The statute of limitations regulates how long creditors have to sue you for an unpaid debt in a particular state. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for debt collection varies depending on the type of debt. If the creditor threatens to sue after the statute of limitations, it's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, you'll still owe the debt, so the calls and letters from the creditor won't necessarily stop.
Breach of Contracts
In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for an oral or verbal contract is 3 years. A oral agreement sometimes is difficult to prove in court, but witnesses to the agreement can help strengthen the case. If a contract is put in writing, the statute of limitations doubles to 6 years. Common written contracts include auto loans, personal loans, utility service agreements, medical bills and cell phone contracts.
Promissory notes also have a 6-year statute of limitations. In Connecticut, promissory notes commonly are used for mortgage loans or private student loans. A promissory note is a signed promise to pay a sum of money to another party, typically a bank or financial institution. A promissory note includes the terms of repayment and interest rate. An acceleration clause is also commonly included, which means the entire balance may be due if you miss a payment.
The statute of limitations for open-ended accounts is 6 years. An open-ended account is revolving account with a varying balance. Credit cards and home equity lines of credit are examples of open-ended accounts. If the debt is sold to a third-party collection agency, the statute of limitations won't be affected. However, acknowledging that you owe the debt, making a payment or making arrangements to pay can potentially extend the statute of limitations.
In Connecticut there's no statute of limitations for enforcing child support arrears, and no statute of limitations for unpaid federal student loans. If you default on student loans, the government can collect until the balance is paid. Forms of collection for an unpaid federal loan include wage garnishments, tax refund interceptions and bank levies.
The state follows the Internal Revenue Service's 3-year rule for assessing tax liabilities, and a 10-year statute of limitations for collecting overdue taxes.
- Bankrate.com: State Statutes of Limitations for Old Debts
- Expert Law: The Promissory Note
- Nolo: The Statute of Limitations Ran Out on My Credit Debt. Can the Collection Agency Still Contact Me?
- Support Collectors: Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Resource Center
- Nolo: Time Limits on IRS Collections
- Nolo: Connecticut Wage Garnishment Laws
- Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. "Time-Barred Debts." Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Fair Credit Reporting Act § 605. Requirements Relating to Information Contained in Consumer Reports," Pages 22-23. Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What is the Statute of Limitations on a Debt?" Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Under FTC Settlement, Debt Buyer Agrees to Pay $2.5 Million for Alleged Consumer Deception." Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.