I often receive inquiries from Indiana consumers about statutes of limitation on debt collection. A statute of limitation establishes an affirmative defense for a defendant when a lawsuit has not been filed in a timely manner. That means that a defendant can have a lawsuit dismissed when the lawsuit was filed past the statute of limitation.
For the most part, statutes of limitation range from one year to ten years depending on the claim. The most common statute of limitation in Indiana is two years. Personal injury claims in Indiana are generally barred (subject to dismissal) if they are not filed two years from the date of the injury. But debt collection statutes of limitation based on contracts are longer. Here are some examples:
Medical Debt – 10 years if written contract and 6 years if no written contract Credit Card Debt and other revolving credit – 6 years Contract for Sale of Goods (like the purchase of a car) – 4 years
Generally, the statute of limitation begins to run at the date of first delinquency or last payment made (whichever is later). It is important to note that making a payment to a debt collector can restart the statute of limitation – even if it is about to expire. Debt collectors will sometimes attempt to coax a small payment out of a consumer for just this reason.
It is also important to note that debt collectors are prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act from filing lawsuits that are barred by the statute of limitation, threatening to file such a lawsuit or even giving the impression in a letter or telephone call that the debt is legally enforceable! If a debt collector has sued you, threatened to sue you or communicated with you concerning a debt barred by the statute of limitations without advising you the debt cannot be sued upon, or if you have a question about the application of a statute of limitation, you may submit your claim or question here.