What is the Statute of Limitations for Debts in North Carolina?

Aug 03, 2011 60 Comments by

You might be wondering exactly what “statute of limitations” means.  The statute of limitations is the time period a creditor can still sue you for debts. Creditors only have a certain duration of time they can attempt to collect a debt by suing you. If the creditor fails to successfully collect the debt or file a lawsuit before expiration of the statute of limitations, then the debt is no longer applicable for collection by a lawsuit against you.

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In North Carolina, Section 1-52.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure explains the statute of limitations for debts is 3 years for auto and installment loans, promissory notes, and credit cards.  This means if a creditor is going to sue you, they must do so within three years from the date of your last charge or activity on the card. Now the magic question is, what is activity on the card? This is a source of litigation throughout the state.  There are many times no clear-cut answer to this question. The creditor may claim there was activity on the credit card or personal loan within the past three years before the lawsuit was initiated. It would then be your word against their word as to when the last activity on the card took place.

The law states after the three years has passed, if the creditor has not sued you for the debt, they are barred from filing a lawsuit against you for that debt.  However, they may still call and request a payment from you. They cannot successfully sue you if the statute of limitations has expired and you raised that defense in your legal response to the lawsuit.

Now let’s clarify this last statement. Anyone can sue anyone! So the fact is they may sue you on the debt, but you have the defense on the lawsuit the statue limitations had expired and the lawsuit should be thrown out of court. However, to raise this defense of the statute of limitations against the lawsuit, you must file a legal answer with the court and appear in court to state your defense of the expiration of the statute of limitations. If you do not raise this defense, you will probably lose the lawsuit.

The statute of limitations for debts timeframe is different for each State.  For example, most debts are three years in North Carolina, but six years in Hawaii.  Depending on which state you live in the timeframe of the statute of limitations will vary.

Beware though, although you may believe the statute of limitations has run on a creditor’s ability to collect a debt, if there was activity on the card or if the creditor has filed a lawsuit, the statute of limitations may not have expired. Be careful assuming the statute of limitations has run on a debt – be sure to fully research your debts and when they were last used. You need to raise the defense of the expiration of the statute of limitations in your legal response to the lawsuit.

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At Duncan Law, LLP our goal is pretty simple. We try to make people's lives better. And in doing so we try to treat people the way we would want to be treated. It's just that simple.

We practice primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and workers' compensation. We have offices in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, NC.

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60 Responses to “What is the Statute of Limitations for Debts in North Carolina?”

  1. Matt says:

    This is a great tip, however; can someone please tell me what constitutes “activity” on a CC? Do payments count?

  2. Damon Duncan says:


    It’s a great question. That’s one of the major sources of litigation in this area. However, I believe payment on the credit card would constitute activity.

  3. Traci says:

    What type of agreement is a bank account? I think I have unpaid overdraft fees for a Wachovia bank account, but I’m not exactly sure and I would like to open another bank account. I would like to know if the statute of limitations ran out on the overdraft fees or not, so I would need to know what exactly does bank accounts fall under.


  4. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for the question – it really depends on what state you are living in. If you are in North Carolina then it is most likely three years. As the article says though, you’ll need to be sure to speak with an attorney to determine if the statute of limitations has actually run or not because there are a lot of exceptions.

    Damon Duncan

  5. Name C. Lindsey says:

    My daughter enrolled for one day at ECU in 2004. She withdrew the next day to attend another school.
    She just received (2012) a letter from the NCO collection agency demanding $700.00 for tuition.
    ECU cannot provide any record of her attendance.
    Can the NCO legally send damaging information to the credit bureaus?
    Thank you

  6. Damon Duncan says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment. Technically, anyone can report something to a collection agency. However, you can dispute what they report. I would suggest asking the collection agency proof for what is owed. If they do report something you can dispute that, in writing, with the credit bureau(s). You may also want to contact the creditor and try to reach a settlement with them. If they continue to pursue it (and they have a legit ability to pursue it) then you may want to come back with a counter offer. I typically tell people don’t offer any more than 20%.

