The Statutes of Limitations on Debt Collection by State

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Every state has statutes of limitations, designated periods of time in which someone can legally be sued for a debt. In most states, the statute of limitations begins on the date of the last activity on the debt (last payment).

Statutes of limitations are always based on your state of residence. If you have moved to a different state during the period of time a debt is not paid or settled, the statute from either of your states of residence might be used as the venue for a lawsuit.

If you are sued for a debt after the applicable statute of limitations has passed, you can assert the affirmative defense that the statute has passed when you file the answer to the lawsuit.

Below is a list of the statutes of limitations for each of the 50 states as of late 2017. Included are the statutes for open accounts (credit cards), oral contracts, written contracts, promissory notes and judgments. Note that judgments can be renewed one or more times.

First, a few notes on the legal terms that apply to common types of debts:

  • Medical debts are written contracts. (Arkansas has a special statute of limitations for medical debt.)
  • Private student loans are written contracts.
  • Federal student loans do not have a statute of limitations, and for the most part, cannot be forgiven in a bankruptcy.

Check the Statutes of Limitations for Your State

ALABAMA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (Ala. Code 6-2-37)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (Ala. Code 6-2-34)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (Ala. Code 6-2-39)
• Promissory Notes: 20 years (Ala. Code 6-2-34(4)
• Judgments: 20 years (Ala. Code 6-2-32)

ALASKA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (Alaska Stat. 9.10.53)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (Alaska Stat. 9.10.100)
• Judgments: 10 years (Alaska Stat. 9.10.040)

ARIZONA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (A.R.S. 12-548 (2))
• Written Contracts: 6 years (A.R.S. 12-548)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (A.R.S. 12-543)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (A.R.S. 12-548)
• Judgments: 5 years (A.R.S. 12-1551)

ARKANSAS
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (A.C.A. 16-56-111)
• Medical Debts: 2 years (A.C.A. 16-56-106)
• Written Contracts: 5 years (A.C.A. 16-56-105)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (A.C.A. 16-56-111)
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (A.C.A. 16-56-105)
• Judgments: 10 years (A.C.A. 16-56-114)

CALIFORNIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (CCP 335-349-4)
• Written Contract:: 4 years (CCP 337)
• Oral Contracts: 2 years (CCP 339)
• Promissory Notes: 4 years (CCP 337)
• Judgments: 10 years (CCP 683-020)

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COLORADO
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (C.R.S. 13-80-101)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (C.R.S. 13-80-103.5)
• Judgments: 20 years (C.R.C.P. 54)

CONNECTICUT
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (C.G.S.A. 3-52-581)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (C.G.S.A. 3-52-576)
• Judgments: 10 years Small Claims Court (C.G.S.A. 3-52-598(b)) (20 years Judgments: issued in all other courts (C.G.S.A. 3-52-C598(a)))

DELAWARE
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (D.C.A. 1852-274-4)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (D.C. Title 10.8106)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (D.C. Title 10.8106)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (D.C. Title 10.8109)
• Judgments: 5 years (D.C. 10-49-5073)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (D.C. 12-301 (8))
• Written Contracts: 3 years (D.C. 12-301 (8))
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (D.C. 12-301(8))
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (D.C. 12-301(8))
• Judgments: 12 years (D.C. 15-10)

FLORIDA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (F.S.A. 95-3(k))
• Written Contracts: 5 years (F.S.A. 95-11)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (F.S.A. 95-11(k))
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (F.S.A. 95.11)
• Judgments: 20 years (F.S.A. 95-11 (1)

GEORGIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years by statute (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25) (6 years By Appeals Ct. 1/24/08 Hill vs Amex; assume the 6 yr. statute is the one that applies.)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (O.C.G.A. 9-3-26)
• Promissory Notes: 4 years (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25)
• Judgments: 20 years (O.C.G.A. 9-3-23)

HAWAII
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (H.R.S. 657-1)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (H.R.S. 657-1)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (H.R.S. 657-1)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (H.R.S. 657-1)
• Judgments: 10 years (H.R.S. 657-2)

IDAHO
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (I.C. 5-217)
• Written Contracts: 5 years (I.C. 5-211)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (I.C. 5-217)
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (I.C. 5-211)
• Judgments: 5 years (I.C. 11-101)

