Can a credit collection legally wait 5 years from original debt to take you to court?

Don’t know if contacted 5 years ago, still going through files. Seems like they wait this long just to collect the high interest that they add when they file a court order.

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the circumstances and the type of debt. If the debt is from a promissory note, loan, or credit card, the "statute of limitations"--or time period to sue--which most likely applies is that for "written contracts." In Colorado, that  is 3 years. However, it runs from when you breached or violated the agreementt to pay, not from when the debt was taken out. So if you actually failed to pay within the last three years (that's when some payment was due), they would still be able to sue you. If the debt arises from some other context, including a prior court  judgment against you, the statute of limitations would be different; you may wish to re-post your question with additional detail.

Once the statute of limitations has expired, it is too late to legally enforce a debt.

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