    Duncan Law Team

  7. Fred Worth says:

    Most of my debts that I owe are for amounts usually $20-$200 for hospital or physician fees. I have medicaid insurances that pays 80% and they bill me for the rest. I sometimes get over 5 bills all for different items in the same week for the same procedure at a hospital. I cannot pay the same and fall behind. Is the statue of limitations the same as three years as you mention above?

  8. Barbara Wilkerson says:

    The company I work for as an Office Manager for the past 2 and a half years sold an item worth about $2000. to a man which was under a contract for a finance company we work with. The date for the contract was 10/31/07. Yesterday the owner of the company I work for was in the same house selling the same item version 3. This man filled out an application. Does this constitue activity on the account?

  9. Damon Duncan says:


    I’m not sure that I completely understand your question. Typically, negotiation of a debt extends the statute of limitations. However, it really depends on the specifics of your situation.

  10. Mimi M. says:

    The statue of Limitation “activity” does it apply to late fees & overdraft fees? My last payment was on October 20, 2009 in North Carolina. Could I use this method to hopefully get a dismissal for SOL? I got served with a Civil Summons by cer-mail December 30, 2012?

  11. Antonio L. says:

    Hi Damon,

    I moved to NC about 9 months ago. I am currently in the process of purchasing a new home and in doing so realized I had some bad debt from a previous marriage. Began trying to pay off that bad debt and succeeded till I got to my last and biggest creditor. Called them up, told them I wanted to negotiate, they asked what state I was in, and when I told them I was in NC, they told me that the statue of limitations had run out on the debt and they would not accept any money. Meanwhile it is still being reported on one of my bureaus and messing with my score. It has been more then 3 years but not more than 7. What do I do when they won’t take my money? Thanks for any help.

  12. William Gorman says:

    I just got notification that there had been a judgement against me in 2006. The proposed amount after compounded interest is $27,000. This is the first time that I became aware of any judgement. I moved, but still I thought they had a requirement to serve me or something of the sort prior to any hearing.

    The second issue is that I have two incomes, both of which are exempt from this action. The first being social security and the other my military retirement (w/disability adj). These are my sole sources of income.

    I had a period of alcohol abuse and gambling for which I have since sought treatment and recovered so I am not really sure whether the debt is legit or not.

    What do you recommend I do? If I offer them 20%, is that my starting point, or do I offer less and work up to that. The funds will have to be borrowed, but I now have reasonable credit and can make it happen.

  13. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for your question. A lot of times if a creditor has tried to serve you but they cannot find you to actually serve you with paperwork they will do what is called notice by publication. This means they will put a small notice in some small, almost never ready, newspaper letting you know have been served. The courts have said that after reasonable efforts to give actual notice this method is okay as a last resort.

    It sounds like your income may be protected from any creditors. I would just be very careful to show how each of those incomes are going into the bank. If it were me, I would look to have a separate bank account for each source of income.

    Be aware that if you settle the debts you will have to pay on taxes on any settled debt greater than $600. That means, if you owe $27,000 and they agree to accept $5,400 (20%) then you would have to pay taxes on the other $21,600 as gross income. That means you could end up owing the IRS another $4,000 to $5,000 in taxes. Making your total settlement upwards of $10,000. You may want to consider talking to a bankruptcy lawyer about possibly doing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These would likely wipe out the judgment that you have.

    This isn’t meant to be legal advice so be sure to talk with an attorney and set up a free consultation to learn how your situation can be specifically handled. Best of luck moving forward!

    Damon Duncan

  14. Pam says:

    I no longer work for the Postal Service, but the last 8 months I was employed there unable to work they continued to pay my health care. I am currently unemployed. The past few years they have tried to take our tax refund. My husband is disabled and gets Social Security. He’s had to file injured spouse claims to get his refund back. My question is how many years can they continue to do this so he will have to keep filing injured spouse claims to get his refund back. The debt is not his.

