Statute of Limitations on Debt in Delaware

Are you being harassed by a debt collector for an old debt you thought was written off years ago? If so, it is likely that you are being contacted by a scavenger debt collector. These individuals are known for using illegal and unethical methods to collect “time-barred” debt. However, if the debt is considered too old by your state then you do not have to pay it.

Oral Contract 3 years
Written Contract 3 years
Promissory Note 3 years
Open Accounts 4 years

Every state has laws governing the time in which a person can file a suit to collect a debt. This is known as the statute of limitations. There are four different types of agreements to which this statute of limitations applies to: oral contract, written contract, promissory note, and open-ended accounts. For the state of Delaware, the first three agreements have a limit of three years and the final one has a limit of four years.

An oral contract is a verbal agreement between two parties to pay back a debt. No contract was written when the agreement was made. These are legally blinding, but it is more difficult to prove in court because you do not have any physical evidence.

A written contract is an agreement made on printed document that has been signed by both parties, both the lender and the borrower. These are also legally blinding, and are easier to prove in court than oral contracts.

A promissory note is just like a written contract, but the big difference is that the scheduled payments, interest on the loan, and consequences of default is written out in detail in the promissory note. An example of this is your mortgage. The last type of agreement are open-ended accounts. These are accounts that have a varying, revolving balance. The best example for this is a credit card account.

The statute of limitations starts on the last date of activity on the account. Even if it has expired, some debt collectors will continue to attempt to collect. They will try to get you to pay up if they threaten you enough. However, if you are certain that the statute of limitations for your state has expired, you can use this as justification to not pay.

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan

Archana Sabesan is a junior at North Carolina State University. She is currently pursuing a major in Psychology, with a primary focus in Child Psychology, and a minor in Spanish. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain her PsyD degree in Clinical Psychology. Her experiences at Stanford University and Duke University as an Undergraduate Research Assistant have helped her to develop an effective research regiment and build on her observation skills. She hopes to open a private practice of her own in the future.

Every summer, Archana works at Kumon, a math and reading workshop, tutoring children between the ages of three and 18 in these subjects. She used to be enrolled in this program herself, so this allows her to connect with the students and give them the one-on-one help that they need. Archana is also currently a member of NC State’s Psychology Club, Rotaract Club, and EKTAA (NC State’s premiere South Asian Student Organization).

Archana was born in India, and moved to North Carolina with her immediate family when she was 7 years old. She speaks mostly Tamil, the native language of South India, and English in her home. In addition, having taken Spanish classes since 6th grade, she can speak and understand it pretty well too. Archana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, listening to music, and going to the gym. She also loves to travel, and hopes to travel the world one day and learn about all the different cultures!
Archana Sabesan