State Statutes

State Statutes


How old is too old?

As is so often the case the answer is, it depends. Each state has it’s own statutes governing the amount of time you have to sue a debtor. Once the statute date has passed your debt is considered to be time-barred and while in many cases you can continue to try to collect you can not sue, you’ve lost your leverage and nearly eliminated your chances of success, many agencies won’t be interested in taking your case at this point.

However all is not necessarily lost, even if the state statute for your debt has passed you may be able to credit report your debtor. Most bad debts can be credit reported for up to 7 years adding in some cases another 3 years to the amount of time you can have a negative impact on your debtor’s credit report. This is often enough to convince a debtor to try to get you paid.

Often but not always the timer starts from the last time your customer or debtor made a payment. This is one reason a debt collector might accept what appears to be an absurdly small payment, they’re often trying to restart the clock! Again this varies from state to state and laws are constantly changing.

The chart provided here gives you a state by state summary of the statutes governing delinquent debt. Please note: This is not legal advice.  The information provided is the most accurate information we could find at the time we published however there may be, in fact probably have been changes made since. Please consider this to be a guideline. For the most accurate and up to date information check with the State Attorney General in which your debtor resides, not necessarily the state in which the debt was incurred.

State Written Contract Oral Contract Promissory Note Open Account §§
Alabama 3 6/3* 6 3 § 6-2-34
Alaska 4 3 6 3 §90.10.053
Arizona 6 3 5 3 § 12-548
Arkansas 5 5/3* 5/3* 3/5* § 4-3-118
California 4 2 4 4 § 337
Colorado 6 6 6 6 §13-80-101.5
Connecticut 6 3 6 6 Ch 925 52-576
Delaware 3 3 6/3* 4
DC 3 3 3 3
Florida 5 4 5 4
Georgia 6 4 6 4
Hawaii 6 6 6 6
Idaho 5 4 5 4
Illinois 10 5 10 5
Indiana 10 6 10 6
Idaho 4 5 5 4
Iowa 10 5 5 5/10*
Kansas 5/3* 3 5/3* 3
Kentucky 15 5 15 5/15*
Louisiana 10 10/3* 10 3
Maine 6 6 6 6
Maryland 3 3 6 3
Massachusetts 6 6 6 6
Michigan 6 6 6 6
Minnesota 6 6 6 6
Mississippi 3 3 3 3
Missouri 10/5* 5 10/5* 5
Montana 8 3/5* 8 5/8*
Nebraska 5/4* 5 5/4* 4
Nevada 6/4* 4 3/4* 4
New Hampshire 3 3 6/3* 3
New Jersey 6 6 6 6
New Mexico 6/4* 4 6/4* 4
New York 6 6 6 6
North Carolina 3 3 5 4/3*
North Dakota 6 6 6 6
Ohio 15/6* 6 15/6* 6
Oklahoma 5 3 5 3/5
Oregon 6 6 6 6
Pennsylvania 6/4* 4 4 6/4*
Rhode Island 10 10 6/10* 4/10*
South Carolina 3/10* 3/10* 3 3
South Dakota 6/3* 6 6 6 §15-2-13
Tennessee 4/6* 6 6 6
Texas 4 4 4 4 §16.004
Utah 6 4 6 4
Vermont 6/5* 6/3* 5/6* 4/3*
Virginia 6 3/6 6/5 3/6
Washington 6 3 6 3/5
West Virginia 15/10* 5/10* 6/10* 4/10*
Wisconsin 6 6 10 6
Wyoming 10 8 10 8 §1-3-105