  15. Damon Duncan says:


    It’s tough to answer your question for sure. Was there an overpayment? I want to make sure I fully understand your question.

  16. justin says:

    Damon, i have a question, i recieved a civil summons on a vehicle i purchased in jan 2004 for 15712.83 i voluntarily returned the vehicle cause i was unable to afford it any longer after about 10 months. I have not heard anything from this bank in 9 years. Now some attorney is sending me a civil summons and saying i owe 20000.00 for the debt. Doesnt the statute of limitations apply here

  17. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for reaching out to us. The statute of limitations on debt collections is, unfortunately, always a gray area. Different types of communication with the creditor could prolong the statute of limitations. If you feel like the statute of limitations has run then I would suggest contacting the attorney who filed the complaint and ask them for evidence showing the statute of limitations has not already lapsed. Either way, respond to the civil summons with an answer to the complaint. In the answer explain that you believe the statute of limitations has run on this debt. Again, talking with the other attorney may give you better insight as to what their argument would be about the statute of limitations. Best of luck!

  18. Jonathan says:

    Name C. Lindsay – wow, there is some serious stuff going on at ECU. I just received a bill for $30 from 2002 for “student services.” Like your daughter I only attended ECU for a semester and have had NO contact with them before last month when they sent me this decade old bill. My question is, what recourse do I have if they report it to the credit bureau? I can afford the $30, but I am going to fall on my sword for this $30, I hope they are prepared to do the same.

  19. Damon Duncan says:

    You can always dispute the debts if you believe they are improper. You can do so by going to the following pages for each of the main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian & TransUnion.

  20. ron says:

    I lost my second home in NC it was an 80-20 loan. The 2nd mortgage was sold to another company which is coming after me for the default on the promissory note. Where do the statue of limitations apply in NC where I closed on the property or Fl where I live?

  21. Damon Duncan says:


    The creditor can likely go after you in North Carolina. The fact that the loan was on a house in North Carolina probably gives them “minimum contacts” which is needed to have proper jurisdiction. They could also use the laws in Florida if that is where you live. They will probably chose the location that gives them the most flexibility.

  22. Vicki says:

    Ex spouse took out a loan from a hole in the wall lender 5 years ago under the husband’s name w/out his knowledge or consent. Four years after divorce, lender calls to claim. Husband is blindsided. How should he proceed? He has been advised not to respond and to get a credit report to see if there were other loans/transactions taken out in his name during the marriage that he was not privy to. The transaction was made over the computer w/out a handwritten signature.

  23. Damon Duncan says:


    You have a two-fold question. The debt could be wiped out in a bankruptcy. However, it sounds like you are asking more about whether or not the Husband would be responsible since he wasn’t aware of debt. That’s a little more difficult to answer. If some kind of fraud could be shown then he would be able to go after the ex-wife. He may be able to argue that he isn’t responsible for the actual debt. However, I think that may be a difficult argument to be successful on.

  24. Vicki says:

    Thank you for your response. The wife filed bankruptcy at divorce, but the husband shouldered the debts she left behind…didn’t want the stigma of bankruptcy. She left quite a fingerprint behind for him to deal with. Again, there are things she has acquired without his knowledge through his information…only finding these things out years later. From this particular loan, it was well over 4 years ago according to the lender. Can he depend on the statute of limitations?

  25. Damon Duncan says:

    No problem. I would at least try to argue the statute of limitations. Send them a certified letter, return receipt requested, telling them the statute of limitations has passed and that continuing to try to collect on the debt violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They could always try to sue him at that point in time or they may just go away. It’s tough with the creditors – nobody knows for sure what direction they will head. Good luck!