ILLINOIS
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (By Appel. Ct. 1st District 5/20/09 Portfolio Acquisitions LLC vs Feltman)
• Written Contracts: 10 years (735 ILCS 5/13-206)
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (735 ILCS 5/13-205)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (735 ILCS 5/13-206)
• Judgments: 20 years (735 ILCS 5/13-108 (a)(2))

INDIANA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-7)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-9)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-7)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-9)
• Judgments: 20 years (Ind. Code 34-11-2-12)

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IOWA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
• Written Contracts: 10 years (I.C.A. 614.1 (5))
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (I.C.A. 614.1 (4))
• Judgments: 20 years (I.C.A. 614.1 (6))

KANSAS
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (K.S.A. 60-512)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (K.S.A. 60-512)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (K.S.A. 60-512)
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (K.S.A. 60-511)
• Judgments: 5 years (K.S.A. 60-7403)

KENTUCKY
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (K.R.S.A. 413.120)
• Written Contracts: 15 years (K.R.S.A. 413.160)
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (K.R.S.A. 413.120)
• Promissory Notes: 15 years (K.R.S.A. 413.160)
• Judgments: 15 years (K.R.S.A. 413.00)

LOUISIANA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (L.C.C. 3492)
• Written Contracts: 10 years (L.C.C. 3492)
• Oral Contracts: 10 years (L.C.C. 3492)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (L.C.C. 3492)
• Judgments: 10 years (L.C.C. 3492)

MAINE
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)752)
• Promissory Notes: 20 years (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205(1)751)
• Judgments: 20 years (M.R.S.A. 14.2.205.752)

MARYLAND
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (Md. Cts. & Jud. Procedure Code Ann. 5-101)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-101)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-101)
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-102(a)(1))
• Judgments: 12 years (Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. 5-102(a)(3)

MASSACHUSETTS
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(2)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260 (2) (Promissory Notes: 20 years if witnessed (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(1.3))
• Judgments: 20 years (MA. Ann. Laws Title 5.260(20)

MICHIGAN
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
• Written Contracts: 6 years (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807(8))
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5807.(8))
• Judgments: 10 years (MI. Comp. Laws R. 600.5809(3))

MINNESOTA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years ((M.S.A. 541.05)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (M.S.A. 541.05)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (M.S.A. 541.05)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (M.S.A. 541.05)
• Judgments: 10 years (M.S.A. 541.04)

MISSISSIPPI
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (M.C.A. 15-1-29&31)
• Judgments: 14 years (M.C.A 1-43) Judgments create liens on all property of judgment debtor in the county.

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MISSOURI
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (M.R.S. 516-120 (1))
• Written Contracts: 10 years (M.R.S. 516-110)
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (M.R.S. 516-110)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (M.R.S. 516-110)
• Judgments: 10 years (M.R.S. 516-350)

MONTANA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (M.C.A. 27-2-202(2))
• Written Contracts: 8 years (M.C.A. 27-2-202(1))
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (M.C.A. 27-2-202(2))
• Promissory Notes: 8 years (M.C.A. 27-2-202(1))
• Judgments: 10 years (M.C.A. 27-2-201(2))

NEBRASKA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (N.R.S. 25-206)
• Written Contracts: 5 years (N.R.S. 25-205)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (N.R.S. 25-206)
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (N.R.S. 25-205)
• Judgments: 5 years (N.R.S. 25-1515)

NEVADA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(c))
• Written Contracts: 6 years (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(a))
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (N.R.S.A. 11-190(2)(c))
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (N.R.S.A. 11-190(1)(b))
• Judgments: 6 years (N.R.S.A. 11-190(1)(a))

NEW HAMPSHIRE
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
• Written Contracts: 3 years (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.4(1))
• Judgments: 20 years (NH R.S.A. Title 52-508.5)

NEW JERSEY
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (NJ S.A. 2A:14-1)
• Judgments: 20 years (NJ S.A. 2A:17-3)

NEW MEXICO
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (6 years if creditor can show written agreement (NM S.A. 37-1-1))
• Written Contracts: 6 years (NM S.A. 37-1-3)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (NM S.A. 37-1-4)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (NM S.A. 37-1-3)
• Judgments: 14 years (NM S.A. 37—-1-2)

NEW YORK
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 213)
• Judgments: 10 years (NY Civil Prac. Law&Rules 212)

NORTH CAROLINA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 152-1)
• Judgments: 10 years (NC Rules of Civil Proc. Sec. 1-47)

NORTH DAKOTA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-16)
• Judgments: 10 years (ND Codified Laws Ann. 28-01-15)

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OHIO
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (O.R.C.A. 1303.16)
• Written Contracts: 8 years (O.R.C.A. 2305.06)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (O.R.C.A. 2305.07)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (O.R.C.A. 1303.16)
• Judgments: 5 years (O.R.C.A. 2309.02 & 2329.07 (A)(1) Judgments create a lien on all property in the county.

