Commercial Collections Blog

State Statutes of Limitations for Debt Collection

State Statutes of Limitations for Debt Collection

A statute of limitations sets forth the maximum period of time, after the debtor becomes delinquent, that legal proceedings (law suits) can be initiated.  After the times shown below, a court will throw out any lawsuit.

The type of debt affects the statute of limitations, too. Credit cards are usually considered to be “Open Accounts”. Auto loans and other installment-type agreements are considered “Written Contracts”.

Note:  This table is for informational purposes only – it does not represent any form of legal advice. To act on a legal action, contact a lawyer and/or check with your state’s attorney general’s office

UNITED STATESOpen Accounts YearsContracts in Writing YearsDomestic JudgmentsForeign JudgmentsLegal RateJudgment RateCivil Penalty
ALABAMA3620206%12%Greater of $10 or actual bank charges75% of wages are exempt from garnishment.
ALASKA6610106.25%6.25% or contractualDamages in amount equal to $100 or triple the amount of the check whichever is greater (but no more than $1,000 over the amount of the check.$1,750 per month for earning exemption. May be increased to $2,750 per month if qualified for head of household (no one else in household earning any money).
ARIZONA365410%10% or contractualTwice the amount of check. costs of suit. reasonable attorney fees.See federal law.
ARKANSAS3(2 if medical)5(renewable)10(renewable)10(renewable)6% or 5 points above fed. discount rate5 points above the fed. discount rateTwice amount of check – prior to double charge – can start out with $25 per NSF check after 30 days.$500 head of family, $200 single. Include personal property except clothing.
CALIFORNIA44101010%10% or contractualAmount due, treble damages – min $100 max $1,500 per checkSee federal law, exemptions for necessaries of life.
COLORADO662068%8% or contractualTreble damages and reasonable attorney feesSee federal law.
CONNECTICUT6620No prov8%10°1° (5% arising from hospital services)Personal liability of signatory on corporate claims unless signed in corporate capacity Liability of drawer, if no account, equal to lesser of $750 or face amount For insuff. funds, lesser of $400 or face amount.25% of disposable earnings each week, or amount by which disposable earnings exceed 40xfed min. hourly wage, whichever is less.
DELAWARE33No prov.No prov.6% or contractualLegal rate or contract rateN/ACannot exceed 15% of disposable earnings or reduce disposable earnings to less than $150 per week.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA333No prov.4%70% of interest rates on taxes to IRS.Amount due – protest fees.See federal law. DC government employees are now garnishable.
FLORIDA452077%7% up to 18% if contractualface value of the check plus $25 – $40 depending upon amount of check, or 5% of the value, whichever is greater. If suit required, after 30 day demand, treble amount in addition to amount owed, bank & court costs & reasonable attorney feesFL has opted out of federal bankruptcy exemptions. 100% head of household. Liberal Homestead Exemption. Life insurance proceeds and/or cash value of policy, disability income, pension monies and retirement funds are exempt.
GEORGIA46757%Prime +3%After 10 day written demand, double damages up to $500 and service charge of $25 or 5% whichever is greater.See federal law. City, county and state employees may be garnished.
HAWAII6610610%10%Damages equal to $100 or triple amount of check, not to exceed $50095% of first $100, 90% of next 100$ and 80% of wages in excess of $200 per mo. of federal limits, whichever is greater
IDAHO456612%7.125%Triple amount of check (min. $100) up to $500 over the check amountSee federal law.
ILLINOIS5102055%9%Triple check amount up to $1,500, attorney fees and court costs. Statute of limitations: 3 years.15% of gross wages or disposable earnings for work week up to 45 x fed. min. hourly wage, whichever is greater.
INDIANA610 – Executed before 9/1/826- Executed after 8/31/8220 (10 real estate)108% or contractual8% or contractualTriple check amount up to $500 over check amount + attorney fees & interest up to 18% per annum or triple check amount + attorney fees & interest at judgment rate & costs.75% of disposable earnings for work week or amount of 40x fed. min. hourly wage, whichever is greater.
IOWA5102020Legal floating rate per T-BillLegal floating rate per T-Bill537.2501G allows 5% of check or $20, whichever is greater. 625.22 allows for reasonable attorney fees.See Iowa code Chapter 627.
KANSAS355(renewable)5(renewable)10%6.25%Three times check amount not exceeding the check amount by $500 or $100 whichever is greater plus attorney fees & court costs plus amount of check.See federal law.
KENTUCKY51515158%12%N/A75% of disposable income or 30x fed. min hourly wage whichever is greater.
LOUISIANA31010106%6%After 30 day written demand twice check at., atty fees & court costs75% of disposable earnings per work week, but not less than 30xfed min. hourly wage.
MAINE662020T-BiLl+3%T-BiLL+6%Amount due, court costs, service costs and collection costs.May garnish 25% of disposable income or the amount by which a debtor’s income exceeds the min. hourly wage (whichever is less). After judgment only.
MARYLAND3312126%10% or contractualAfter 30 day written notice, amount due, $25 fee, twice check amount up to $1,000 (at the discretion of the court). Applies to COD sales only.Greater of 75% of net wage or 30 x fed. min. wage.
MASSACHUSETTS6(UCC 4)6(UCC 4)202012%12%Amount due, costs of suit, protest fees Additional damages of $100 – $500 can be assessed.$125/wk.
MICHIGAN6610(renewable)105%(7% if in writing)1% over Treasury note or contractual Face amount of check plus twice the amount of checkor $100 per check, which-ever is greater plus costsof $250.Face amount of check plus $100 per check, whichever is greater plus costs of $250.See federal law. twice the amount of the check