  26. Sharon says:

    I was under a credit council nag co. When Wachovia bank wouldn’t work with me to make payments on a unsecured line of credit/checking. Since they would agree to any workable plan it went on in time till they procured collection so. Then in 2006 they sent me a summons to court. The attorney that worked through the counciling agency, told me she would handle the case pro Bon o. She didn’t tell they people (her boss) there that she was going to do the pro Bon o case. She had another court date the same day. I asked her wasn’t she suppose to call the court and get a mother date. She said I could call, so I did but some mix up with the clerks office not getting the message. So I went to court in case that did happen. I explained all this to the judge. She called the office of my attorney or the counciling agency not sure, but in any case,they(whoever) they talked to that she represisists me for the counciling not for this court appearance. So my attorney didn’t in form the counciling co of her verb able promise to repressistent me. so the judge asked was I comfortable going on anyway. I said not really. But it looked like I was lieing about having a attorney at all. So the judge gave wachoivas collection attorneys the case. With 8percent interest. So instead of being around 5000. Debit that they have already let run up from a couple thousand till now over 30,000. with a judgement on my home. Does statute of limitations apply here in nc.2006– till now ? Not mention the reporting to credit bureau agency’s. Help please. I have since all this lost my husband in 2011. I get his and my Ss. His retirement, and his va disability. That took over 18 months to get started. Remit asp. Sharon p.

  27. Damon Duncan says:


    I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It certainly sounds like you are having a rough go of it. You should certainly contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area to at least explore your rights. When they filed the lawsuit and received the judgment that stops the statute of limitations. Now they have a lien against property. In North Carolina, that lien can last for ten years and then be renewed for an additional ten years (20 years total). You may be able to wipe out most, if not all. of the debt out through a bankruptcy. Good luck!

  28. Ernest says:

    Hello. If I have a debt with a physician’s practice, and I go to a different practice, in the same system, can the billing department for the system remove a payment made to one practice, and credit it to the other practice? That is, if I see Dr. A and owe him $25, and I go to Dr. B at a different practice, and pay $20, is it legal for the billing company to remove the payment from B and apply to A, without my consent?

  29. Damon Duncan says:


    It will really depend on how the business is set up. If they aren’t the same business then they generally cannot go in and take your money. However, you will want to be careful and make sure you haven’t signed anything saying they can do that. I would call the billing department for the physician and just ask them the question – you don’t have to tell them who you are.

  30. JoAnn Saulnier says:

    I have an old debt that I am being taking to court for a judgement on Sept 8 which I will be out of state and need to reschedule. My last payment on the account was June 21, 2011. The account was charged off in Dec 2011. The amount is approximately 2600. I do not have a summons to appear in court but a request from the attorney to be put on the court calendar and to confirm a date. If the court date is beyond 3 years of the last payment, is this debt outside of the statues of limitation for a judgement against me? I was contacted by this law firm prior to June this year and was mailed a set of interrogatories and did not respond to. I did respond to a summons for an answer about the debt and had recorded this answer with the clerk of courts before this.. I nether denied or confirmed the debt but responded with seeking counsel. What are the time limits? Activity of charge off and additional interest charges were in Dec2011. Did they need to take me to court before June 2014 or Dec 2014? Is the attorney activity considered activity to keep the account within the statues of limitation because they contacted me and started legal action? Help please. I am running out of time.

  31. Shannon says:

    I had two mortgages. My house was foreclosed on in October of 2011. The first mortgage was paid off in the foreclosure. My second mortgage was sold to a debt collector. They are still trying to collect the amount from me. Is this outside the statute of limitations? I haven’t made a payment since early 2011.

  32. Nathalie says:

    I attended NCSU back in 2000-2001 and signed a promissory note for tuition, room, and board. I never took out loans for the fees, and during my college years I was poor and never made any payments. I have never made any payments actually and now the university has contacted me to pay them. I am currently a state employee and they have threatened to terminate my employment if I do not pay. Is this possible? Have the statute of limitations passed on this debt? Please help. Thanks!

  33. Damon Duncan says:


    I don’t have an answer that you’ll be happy with. Them filing a lawsuit against you stops the statute of limitations. Even if you didn’t answer it would have stopped the statute of limitations but the fact that you did respond just cements it even more. I would encourage you to try to work out some kind of payment plan with the creditor since it’s such a small amount. If you are able to come up with a lump sum amount you may be able to settle for 30-40% of what they are asking for. Good luck!

