Does the statute of limitations apply to my credit cards in NYC?

When the statute of limitations expires on your credit cards the card companies can sue you for your debt and can continue to aggressively contact you about it.  They will ask you to pay up, and may use any number of tricks or schemes to have you unknowingly agree to revive the debt.

The statue of limitations for credit card debt is anywhere from 2-10 years across the United States.  In New York City the statute of limitations for credit card debt is six years.  Your card agreement will specify which state’s laws will apply to your agreement so the statute of limitations could be more or less than ten years depending on the card even though you live in New York.

However, statutes of limitations on credit cards in New York City are commonly paused or even reset for many reasons.  It’s legally known as tolling, and there are factors that can reopen dead debt, or even restart the clock on the statute of limitations altogether.  It basically means your creditors need an opportunity to be able to collect the debt from you.  Active military service will suspend the statute of limitations, so will traveling abroad for an extended period of time.  The statute of limitations may also be tolled if you have ever made a partial payment towards the debt, or if you have done or signed anything acknowledging you owe the debt.  There are many other ways a debt can be tolled, so you should contact my office to see if yours has been.  As you may know, debt collectors have many ways of getting this out of unwitting consumers.

Statutes of limitations can be paused, but even if the statute of limitation expires a credit card company may still drag you into court to try to sue you for the debt.  You will of course have the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense and may stand a good chance to win the case, but you will also need to pay for an expensive hourly attorney to defend you.  Then if you win the case you will have to fight with the credit bureau to wipe the record of the debt clean.  This process is likely to be a drawn out, stressful and expensive hassle and if you have multiple credit card issues or other toxic debts than you will still have a lot of work ahead of you to fix your finances.

If you are overwhelmed by toxic credit card debts, the statute of limitations is usually only going to provide some partial protection that will be very costly to exercise and will not be a complete debt relief solution.  The better answer in the long run is for our clients to usually file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection.  Bankruptcy will eliminate all past credit card debt entirely, and will legally prevent credit card companies or debt collectors from harassing you or trying to trick you into a payment.  It is the one complete solution, and the most powerful legal remedy for financially distressed Americans.  A New York City Bankruptcy Attorney will work for a flat rate and will know exactly what results to expect at the end of the process.  Unlike fighting a legal battle with a credit card company to an uncertain end in court, bankruptcy will provide a predictable outcome with no lose ends, and at an affordable price.  Filing for bankruptcy will put you well on your way to financial recovery long before you can achieve the same by fighting your creditors in court.

If you are overwhelmed by credit card debt or even facing a lawsuit from the card companies, understand that your best chances usually lie in bankruptcy protection.  You should explore the pros and cons for your situation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.  If you live in New York City please arrange a free consultation with the Law Offices of William Waldner online or by calling 212.244.2882.  We focus on affordable bankruptcy protection for all New Yorkers and have a 99% Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge record as of 8/31/16.

This article is intended for educational purposes only.  By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.