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Statutes of limitations for credit card debt

In Pennsylvania, creditors wishing to sue a debtor for payment generally have four years after the debt becomes delinquent in which to do so. Although four years is the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, a judge may sometimes rule that the debt is subject to the state laws where the credit card was issued from. For instance, debt on a Wells Fargo credit card might be subject to a six-year statute of limitations, as the card is issued out of South Dakota.

Understanding when the statute of limitations period commences and how long it is may be important for individuals with delinquent credit card debt. It is also vital to understand that acknowledging the debt and making even one payment on it can restart the statute of limitations.

A creditor cannot sue an individual for debt that has been time-barred, but the delinquency may still show up on a person's credit report. If a debtor receives notification that they are being targeted for a debt collection lawsuit, presenting evidence to a judge that the debt is time-barred may result in the lawsuit being dropped. Not acknowledging the lawsuit could end in a default judgment, and attempting to make a payment on the debt may extend the statute of limitations.

A person who is being sued for credit card debt may fare better at the debt collection hearing with legal representation. In addition to helping with any court appointments, an attorney may be able to advise a debtor about the best strategy for dealing with past due debts. In some cases, certain debts on a person's credit report may be eligible to be expunged.

Source: Credit Cards, "State statutes of limitation for credit card debt ", September 29, 2014

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