  34. Damon Duncan says:


    It really depends on facts that weren’t provided. Have they sued you? If so, the statute of limitations is stopped. If you’ve been in communication with them in any way then the statute of limitations may have stopped. If you are confident that there has been no communication or efforts to make any payments in the last 3 years then you could always send them a seize and desist letter and tell them that the debt is outside the statute of limitations. You may want to consult an attorney depending upon the amount of the debt though.

  35. Damon Duncan says:


    It appears these would not be student loans based on your information. Therefore, they could possibly be wiped out if the statute of limitations has passed. For a promissory note the statute of limitations in North Carolina is for 5 years. You would need to make sure they haven’t sued you or anything like that. They should not be able to fire you for a debt that you have with them. I would contact them, in writing, and explain that you believe the statute of limitations has run on the debt and unless they can provide you evidence to the contrary they should stop contacting you or they will be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Depending on the amount owed you may want to reach out to an attorney to represent you and be able to provide you more specifics for your case. Thanks!

  36. Concerned says:

    My co-leasee defaulted on our joint business suite lease. At the time of lease inception, the creditor required a personal guarantee from both of us. I submitted mine and he stated he did too. The leasing company issued the lease and we moved into the conjoined suite.

    Long story short, he defaulted on the lease. Unable to carry the lease alone, it provoked a default. They came after me for the default – since he either lied about submitting the personal guarantee or they issued the lease without reflecting it.

    They obtained a judgement against me and put a lien on my home. I settled with them for $10,000.00 versus the $37,500.00 judgement. The home was in transition and I had to free the title.

    Will I really owe taxes on the difference as you stated in a previous comment? Secondly, how best should I go about suing him to get my $10,000.00 back?

  37. Jeannie Ruffin says:

    Advanced Medical Support sent diabetid supplies to me from 2009-August2012. They sent 3 month supplies and assured me I had no co-pay even when my EOB from my medicare EOB said I owed a co-pay because I was going to cancel after the first shipment. Now after all these years and shipments and not one bill or call for payment, I have been contacted by a collection agency for almost$700 on 9-13-2014. I was shocked and refused to acknowledge the debt. I referred my sister-in-law to these same people and they never sent her a bill and want over$800. I

  38. John Smith says:

    One of our parents died in November 2009. She was divorced from her husband in 1990, and never remarried. Her will designated one of the adult children as executor, who filed the will with the county clerk shortly after her death.

    In the will, the house was left to three adult children. Two of the three children lived in the house taking care of the parent before her death and continue to live there and pay the monthly mortgage payments. The mortgage company has tried to get us to refinance the mortgage, but we have declined their offers – which makes us think that their paperwork must not be all that “clean”.

    Deceased parent also left credit card debts.

    Due to some family conflicts, parent (who was cremated) has not yet been buried in an out-of state family plot, which has held up the settlement of the rest of the estate. We have been getting phone calls and letters from various creditors.

    Executor just got notice that a summons is being served on her shortly before the 5th anniversary of the debtor’s death. There is no record of any matters filed in our county clerk’s office, which makes us think this is being filed in an out of state court.

    Our question is about the statute of limitations when a debtor dies. Is there no statute of limitations, or is the SOL merely put on hold until an executor is appointed? Since the debtor designated an executor, does the SOL start running again once the clerk of court officially recognize the estate executor?

  39. Robert Horan says:

    In May 2010 my wife lost her job in Washington, NC. There were no jobs available in NC for a psych RN, so she accepted a job offer in Texas. We had to break our 1 year lease on our apartment after 10 months. It was a choice – either break the lease and go to Texas for a new job, of get evicted for non-pay. The Apartments have sold the collection to a collection agency and it is still on our credit reports. Can we get the Credit Report Agencies to delete this as it is over 3 years old, it’s affecting our ability to lease a house.

