How Long Can Creditors Come After You for Debt?

For most kinds of debt in Florida, creditors have up to five years to file a lawsuit to recover money owed by a debtor. This is known as the statute of limitations, which defines the duration that a creditor can pursue debt before the person who owes that debt is no longer legally required to pay it back.

Understanding the statute of limitations on debt collection is important for people who owe money to know. Although most creditors are aggressive when it comes to collections, there are those who may have overlooked an outstanding debt.

While outlasting the statute of limitations for debt in Florida should never be your Plan A for seeking debt relief in Florida, that doesn’t mean you can’t be someone asked to pay a debt you are no longer liable to pay.

When Does the Statute of Limitations for Debt Begin & End?

The statute of limitations for debt in Florida begins on the first date someone missed a payment owed to a creditor. At this point, creditors are likely to send notices demanding payment and threatening to take legal action if they don’t receive it.

Such legal action can eventually result in a court order for:

  • Repossession of Property
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Property Levy
  • Bank Levy
  • Bank Freezes

If your creditor doesn’t pursue any of the legal actions above for five years, however, this can end your obligation to pay the debt.

Resetting the Clock on the Statute of Limitations

Unfortunately for borrowers, the statute of limitations on debt isn’t static. A borrower can inadvertently reset, or “toll,” the statute of limitations through a variety of actions.

Actions that can toll the statute of limitations may include the following:

  • Anything to purposely avoid the debt, such as moving to a new state or changing one’s name
  • Making a partial payment on the debt
  • Responding to a letter sent by your creditor
  • Answering a phone call from your creditor
  • Acknowledging the debt by any other means

Creditors are aware of the statute of limitations on debt and the ways in which they can reset the clock on it. When a debt is old, a creditor may attempt to extend the statute of limitations by attempting to engage with a borrower.

This, however, can be inappropriate when a debt has already surpassed the statute of limitations. In this case, you may need a skilled attorney to help you deal with the debt or prove you don’t actually owe it.

We Can Help with Debt Problems

If you are dealing with debt, our lawyers at Buchalter & Pelphrey Attorneys At Law can help. With many years of legal experience behind us, we have what it takes to represent clients in bankruptcy and other means of debt resolution.

Learn more about legal options that may apply to you. Get started by requesting a consultation with Buchalter & Pelphrey Attorneys At Law today!

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