Debts such as credit card debt can result in a court judgment or negative item on a person’s credit history. Although a creditor may want an individual to repay the debt, some debts are considered time-barred.

A time-barred debt is a debt based on an oral contract, written contract or promissory note, but is too old for a creditor to obtain payment. A collector, trying to obtain payment on a creditor’s behalf, can’t collect payment either.

How Can I Determine If My Debt is a Time-Barred Debt?

To determine if the debt is too old to repay, check the date the debt was due. Typically, the statute of limitations start when the first payment was due for open-ended accounts.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

Statute of limitations refers to the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit for non-payment. The statute of limitations generally ranges from three to 10 years. 

What Is a Zombie Debt?

A zombie debt is an old debt that’s no longer enforceable. However, a debt collector or creditor tries to pressure or convince the debtor to repay.

Can I Revive a Time-Barred Debt?

Yes. A debtor can restart the statute of limitations by:

  • Making a payment
  • Accepting an extended time to pay. The statute of limitations starts after the extended period ends.
  • Waiving statute of limitations. This means a debtor purposefully gives up the right to raise the statute of limitations as a defense.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Time-Barred Debt?

Yes. Contact a finance lawyer to determine your state’s statute of limitations on time-barred debts.