  40. Robert Davis says:

    I just have one question. I live in NC and had a car repossessed back in 2004. I have not heard anything about in the passed 9 years. I never made a payment or sent them a letter. The passed 2 week all I have were threatening phone calls that they were going to come to my work and summons me. I got a call from my ex stating that someone showed up at her house looking for me to summons me. I have not lived there in 10 years. Do they have the right to do that or come to my work? I would think that the statute of limitations is up? Can I tell they to take a hike? What are my options? Thanks for your help

  41. Damon Duncan says:


    It’s really tough to answer your questions in any kind of specific way because I can’t provide legal advice on here. The statute of limitations is always a little tricky and becomes even more tricky when you are talking about debts of a deceased person. Their creditors may have some rights to the estate but there are strict deadlines for filing those claims. I would suggest first reaching out to an estate planning attorney and see what their thoughts are. Good luck!

  42. Damon Duncan says:

    They don’t measure the statute of limitations by the origination of the debt. Therefore, even though it’s been longer than 3 years since you obtained the loan if you have made any payments or had any discussions with them about payment on the debt that may have extended the statute of limitations. You can always let the collection agency know you think the statute of limitations has run and they request them to provide to you, in writing, an explanation on why they believe it has not run.

  43. Damon Duncan says:


    It’s going to depend on the specifics of your situation on whether or not they can still come after you for the debt. A creditor does have the write to take reasonable efforts to find you and serve you with the summons. That includes going to your ex-spouse’s residence and your place of employment if they don’t have a better source of contact. You may want to contact them and tell them (in writing) that you believe the statute of limitations has run and that they can serve you at your preferred address.

  44. Kerry says:

    We are owed $15000 by a family member who borrowed it and signed a promissory note in 2011 agreeing to start repaying in 2012 ending in 2015. Less than 1000 has been paid, and they stated that the note was no longer valid, but they could start paying in maybe 6-7 months. Yet they have taken exotic vacations, made large purchases, etc. How financially involved is a lawsuit process on my side, and , could they be ordered to pay all attorney fees for not complying

  45. NameRON says:


  46. JD Hewett says:

    First off, on this Christmas eve (2014) let me wish you and yours the very best you can have this holiday season. Secondly, just let me say that I’m very appreciative of the fact that you have provided this type of “vehicle” for regular people to use as a type of “sounding board” through you. Now, on to the issue as it pertains to myself personally.

    Short/sweet. I accrued delinquent debt on a vehicle loan and two credit cards back in Oct. (2010) in NC. I’ve had NO contact with ANY agency or representatives of said agencies in the interim. My understanding from reading most of these comments on this thread are that the debt itself reaches the SOL in terms of being SUED for it within three years. My question is: how long in NC is the time period on delinquent debt before it actually “rolls off” of your credit report completely. The general thing I hear both in person from the layman is seven years in most states. I’m working on five now. And, I’m HOPING that within twenty four months or so, I can look at a credit report and see that these delinquent issues have vanished completely from the record. Seven years? Ten years? Or in the very end, will I most likely have to shell out some dough to have a licensed professional look into and resolve the issue for me? Thanks.

  47. katie says:

    my mother got a bill from a physical therapist in 2012 and felt like they were charging her for treatments she did not receive. She asked me to call and try to straighten it out. I looked at the bills she got and they were horribly confusing. My mother is 84. I called guy who owned PT practice and he ended up telling me he would just waive the disputed amount of $476. Now, in Nov my mother gets a bill from them for $476. The guys says he doesn’t remember our conversation. My mother in 2012 could tell me her problems with specific charges but not now. No word from them the entire 2 and half years. any defense? thx

  48. Damon Duncan says:


    Likely so. Negotiations to settle typically are considered activity that extends the automatic stay. Of course, it depends on the specifics of your situation. Good luck!

  49. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for your kind words. General debts, like what you are talking about, should only be on your credit report for 7 years. I don’t think you need to hire someone professionally to get something off your credit. There are services out there that try to do that but they don’t have any more authority or special skills other than what you already have. I’d save your money. At the end of the seven years send a certified letter (return receipt requested) to each of the credit bureaus explaining that the debt should be removed from your credit because it is older than seven years. Here is a video we put together talking about disputing something on your credit report as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0TXX-kbPVA Good luck moving forward!

