perfect credit have bank statements that show they do not spend money daily.

People with below average credit have bank statements with debit card purchases made daily. They regularly spend at Starbucks, fast food, and convenience stores. They make emotional-buying purchases from TV shows like QVC, HSN, and others. They buy lots of clothes and shoes even though their closets are full. They are buying something every day. It’s like they can’t wait to spend what they just earned that day.

  • 2) People with perfect credit shop for groceries weekly or less often.

People with below average credit pop into grocery and food stores daily. They’re always picking up something to eat for the day, and overall this leads to higher spending on food. Every trip inside a store is an opportunity to buy a display item at the end of the aisle or pick up an extra snack.

  • 3) People with perfect credit have modest car payments.

People with below average credit have car payments that are too high for their incomes. On top of that, they might be financing two cars at the same time. Their transportation cost might even equal a house payment!

  • 4) People with perfect credit show a bank balance that goes up each month. They are spending less than they earn, living below their means.

People with below average credit show bank balances that either decline or barely break even. They figure they are doing fine, because they aren’t going into overdraft status. But they are not doing fine. They are spending money like there is no tomorrow, and they are neglecting to save.

  • 5) People with excellent credit have savings for emergencies. When their car blows a part or the water heater goes out, they don’t have to borrow from a credit card and go deeper into debt. They have the savings to cover it. They don’t pay interest on the car repair or the new home water heater, because they didn’t have to dig into credit to pay for it.

Personally, I know what it’s like to live on a small income so that there is truly no money left over for savings. I remember replacing one package of ground beef with another, because it was a nickel less and my grocery money was that tight. This is not meant to judge people who are barely making it one week to another. But I will also tell you this: when I was poor, I did not spend money on lattes and Big Gulps and I did not buy movies or toys for my kids that I honestly couldn’t afford. My kids learned to respect, “We can’t afford that right now.”

I have seen bank statements with barely any money on the balance, and the people earn a six-figure income. Their bank statements go on for pages with daily purchases, non-essential items, impulse buys, multiple car loans. They never say no to themselves with presented with a “want.”

Yesterday, someone with top tier credit suggested that I share some money tips that everyone can use. I hope this helps at least one person.

Credit Score Increased to 808

This is a picture from one of my book readers showing how her credit score went from 720 to 806. When you have a top tier credit score like this, everyone respects and wants your business!

When you have a top tier credit score, you qualify for all the best financing at the lowest interest rates.

When you have a top tier credit score, you have self-respect and dignity. You set a good example for your children.

When you have top tier credit, you are in control.

She didn’t start off with a 720 score. When she began, her score was in the subprime category. She picked up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros and began the journey to better credit by removing misspellings of her name and addresses that did not belong to her. One address on her report was not even a residence but a business.

After correcting her personal identifying information, she was able to get accounts that were not hers deleted from her credit report. When there are incorrect names and addresses on your credit report, it’s not uncommon for someone else’s account to be merged onto your report also.

Her journey to a 808 credit score was not an overnight process. She could have stopped at 720, because that is a good, respectable score right there. But she had her sights on “800”! All in all, she worked on improving her credit for about a year.

But wow! What a stellar result! And now, she has the confidence, dignity, and respect to be in command of all financial dealings, including being a home owner with a mortgage anyone would be proud of.

Why not start your journey to better credit today? Pick up your copy of the guide here.

Debit or Credit: Which is Better?

Let’s answer three questions to determine if it’s better to use a debit card or a credit card.

Q1: Which card reports to the credit bureaus and builds your credit profile?

Answer: A debit card does not report to the credit bureaus and does NOTHING to contribute to your credit profile or your credit score. How could it? It’s not credit. Credit is about how you handle an advance of money in the form of credit. Debit is not that. It is auto-withdraw from your bank account.

Q2: Which card maintains your privacy when you apply for a home loan?

Answer: As a mortgage broker since 1998, I have seen a lot of bank statements of people who want to qualify to purchase a home. Those bank statements from people who use debit look horrible! The underwriter can see every tiny purchase they make. Their bank statements go on for pages and pages.

There is no privacy whatsoever for all their lattes, fast food, clothing, impulse purchases, restaurants, casino visits, and so on. With a credit card, all the purchases for the month show on one simple line called “Visa.” What they bought is private. It looks good. 

Q3: Which card can boost your credit score?

Only credit card usage contributes to your credit score. Debit is not part of your profile or your score.

I see no reason to use a debit card. Personally, I don’t own one. If you love debit over credit, I would be interested in hearing why. Please click Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading and sharing this information with others who could benefit.

Available on Amazon here.