What is the statue of limitations on credit card debt?

UPDATED: May 31, 2011

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What is the statue of limitations on credit card debt?

I have a debt collector/attorney’s office contacting me about a debt from 2002. They will supply me with very little information on the actual account but are threatening a summons for a lawsuit. I have no record of this debt but they claim I paid on it for a year until 2004. I’m not sure if this is fraud or something I owe, but if it’s from almost 10 years ago, shouldn’t it be a closed account by now? I can’t even pull bank records from that long ago. I can’t afford an attorney at this time but would like some info.

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ok, so as you know a credit card agreement is a contract so generally speaking the statute of limitations should be the same as a contract.  Now because if the type of contract - revolving credit agreement - the day the breach occurs - and thus when the statute accrues - is the day we start counting from.  In South Carolina the statute of limitations is 3 years.  So even if you calculate from 2004 the statute is way gone by now.  The attorney needs to watch him or herself and the way they act here.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is quite strict - as are the state disciplinary rules - when it comes to attorneys.   I would send a letter to the lawyers office advising them that they are violating the FCPA and the state disciplinary rules. That the statute has run on whatever they are attempting to collect and that you demand information - which you are entitled to - on the debt including a complete accounting from the day the card was opened.  Good luck. 

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