The Illinois statute of limitations mandates how long debt collectors have to sue for a debt. Illinois residents can use the statute to avoid debt lawsuits and have those lawsuits abandoned.
Even after debts have passed the statute of limitations mark, debt holders still sue. However, Illinois residents can use the statue of limitations law to petition the court to throw out the lawsuit. The statute of limitations does not mean the debt is forgiven; it is still owed.
The statute of limitations for Illinois debts is four years for breach of contract, five years for open accounts or unwritten contract and 20 years for domestic lawsuits.
Debt collectors work around the statute of limitations in collection efforts. The statute of limitations is "reset" by making a payment on an old debt. New activity on the account, such as even a promise to pay, resets the statute of limitations.
Kristine Brite worked as a community journalist and public relations specialist before moving onto freelance writing. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University and has six years of professional writing experience.