Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

Does the Statute of Limitations for Debt go by the state you live in or the state the debt occurred?
I have a question about the statute of limitations on debts. Which state does that go by? Does it go by where the debt was established or by where you currently live?
Gerri Detweiler:
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Typically a creditor or collection agency will sue you in the state in which you currently live, and the statute of limitations for that state will apply.

This is just one reason why you should not try to hide from your creditors. If they cannot find your current address and notify you of a lawsuit at your old address, they may end up getting a "default judgment" against you when you don't respond or show up in court. At a minimum, make sure your credit report lists your current address, as they will check your credit report as one source of information to find you if they decide to take you to court.

If you are sued, I highly recommend you talk with a consumer law attorney (visit or for a referral.) They can clarify the statute of limitations for you, and help you respond to a lawsuit.

DeAnna Klokkenga CFP :
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Every state has laws governing the time in which a person or entity can file suit to collect a debt. Generally, a creditor or debt collector gives up his right to file suit to collect a debt after a period of six years from the time the debt was written off in the state you currently reside in. Some debts don't have a statute of limitations. This includes federal student loans, child support in some states, and income taxes. You need to research the laws in your state and find out when the
statute of limitations ends in your current state of residence for your particular type of debt.

Any time you take an action with an account, the statute of limitations is restarted. Making a payment, making a promise of payment, entering a payment agreement, or making a charge using the account can restart the statute of limitations on an account.
Loretta D. Hutchinson:
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This is more of a legal issue with not enough detail provided.
Delores Lenzy - Jones, CPA, CIA:
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I believe the statute of limitations varies state to state.