How Long Can a Creditor Collect on Debt?

There are four categories of debt:

  1. Oral Agreements
  2. Written Contracts (medical debt, typical collection accounts)
  3. Promissory Notes (car loans, student loans, installment loans)
  4. Open-ended accounts (credit cards)

Each state has it’s own law that dictates how many years a creditor may collect. It’s also called the Statute of Limitations.

However, even if a debt is past the legal date, bottom-feeding collectors will persist in trying to get money out of you. That’s why it’s good to know the law in your state.

Credit card debt statute of limitations, by state

State Years State statute Source
Alabama 3 years Title 6 Ch.2 Sec. 37 State law
Alaska 3 years 9.10.053 State law
Arizona 6 years HB 24121 State law
Arkansas 5 years 4-3-118 State law
California 4 years Code of Civil Procedure S.337 State law
Colorado 6 years Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13 S.80-103.5 State law 2
Connecticut 6 years Chapter 926 Sec. 52-576 State law 3
Washington, D.C. 3 years 12-301 D.C. code 4
Delaware 3 years Title 10, Sec. 8106 State law
Florida 5 years4 95.11 State law
Georgia 6 years5 9-3-24 State law
Hawaii 6 years 657-1 State law
Idaho 5 years 5-216 State law
Illinois 5 years7 Code of Civil Procedure 5/13-205 State law
Scroll to 735 ILCS 5/13-205
Indiana 6 years Title 34 Art.11, 2-9 State law
Iowa 5 years Ch. 614.1.4 State law See note.14
Kansas 3 years 60-512 State law
Kentucky 5 or 15 years 413.120 and 413.090 Conflicting state laws 12
Louisiana 3 years Civil Code Sec. 2 Art. 3494 State law
Maine 6 years 14-205-752 State law
Maryland 3 years Section 5-101 State law
Massachusetts 6 years General Laws Part III Title V Ch. 260-2 State law
Michigan 6 years Ch. 600.5807.8 State law
Minnesota 6 years Civil Procedure Ch.541.05 State law
Mississippi 3 years 15-1-29 State law
Missouri 5 years Ch. 516-120 State law
Montana 8 years 27-2-202 State law
Nebraska 4 years 25-206 State law
Nevada 4 years 11-190 State law
New Hampshire 6 years 382-A:3-118 (g) State law
New Jersey 6 years 2A:14-1 State law
New Mexico 4 years 37-1-4 State law
New York 6 years Civil Practice Law & Rules, 2-213 State law
North Carolina 3 years Civil Procedure 1-52.1 State law
North Dakota 6 years 28-01-16 State law
Ohio 6 years Courts – Common Pleas, Ch. 2305.07 State law
Oklahoma 5 years 12-95A(1) State law
Go to Title 12 and click on the link. Open the file and go to Section 12-95.
Oregon 6 years Oregon Revised Statutes, Civil Procedure Ch. 12.080 State law
Pennsylvania 4 years Judicial Procedure 42 Pa. C.S. 5525(a) State law
Rhode Island 10 years 9-1-13 State law
South Carolina 3 years Code of Laws Title 15 Ch. 3 Sec.530 State law 8
South Dakota 6 years 15-2-13 State law
Tennessee 6 years Title 28 3-109 State law 9
Texas 4 years Civil Practice and Remedies Code, S.16.004 State law
Utah 6 years 78B-2-30910 State law
Vermont 6 years 9A-3-118 State law
Virginia 3 years 8.01-246 State law. See note.13
Washington 6 years Revised Code of Washington 4.16.040 State law
West Virginia 10 years 55-2-6 State law
Wisconsin 6 years 893.43 State law 11
Wyoming 8 years 1-3-105 State law

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