Statute of Limitations
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A Statute of Limitations (SOL) establishes the maximum amount of time someone has to take a specific action, for example, to file a lawsuit on a specific matter.

Each state has different time limits so one should always consult an attorney to be sure which state applies to the debt in question.

If you are sure that the Statute of Limitations has expired on the debt, then you have nothing to fear from any collection agency or creditor. Even if a lawsuit is filed, all you have to do is provide evidence that the debt is time-barred, which means that the time limit to file has run out.

The time period starts when the debtor first becomes delinquent. However, there are varied opinion as to whether the Statute of Limitations can be restarted by certain actions taken by the debtor. It may be that in some states a payment or a promise to pay can restart the clock.

There is another time limit which you should be aware of. Bad marks on you credit report can only appear for a certain amount of time after the FIRST default. The Statute of Limitations for filing lawsuits has nothing to do with this length of time.

I personally tend to agree with the statement on the Whychat website:

"Neither SOL time period can be changed by making a payment to ANYONE after the account has been charged off by the original creditor".

If you are not sure, seek legal advice from an attorney of your state experienced in this area.

Remember, if you think the time has run out on this debt, go to court and claim the Statute of Limitations as a defense, it will be up to the judge to decide so there will be no harm in trying if all else has failed. If you lose at least you tried.

Accurate negative information generally can be in your credit report for seven years from the date of first default with some exceptions:

Bankruptcy can be reported for 10 years;

A judgment can be reported for 7 years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer;

Information reported because of an application for a job with a salary of more than $20,000 has no time limitation;

Information reported because of an application for more than $50,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limitation;

Information about a lawsuit or judgment can be reported for 7 years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer;

Default information concerning U.S. Government insured or guaranteed student loans can be reported for 7 years after certain guarantor actions;

Tax liens stay on 7 years from the date PAID;

Some other rules to keep in mind:

Some collection agencies will try underhanded techniques to restart the ticking of the clock so that the default continues to be reported. This is illegal and should be challenged with the credit reporting agency.

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