Statutes of Limitation on Credit Card Debt Varies from State to State reporter Fred Williams has posted an informative report on the statute of limitations that apply to credit card debts. To determine how long a credit card issuer can file suit, a consumer has to figure out which state’s law applies, how long the statute is in that state, and figure out when the statute began to run on the debt. Each of our 50 states has different laws that apply. In California the statute of limitations is 4 years. Generally, the statute begins to run when the debt first becomes delinquent. The reporter found that some 17 states have...


Court Holds Statute of Limitations for Telephone Bills is Only Two Years

A federal statute, 47 U.S.C. Section 415 (a), provides that the statute of limitations for civil actions to collect on unpaid telephone bills is two (2) years. Most state statute of limitations are much longer. California’s statute is four (4) years for debts based on contracts. New York’s law is six (6) years. In an interesting decision, a trial court in Queens County, New York, recently held that the two year federal statute preempts state law. If the decision is upheld on appeal, a significant number of collection actions involving telephone bills will be subject to dismissal. The key factual...


Statute of Limitations Defense to Debt Collection? Not So Fast

In May 2006 a debt collector sued an Oregon consumer–in Oregon–for a credit card debt. The consumer had made her last payment in November 2001 before she defaulted. The credit card agreement said that New Hampshire law would apply to the agreement. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for an action on a credit card is three years. So the consumer has a statute of limitations defense to the 2006 lawsuit, right? Wrong, according to today’s opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Avery v. First Resolution Management Corp. New Hampshire law also provides that the statute...



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