Arizona residents who are in debt may not be aware that there is a statute of limitations that applies to credit card debt. That period is six years. This means that a debt collector has a limited amount of time to take legal action in order to obtain a debt. However, this does not affect the impact the debt may have on the debtor's credit.
A debt that has run passed the statute of limitations is called a time-bared debt. A debt collector cannot sue a debtor for a debt if that debt has become time-barred. However, many courts take the position that the debtor is responsible for proving that debt is time-barred. If this is not demonstrated clearly, then a debt collector may win a case.
States vary on when the statute of limitations begins for credit card debt. Some start at the last payment made, and others start when debt first became overdue. Still other states may not start the statute of limitation count down until six months after the last payment was made. The time a debt's statute of limitations begins can be reset if one re-ages a debt. Things such as making a new payment on an old debt or even just acknowledging it can re-age a debt.
An individual who is in debt may want to contact an attorney who could help clarify information about their state's statute of limitations for credit card debt and what legal options they may have. In some cases, the consumer may choose to file bankruptcy. An attorney could help guide their client through this process.
Source: Creditcards.com, "State statutes of limitation for credit card debt", Connie Prater and Fred O. Williams, November 15, 2014