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When does statute of limitations begin on credit card debt? on last payment or upon charge off? (in California)

San Diego, CA |

Last payment Nov. 2007
Charged off May 2008

Is SOL 4 years on CC debt?
Is SOL Nov. 2011 or May 2012?

Does statute of limitations begin on last payment, last scheduled missed payment or charge off date?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Statute of limitations begins the clock ticking from the time of the last payment. In some places, the clock can start ticking again if the debtor acknowledges owing the debt. The charge off date on the credit report is meaningless.

    Hope this perspective helps!


  2. The statute of limitations is generally four years from the date of the last payment or actual charge on the account. However, some terms and conditions apply other states laws (ex. Delaware) which have shorter 3 year statute of limitations. Therefore, the answer is it depends on the particular credit card. You may feel free to call me for a free consultation at 415-441-1052. I handle these cases on a regular basis.


  3. Charge off is about 6 months after the default date. It has nothing to do with the date default. Date of last payment or last charge, whichever comes last, is usually the date on which the SOL starts ticking. That is, unless you restarted the SOL.

    Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.


  4. In California the statute of limitation for a credit card debt is 4 years. The statute of limitation runs from the date on which the debt became due or the date of the past payment (whichever is later in time). If you make any payment after the statute of limitation has expired, it will statute of limitation will start running anew. Once a debt is time barred i.e. the statute of limitation for that debt has expired, then you have a valid legal defense in case the creditor files a lawsuit for collection of that debt. The debtor however is not prohibited from attempting to collect the debt even after the statute of limitation has expired.

    Legal Disclaimer: The answer above should not be relied upon as legal advice. The information provided above is based on insufficient facts. No warranty is provided that the answer is correct. No attorney-client relationship has been formed with me until a signed written contract is complete. For an official opinion, it is advised that you seek legal counsel.

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