OKLAHOMA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (If creditor can prove clear written terms, then (credit cards) statute is 5 years (O.S.A. 12-95(2)))
• Written Contracts: 5 years (O.S.A. 12-95 (1))
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (O.S.A. 12-95(2))
• Promissory Notes: 5 years (O.S.A. 12-95(1))
• Judgments: 3 years (O.S.A. 12-95(A)(2)

OREGON
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (Ore. Ct. of Appeals -Rev. Stat. 12-080)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-080)
• Judgments: 10 years (Ore. Ct. of Appeals-Rev. Stat. 12-070)

PENNSYLVANIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(1))
• Written Contracts: 4 years (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(8))
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(3))
• Promissory Notes: 4 years (42 PA. C.S.A. 5525(a)(7))
• Judgments: 5 years (PA. Rule 3101.1; can be revived)

RHODE ISLAND
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 10 years (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
• Written Contracts: 10 years (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
• Oral Contracts: 10 years (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-13(a))
• Judgments: 20 years (RI Gen. Laws 9-1-17(a))

SOUTH CAROLINA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
• Written Contracts: 3 years (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
• Promissory Notes: 3 years (SC Code Ann. 15-3-530)
• Judgments: 10 years (SC Code Ann. 15-3-600)

SOUTH DAKOTA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-13)
• Judgments: 20 years (SD Codified Laws Ann. 15-2-6)

TENNESSEE
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-109(c))
• Judgments: 10 years (TN. Code Ann. 28-3-110)

TEXAS
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
• Written Contracts: 4 years (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 16-004(a)(3))
• Promissory Notes: 4 years (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec.16-004(a)(3))
• Judgments: 10 years (TX. Civil Prac. & Rev. Code Sec. 34-001)

UTAH
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 4 years (U.C.A. 78-12-15)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (U.C.A. 78-12-23)
• Oral Contracts: 4 years (U.C.A. 78-12-25)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (U.C.A. 78-12-23)
• Judgments: 8 years (U.C.A. 78-12-22)

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VERMONT
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (9 V.S.A. 3-118(q))
• Written Contracts: 8 years (12 V.S.A. 511)
• Oral Contracts: 8 years (12 V.S,A, 511)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (14 years if witnessed (12 V.S.A. 511&508))
• Judgments: 8 years (12 V.S.A. 506)

VIRGINIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 3 years (V.C.A. 8-01-246(3))
• Written Contracts: 5 years (V.C.A. 8-01-246(2))
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (V.C.A. 8-01-246(3))
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (V.C.A. 8.3A-118)
• Judgments: 20 years (V.C.A. 8-01-251)

WASHINGTON
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.040(1))
• Written Contracts: 6 years (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.040(1))
• Oral Contracts: 3 years (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.080)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (Rev. Code of Wash. 6-16.040(1))
• Judgments: 10 years (Rev. Code of Wash. 4-16.020(2))

WEST VIRGINIA
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 5 years (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
• Written Contracts: 10 years (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
• Oral Contracts: 5 years (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (W.V.C. 55-2-6)
• Judgments: 10 years (W.V.C. 38-3-18 & 38–3-6) All Judgments create liens on all real estate of the judgment debtor in the county.

WISCONSIN
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 6 years (W.S.A. 893.43)
• Written Contracts: 6 years (W.S.A. 893.43)
• Oral Contracts: 6 years (W.S.A. 893.43)
• Promissory Notes: 6 years (W.S.A. 893.43)
• Judgments: 20 years (W.S.A. 893.40)

WYOMING
• Open Accounts (credit cards): 8 years (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(ii)
• Written Contracts: 10 years (WY. S. 1-3-`05(a)(i)
• Oral Contracts: 8 years (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(ii)
• Promissory Notes: 10 years (WY. S. 1-3-105(a)(i)
• Judgments: 10 years (WY. S. 1-16-503)

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