How long can a debt collector legally pursue old debt?

How long can a debt collector legally pursue old debt?

How long can a debt collector legally pursue old debt?

Key points

  • The statute of limitations is the rule that says debt collectors can't sue you after a certain amount of time has passed. It varies from state to state.

  • You are not officially required to pay back debts that are more than a certain amount of time old in your state. You might have to go to court, though, to show that the claim is no longer valid.

  • If a bill collector calls you, don't give them your personal information or pay over the phone. Instead, ask for the notice of debt collection that they are supposed to give you within five days.

When situations become confusing, it's possible to get into excessive debt and stop making payments. For example, if you lose your job, an unexpected tragedy happens, or you get a terrible medical diagnosis, this is especially important. You may be shocked, "How long can a debt collector legally pursue old debt?"

Six years are all that you have to pay off a loan in Ohio. Once every six years, a debt collector can't go to court to get back an old bill. In Ohio, debt that has been unpaid for more than six years is also known as "time-barred debt." But remember that you still owe the money; the loan doesn't go away. A collector can't legally sue you to get the money they owe you after a certain amount of time has passed. It's also possible for your debt to show up on your credit report even after six years, which may negatively impact your credit score.

An experienced attorney can tell you about the rules in Ohio that govern debt collection and your legal rights. In addition, they can help you look at your choices, such as whether filing for bankruptcy would give you lasting relief from these debts. You can reach out ( ………..) to learn more about how we can help.

If you owe money, can you continue to collect it for a different amount of time?

Some states make a difference between types of debt, like consumer debt vs. mortgage debt, but Ohio only does that sometimes. In most situations, Ohio's statute of limitations is six years, no matter what kind of debt it is (see below for exceptions). If you pay a bill for six years, the debt collector can sue you for the unpaid amount.

But keep in mind that someone can erratically start the clock over on old debt. This means that the six-year period can begin all over again, even if a lot of time has already passed. What kinds of things can start over on old debt?

  • Making in a Charge. A credit card or department store card debt that has been past due for a few years will start to grow again if you make a new charge on that credit card. This is because of the statute of limitations.

  • Paying for something. If you pay off a debt, even if it's only a small amount, the debt's age is reset, and the six-year cap on collections starts over.

  • Getting a bankruptcy discharge taken away. If you got your debt forgiven through bankruptcy fraud, the court can take back that release, put the debt back on your record, and start the six-year collection period all over again.

Making a Deal to Pay. Once you talk to a creditor, admit that you owe them money, and agree to pay it, even if it's not today, the six-year clock on that debt starts over.

In and of itself, disputing a debt doesn't start over with an old debt if you claim that it is yours.



For some types of debt, the time limit only runs out if you pay the bill. The six-year time-barred debt rule doesn't apply in Ohio if the debt is one of these types:

Student Loans

If you have government student loan debt, you always have to pay it off. Even if you live in Ohio and have yet to make a payment in over six years, you will still have to pay this.

Taxes Not Paid

To get back unpaid taxes, the Ohio Attorney General can file a case seven years after the date of the tax assessment. These can be different kinds of taxes, like property taxes, income taxes, or others.


Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives thousands of people a fresh start every year. If you owe a lot of money and can't pay it back, this could be the right choice for you. If you have a skilled, low-cost bankruptcy lawyer by your side, the process is simple and doesn't take long. Here is more about Chapter 7, and here is more about Chapter 13. Trying to put off paying off old debt forever is generally not a good idea. You can start over by filing for bankruptcy. This can give you a fresh start and put you back in charge of your money.


What state laws affect credit cards and credit counselling services? does a good job of giving out information about these laws so you can feel safe about who can see your credit card information. Two rules in Ohio protect people's privacy when it comes to their credit cards. These laws are the same as federal rules.

The Credit Card Truncation Act of 1993 states that sellers are prohibited from giving up credit card account numbers, Social Security numbers, expiration dates, or other important financial data about their customers.

The purpose of the Credit Card Recording Act of 2004 is the same. It states that sellers can't put credit card expiration dates or more than five digits of a credit card number on paper.


Debt has become too much to handle, and calls from creditors are depressing and stressful. Someone who owes you money can't sue you for it after six years in Ohio, but this is not the best way to move forward. Debtors will still be able to sue, but the bill will still be there. It might be better to file for bankruptcy and get the debt erased for good. When you file for bankruptcy, the goal is to start over and get your finances in better shape. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss more about how we can help you start over at (………………………………..)

State debt collection limitations

A different acronym for the statute of limitations is the period during which debt collectors can formally sue people for unpaid debt. The time you have to pay back a debt varies by state and type of debt and can be anywhere from three to twenty years.

To get you started, here is a list of each state's debt statute of limitations for different types of debt. However, keep in mind that credit card companies will sometimes argue in court that the law in their home state, not yours, should apply.

In the following table:

When you sign a written contract, you agree to pay certain bills. This is true even if the contract itself isn't very formal, like a few notes written between neighbours.

These are bills that didn't have a written contract, but there were verbal promises to pay them back.

Debts supported by promissory notes have a special kind of contract called a "promissory note" that spells out how many payments are due, when they are due, and how much interest is added to each payment. Mortgages, school loans, personal loans, and other formal debt arrangements often use promissory notes.

Credit cards and lines of credit are examples of open-ended accounts because you can borrow money from them, pay it back, and then borrow money from them again.

Also, it's important to keep aware that case law and state laws about statutes of limitation are always changing, and they often have more details than a single table can show. For instance, changes made to Frankfort state law in 2014 changed the amount of time that people have to file a claim after signing a written agreement, such as a credit card application. Vermont has a 14-year statute of limitations for bills backed by promissory notes unless no one saw the note being signed. In that case, the statute of limitations is only six years.

In conclusion,

The debt collection process isn't fun, but you do have choices, and it doesn't mean that you'll always have bad credit. To make sure that the debt collector is real and that you're still within the debt collection statute of limitations, you should check that the debt is yours and that the debt collector is real.

It would help if you also learned about your rights during the debt collection process. For example, you should know when, where, and how often debt collectors can call you. That's it! You can now start making a plan to get out of this mess, whether that means paying the bill, negotiating a settlement, waiting for the grace period to end, or something else.

No matter what you decide to do, keep updated on how long your debt will last and know not only your choices but also how they might affect your long-term finances. It might help a lot to talk to a financial advisor or a consumer law attorney during this process.

ALina Kelian
19th May 2018 Reply

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Rlex Kelian
19th May 2018 Reply

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Roboto Alex
21th May 2018 Reply

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