This article was written by Lemberg Law staff, and reviewed by Sergei Lemberg, the managing attorney of Lemberg Law.
A debt collector can try to collect after 10 years, but the debt is legally unenforceable. This means that a debt collector can’t sue you for repayment.
What happens to unpaid debt after ten years?
While a debt collector can try to collect a debt throughout your lifetime, state laws make debts legally unenforceable once the statute of limitations has been reached. This means that, once the statute of limitations has passed, a debt collector can’t take you to court and attempt to get a judgment against you.
What is the statute of limitations on my debt?
The length of the statute of limitations varies by state and by the type of debt. The statute of limitations for credit card debt, for example, ranges from three years in Alabama to ten years in Rhode Island. A complete list of each state’s statute of limitations can be found here.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations will be reset if you make a payment on a debt. Debt collectors are notorious for trying to convince consumers to make a small payment – even a few dollars – on a very old debt in order to move it from being time-barred to being current.
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