What is the statute of limitation on collections for a bank account overdraft?

I just received a call from a collections agent regarding a bank overdraft 7 years ago. I thought I paid it back 5 years ago when I was being investigated for security clearance and needed to resolve all bad debt prior to being given a clearance. I went back in my records and cannot find any correspondence or records of this debt on past credit reports. Has this debt passed its time limitations and what legal recourse is there if I cannot find any documentation?

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Each state has different time periods for statute of limitations as to different theories of recovery. A bank overdraft claim against you is technically a "common count" cause of action. In California, the statute of limitations for this cause of action is 4 years from the date of the amount being due.

You might wish to go online and see what the statute of limitations would be for this cause of action in your state. If 7 years have passed from the supposed overdraft, it would seem likely that any lawsuit filed against you for the money by the bank would be time barred.

I would write the bank a letter seeking all documentation supporting its claim against you while keeping a copy of the letter for future need. The bank bears the burden for its claim.

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