The statute of limitations sets the amount of time a creditor has to sue you for nonpayment of a debt. Although you are still responsible for the debt once the statute of limitations expires, creditors will not be able to receive a judgment in court against you. However, the statute of limitations can restart if you admit ownership of the debt or make any payments. In North Carolina, this time limit depends on the type of debt you’re dealing with.
If you borrow money and agree to pay it back without a written contract, the state of North Carolina gives creditors three years to file a lawsuit. The most common debt of this kind is a loan from family members and friends, but business transactions can also fall under this classification.
Most debts are in this category, including unpaid bills and bank loans. In North Carolina, creditors must initiate lawsuits within the three-year statute of limitations for this kind of debt.
Promissory notes differ from written contracts because they include a detailed schedule of interest and payments. Mortgages are the most common form of promissory note, along with investor-financed loans for raising business capital. North Carolina law allows creditors five years to bring legal action against you for this kind of debt.
Credit cards and other forms of revolving credit are included in this debt category. The statute of limitations in North Carolina is four years for open-ended accounts.
If someone has already received a judgment in court against you, she has 10 years to enforce that judgment, including garnishment of wages and seizure of assets. Child support is also included under this type of debt.
- North Carolina Statute 2-213: Chapter 1 -- Civil Procedure -- Subchapter I. Definitions and General Provisions
- North Carolina Statute 1-47: 10 Years
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Statute of Limitation on Debt?" Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Time-Barred Debts." Accessed Sept. 18, 2020.
Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.