Statue of Limitation of Credit Card Debt

I get this questions a lot, why is my creditor suing me now when it has been several years since I defaulted on this debt?  Hasn’t the statute of limitation ran?


In order to answer this question, the factual situation of each debts needs to be determined.


What Statute of Limitation Applies?

First, in California, the statute of limitation for a written contract, which is what most credit cards are, is 4 years.  CCP337.  Just because you live in California and obtained the credit card in California, however, is not determinative that California law applies.  Sometimes, the agreement you sign, may indicate that another state law governs the contract.  If that is the case, then that states statute of limitation law will apply to your credit card.


Go to this website for a breakdown of statute of limitations for different states:


Keep in mind also that in order to prevent a lawsuit with a statute of limitation argument, it must be pleaded when the lawsuit is brought.  If it is not, then you forever lose this defense.


Tolling Statute of Limitations

Keep in mind that there are various things that occur which can also toll the statute limitations.  For example, when a debtor is out of the state in which they obtained the credit card, the statute of limitation is tolled.  CCP351 .  Also, if you make a payment toward the credit card, that will toll the statute of limitation.  The best thing to do would be to consult us about your particular situation.


Statute of Limitation versus Negative Reporting

Keep in mind that while the statute of limitation may have run on a debt, that doesn’t mean the creditor needs to stop reporting it as a negative mark on your credit report.  This mean that even if it’s been 4 years since you last paid your credit card, they won’t just fall off your credit report.  They can continue to report on your credit report for seven years.


Please contact Seneca Law Group for legal advice more tailored for your specific situation.

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