Is a statute of limitations for the state a debt is incurred or the state you live in? I recently moved and the state I was living in and where the debt was originated has a SOL of 6 years. The state I moved to has an SOL of 4 years. Which do I go by?
Statutes of limitations apply to lawsuits within a state. So, if someone wants to sue you they must sue you in the state where you live or work, and follow the laws of that state. However, many creditors like credit card companies and banks have choice of law language in their agreement that determines which law controls the agreement and any disputes that arise under it. If there's a written agreement for this debt, you should refer to the agreement.
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This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. To get legal advice, consult an attorney in your local area or the area where the issue is located. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response is based on the limited facts provided, and without any independent investigation of the author. Given additional or different facts, the response would likely change. The attorney providing this response is only licensed in Pennsylvania, and you should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction if it is outside Pennsylvania.
Each state has its own statute of limitations on debt. The following chart illustrates the statute of limitations on debt:
In answer to your question, the statute of limitations where the debt was incurred would apply, not the state where you currently reside.
You never stated what the debt was incurred for? The prior answers assumed that it was for a credit card which is 4 years from date of last payment. However, if the debt was not incurred in connection with a credit card, bank loan, contract, note, mortgage the Pennsylvania SOL could be longer. Generally the SOL of the state where you were living will apply, but if your debt was incurred and the Pennsylvania statute is longer than the one in the state where the debt was incurred, an argument can be made that PA's SOL applies.
Mr. Geisenberger is a Pennsylvania-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 Jacques H. Geisenberger, Jr., P.C.,does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege.
The rule in your case comes from a case where an individual incurred a debt in Connecticut which has a 3 year statute of limitations for open ended accounts and then he moved to New York which has a 6 year statute of limitations for their residents. In this case the Federal Court decided that where there is a difference between Statutes of Limitations between the State where the Debtor originally signed the contract and the State that they now reside, the Court must use the Statute of Limitations that is shortest between A) The original contract State, B) The State in which the Defendant currently resides or C) The State in which the Creditor is incorporated. This is not very good for Creditors because most banks are incorporated in Delaware which has a 3 year Statute of Limitations.
In your case, just as in the Federal case I just explained, the Statute of Limitations for you is 3 years.
The answer provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Pennsylvania residents may call my office for a consultation and if you reside outside of Pennsylvania you must contact an Attorney in your home State for thorough legal opinion.
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