  50. Damon Duncan says:


    Unfortunately, they have the right to still try to go after her for that money since it is within the statute of limitations. I would have another conversation with the PT owner and tell him that you are disputing the debt because he said he would not go after it. Wait a few weeks and call him back and see if he would be willing to settle the debt. By the time he hires an attorney to try to sue you to come after the $476 he will end up losing money. You may be able to pay $100 and have him forgive the rest of the debt. Good luck to you and your mother!

  51. amber says:

    I have quite a few medical collections in North Carolina.
    I have seperate accounts for a lot of them. I have at least 4 debts that have been sold to Paragon Revenue.
    One goes as far back as 2010, another is 2014.
    Does the SOL apply to each one or do they link all them together based on the most recent 2014 debt ?

  52. Keisha H. says:

    I am taking care of my mother who took sick and now I have been helping with her bills. Two weeks we experienced a repossession due to a old title loan that was taken out in 2007, it was written off in 2009 in N.C., I was wondering what is the statue of limitation on title loan or even loans that have been written off.

  53. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for your question. I would be careful on thinking that just because a debt is “written off” it is no longer collectable. We have written a blog post on and made a video discussing this very topic. The statute of limitations, however, would be for five years if there was a promissory note. It being written off before then doesn’t change the statute of limitations.

  54. Melodie Cecil says:

    I have a judgement against me for $6330.30 in Guilford County, North Carolina for credit card debt. I received a 1099 to claim the amount as taxable income. The attorney’s office for the claiment is sending me letters to pay or they will turn the matter back over to the sheriff’s office. Can they take my home, vehicle, or any other property if I am unable to pay?

    The judgement is filed under my previous last name. Can they take any of my spouses’ property or property we have acquired together? We were not married at the time I acquired the debt.

    Thank you!

  55. Connie says:

    we have 2 old debts from 2007 that will be 7 years old 5/2007 and 9/2007. We would like to purchase a home this spring and was told to start paying on those debts AGAIN (last payment was in 2088) if we do that, will that start the time clock again for those debts. Or will they still be removed on the dates i listed above. Were stuck between waiting until they come off or start paying on them to show a good faith effort. But wasting money that we could be using for a down payment.

  56. Damon Duncan says:


    Thanks for your question. Since you have a judgment you have probably received the Notice of Right to Have Exemptions Designated and now a Writ of Execution. They Sheriff can come out and take property (even house, car, bank accounts, etc.) in your name that is not protected. They cannot take property in your husband’s name or most joint property. Depending on whether you have other debts it would probably be a good idea for you to talk to someone ASAP so you can make sure you protect your assets now and in the future. Good luck!

  57. Damon Duncan says:

    I would probably try to avoid paying them if possible. If you do pay them then that will restart any statute of limitations timeframe. However, if the statute of limitations has run then I would just send something to the credit bureaus showing the statute of limitations has run on the debt and try to have it be shown that it is no longer delinquent. Good luck!

  58. David says:


    I had a foreclosure on a property in NC last year in June. The deed did not transfer back until Sept due to upset bids, etc..
    My questions are:
    How long does a bank have to pursue one for a deficiency amount?
    I have heard they have one year to decide to pursue a def. judgment.
    Also, is that one year from when the foreclosure happened (in June) or when the deed transferred ( in Sept)?

    Thank you.

  59. SUSAN says:

    I have an unpaid invoice for restoration services and repairs. Can you tell me the statue of limitations? I have offered every possible option/payment plan and the client hasn’t paid.
    Thank You!

  60. Annette says:

    Within the past week or so I have had a company by the name WRA about a debit from 2009. I told them I need to research it and they said ok, but they still saying they were trying to issue me a summons for this debt. NO activity has taken place on this debit since 2008 and I don’t understand how I have not been contacted about it before last week. Is the statute of limitations over for this debt?

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