Illinois Residents Protected By Statute of Limitations On Debt


Every state in the United States has their own Statute of Limitations on debt; they vary widely and a Chicago bankruptcy attorney can help Illinois residents weed through the laws. Different types of debt have different periods of time under the Statute of Limitations. Oral contracts, written contracts, open accounts, and promissory notes fall under different guidelines in each state. In Illinois, the Statute of Limitations on debt ranges from 5 years to 10 years. Some debt collection agencies buy old debts, out the Statute of Limitation period for pennies on the dollar from the original creditor in order to collect what they can. This practice is typically referred to as "scavenger debt collection."

Don't Fall Prey To Scavenger Debt Collection

In the state of Illinois, the Statute of Limitations for "open accounts" which includes credit card debts is 5 years. In essence, that is 5 years from the last payment made on the account; however that can vary for a number of reasons. A Chicago bankruptcy lawyer who has experience in handling scavenger creditors helps their clients to fight using the laws of the state of Illinois to protect their interests. It should be noted that after 5 years consumers may still be sued by creditors, however consumers have the right to ask the Judge to dismiss the suit based on the Statute of Limitations.

Debt Collectors Can Be Vultures

They are paid to wiggle as much money out of you as they possibly can for the debts, fees, penalties and interest you owe. Never trust a debt collection agency to tell you the truth about the Statute of Limitations. In Illinois, written contracts including those for auto loans and other installment loans, have a 10 year Statute of Limitations. Until the Statute of Limitations expires, debt collection agencies can try to collect debts in a variety of ways including suing for judgments against you. Bankruptcy lawyers in Chicago can help stave off these practices by helping you renegotiate contracts, or file for bankruptcy.

Never Agree You Owe The Money

One of the things that can adversely affect a consumer's ability to use the Statute of Limitations to their benefit is admitting to a creditor or collection agency that they owe the debt. There is a reason that collection agencies always start their conversations with "This call may be recorded…" When a consumer admits to the owing of a debt or makes a payment, the clock for the Statute of Limitations may be reset.

The Illinois Statute of Limitations mandates the length of time debt collectors and creditors have to sue and attempt to collect the debts owed. If debt and the harassment of debt collection agencies have become overwhelming, consult with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney to help you renegotiate the debt, or file for bankruptcy protection.