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Can applying for a new credit card reactivate the statute of limitations on a debt written off 8 years ago?

Los Angeles, CA |

For example, if Capital 1 wrote off $5000 of credit card debt 8 years ago, will applying for a new Capital 1 card reset the sol on that debt? Or can they add $5000 to the balance due on the new card?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    If the debt was discharged through a bankruptcy, then no, they cannot come after you again. Short of that, creditors have gotten very good at implying they wrote off your debt when they really didn't. For instance, it may show on your credit report that you no longer owe capital one, but they could have transferred it to a debt collector, who is still eligible to collect. I wouldn't put it past one of the major credit card companies to attempt to collect on your old balance if you sign up for a new card. Plus, even if they don't give you the new card, they now have all of your financial information if they choose to sue you for that old balance.

    As a reminder, the above communication does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should always check with a local attorney, familiar with your court and trustees, to determine whether a local rule or case affects your situation.

  2. Lots of people believe there credit report is a legal document. It isn't. Lots of people also believe that the phrase "charge off" means that a creditor has written off a debt. That isn't true either.

    If the debt is barred by the statute of limitations, applying for a new card with the same company shouldn't reset the SOL. But it does make you wonder why the creditor is so dumb as to offer to give you credit again!

    Hope this perspective helps!

  3. I would not do it, because the fine print that the bank sends you with the credit card may say that you are liable to them on the older debt, if you are accepted for the new account. I would urge you to not do this, there are plenty of other credit card banks and credit unions where you can qualify for credit, without reviving a past bad relationship.

    I agree that your application or getting a new card should not revive the expired limitations period, but I would not take a chance.

    Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)

    NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice or advice of any sort for a specific case or legal matter. If you do not have a signed attorney-client fee agreement with the Consumer Law Office of Robert Stempler, APLC ("the Firm"), then until such written fee agreement is provided and signed by both a prospective client and attorney for a particular case, neither Mr. Stempler nor the Firm will represent you nor will they be your attorney in any matter and you remain responsible for retaining your own attorney and for compliance with any and all deadlines and for any statutes of limitations that may pertain to potential claims. Comments made on a public forum, such as, to not have any confidentiality because others may read them. If you desire a private consultation with Mr. Stempler that is confidential, please go to and submit a free eCase Review.

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