MINNESOTA66 (UCC 4)10(renewable)10(renewable)6%4%Face amount of check plus or $100 per check, whichever is greater, plus interest at the rate payable on judgments on `the face amount of the check plus reasonable attorney fees if aggregate amount of checks is written in 6 month period is over $1,250.Greater of 75% disposable earnings or 40xfed. min. hourly wage
MISSISSIPPI3377 (3 if resident)8%Amount in contractUp to and including $25, additional damages 100% $25.01 – $200 additional damages 50% but not less than $25. Over $200, 25%See federal law.
MISSOURI51010109%9%Three times face amount owed plus attorney’s fees.See fed. law, exempt 90% of week’s net pay, head of household, single person without dependents 75%.
MONTANA58101010%10%$100 min. or three times face value up to $500 plus face value of check and under UCC the value of the check plus $30 service charge per check.See federal law. State law provides for executions.
NEBRASKA455512% or contractual2% above T-Bill$100 min. or three times face value up to $500 plus face value of check and under UCC the value of check plus $30 service charge per check.Greater of 75% disposable earnings (85% if head of household) or 30 x fed. min. hourly wage.
NEVADA4666Contractual or 2% over primeContractual or 2% over primeAmount due, protest fees three times check amount not more than $500, or less than $100.Wages no more than 25% of disposable earnings for each week or 30 x fed. min. hourly wage, whichever is less, except for support orders.
NEW HAMPSHIRE3320204%Amount due, interest, court costs, reasonable atty. fees and $10 per business day (max. $500).50 x fed. min. hourly wage. All future wages are exempt so that the court cannot issue an ongoing order.
NEW JERSEY662020Up to 30% as per contract1% on judgments up to $15,000Over $15,000 an additional 2% isadded to interest rateFace amount of check plus 3x face value, not to exceed $500.$154.50/wk min – 10% of gross earnings $154.50 and over.
NEW MEXICO4614148.75% or contractualAmount due, tripe damages up to $500 per check. Req. must be met.Greater of 75% or amount each week equal to 40xfed min hourly wage.
NEW YORK66202016%9%Face value plus two times check amount up to a max of $400 on NSF or $750 on “no account” GEN-0B.1.1-104.90% of earnings except first $154.50 wk. wholly exempt (only if person earns min. wage)
NORTH CAROLINA3(UCC 4)310108%8%30 day written demand lesser of $500 or three times check amount, but not less than $100100% of last 60 day’s earnings for family support. Garnishment only by political subdivision for taxes, ambulance fee, etc.
NORTH DAKOTA6610106%12%Amount due, collection fees of $25 and civil penalty by civil action for lesser of $200 or three times check.75% of disposable earnings for work week, or amount equal to 40xfed. min hourly wage, whichever is greater, plus $20 ea. dependant in household.
OHIO151521(renew every 5)15 (Judgment line renew every 5)6%10% or contractualThe greater of $200 or three times the amount of the check and attorney fees (no max).See federal law. State allows continuing garnishments.
OKLAHOMA35 (UCC 5)55 (renewable)6% or contractual5.63%N/AState law: 75% of earnings exempted more if hardship established. Al federal exemptions apply.
OREGON661010Statutory + Judgment9% or contractualCan recover reasonable attorney fees & statutory damages of three times the amount of the NSF check or $500 if demand letter is sent to debtor 30 days before suit is filed.75% of disposable earnings over and above minimum wage.
PENNSYLVANIA44446%6%N/A100% of wages, certain pensions retirement accounts & Kegoh plans under certain circumstances, and $300
RHODE ISLAND1010202012%12%Amount of check, $25 fee and treble damage up to $1,000.See federal law
SOUTH CAROLINA3310108.75%12%Reasonable court costs, amount of check and damages up to $500 or three times check amount whichever is smaller.Garnishment not available in SC.
SOUTH DAKOTA63201012%10%N/A20% of disposable earnings for a continuing lien.
TENNESSEE66101010%10% or contractualAmount of check, plus 10% interest and reasonable service charges, attorney fees & court costs, or treble damages up to $500 plus fees & costs.See federal law. Add $2.50 per week for dependant child under 16.
TEXAS4410106-18%5.5%N/A100% of wages
UTAH468810%3.41%Certified statutory bad check notice must be sent. Amount due, interest , court costs, reasonable attorney fees, plus damage equal or greater of $100 or three times check amount (not top exceed check amount plus $500).$142.5 of disposable earnings for wages paid weekly
VERMONT668812%12%Court costs, amount of check, attorney fees, damage of $50 (notices required).75% of earnings above minimum wage or what is necessary to live. 85% if personal family or house held debt.
VIRGINIA3520108%9% or contractualLesser of $250 or three times check amount.See federal law.
WASHINGTON66101012%12%Interest rate specified in instrument or, if no specified rate, 12% interest plus collection costs up to $40. If taken to court, reasonable attorney fees, three times value or up to $800. Now have 6 years to enforceGreater of 75% or $206/week (30xstate min. hourly wage)
WEST VIRGINIA51010106% or contractual (contract rate can vary between 18% and 31% max.)10%Amount due, service charge up to $10. If check under $500 misdemeanor. Over $500, felony.Withhold 20% of disposable income or 30x fed min hourly rate, whichever is less. Other exemptions apply.
WISCONSIN662020 (or foreign if less)5%12%Amount of check plus actual damages plus exemplary damages up to three times value of check. Limited to $30080% of net pay.
WYOMINGThree times amount of check but not less than $100 plus collection fee of $30
PUERTO RICOSee articles 1851 – 1856 of the Puerto Rico Penal Code75% of last 30 days’ earnings for family support.

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