Debts have a form of expiration dates called statute of limitations. Statute of limitations is the amount of time a debt collector can legally obtain a judgment against you for a debt. Expired statute of limitations prevents debt collectors from pursuing a debt indefinitely. Before you begin paying off an old debt, confirm that your statute of limitations has not expired. Each state varies in time periods for various categories of debts. This article will inform you more on statute of limitations, specifically in the state of Indiana.
|Oral Contract||6 years|
|Written Contract||10 years|
|Promissory Note||10 years|
|Open Accounts||6 years|
The last date of activity on the account is when the statute of limitations starts. The account’s last date of activity can also be found on your credit report. Statute of limitations is generally 3-10 years, and this is the time period where debt collectors can utilize the court to force you to pay the debt. Court systems do not keep track of statute of limitations, so it is necessary that you do.
It is important to remember that once statute of limitations expires, it does not mean your debt vanishes. You still have to repay the debt, however the debt collector can no longer get a judgment against you. Not all debts have statute of limitations, such as income taxes and federal student loans.
There are four categories of debt: oral contract, written contract, promissory notes, and open-ended accounts. Oral contracts are agreements made verbally and legally binding. Written contracts are agreements on printed and signed documents. Promissory notes are a form of written contracts that include a specific promise to pay. These agreements also include interest rates, repayment schedule, and consequences of default. Finally, open-ended accounts have varying, revolving balances. An example of this would be credit card accounts.
In Indiana, the statute of limitations on oral contracts and open-ended accounts is 6 years. The statute of limitations on written contracts and promissory notes is 10 years.
It is important you are responsible for repaying your debt. Even if the statutes of limitations have expired, your debt is visible and will affect your credit score. Debt collectors cannot receive a judgment against you if you raise the proper defense; however they can still file a lawsuit against you. You are responsible for your debt, so do research and understand the specific laws on your debt.
Statute of limitations can be used in your advantage if you are careful. If they are expired, you can use this in court to prevent the harassment by debt collectors.
Pranjali works for the University Archives at North Carolina State University. She volunteers at Occupational Therapist offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. Pranjali is in the University Scholar’s Program and a member of Psi Chi Honor Fraternity. She is a co-captain of an Indian folk-dance team at NC State.
While she is not busy applying for graduate school, she enjoys working out, traveling, and listening to music. Her interests include fashion, all things French, and spending time with friends and family.
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