A statute of limitations for the cancellation of credit card debt exists in every state. In Ohio, this time period can span from six to 15 years. The State of Ohio Statute 2305.07 sets a six-year limit on "open ended" accounts. Statute 2305.06 allows for up to 15 years. The length of time is totally up to the discretion of the credit card company and their assigned lawyers and collectors in determining if whether they will cease efforts at six years, or continue for up to 15 years.
Companies and collectors in the State of Ohio use state statutes 2305.06 and 2305.07 for the time period they are allowed to file a lawsuit on credit card debts.
If you are a credit card debtor, keep in mind that it is entirely up to the credit card company, lawyers, and debt collectors on how long they choose to pursue and sue you. Some will abide by Statute 2305.07, and stop efforts after six years, taking into consideration the amount of debt owed in comparison to the cost and time to pursue a lawsuit. Others will use Statute 2307.06 to continue efforts for as long as 15 years, whether the amount is considered large or small.
State of Ohio Statute 2305.07
State of Ohio Statute 2305.07 covers what Ohio defines as “open-ended accounts.” Credit card debts apply under this state statute, which imposes a limitation of six years. If you are a debtor and still being pursued after six years, that could be a strong indication that provisions under the State of Ohio Statute 2305.06 are being used to continue efforts.
State of Ohio Statute 2305.06
This statute applies to what are called “written contracts.” In this case, it is applicable to the contract and/or agreement that was signed by the credit card debtor, and it is used as legal evidence that the debtor agreed to the terms and conditions as stated by the company who issued the credit card.
Companies and collectors use this statute as a basis to file a lawsuit after the six-year statute expires. It can be used to continue efforts to sue and collect from credit card debtors for up to 15 years.
Attempts to Collect Before the Statutes Expire
It is not uncommon for credit card debt collectors to intensify debt collection phone calls and mailings when the statute is about to expire. They are aware of the impending deadlines on their ability to sue and pursue debtors legally.
Considerations for Debtors
It is important for Ohio debtors to understand the implications and impact the debt will have on their financial future over the next six to 15 years.
Review your credit report with all major bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Examine what has been reported. The information can stay on your credit report for as long as seven years. Explore your rights to address and correct any inaccurate information.
It is equally important to be aware of efforts that you could take that will essentially “restart the clock” on when the statute of limitations will expire on your credit card debt. This process is referred to as “re-aging.” For example, if you make a payment on a credit card debt after the before the statute of limitations expires, the statute resets from the date of that payment, and restarts the opportunity for lawsuits for another six- to 15-year period. In addition, re-aging also restarts the clock on how long the debt appears on your credit report.
Considerations for Credit Card Companies and Collectors
Ohio does provide a “window of opportunity” to extend the time period to sue for credit card debt by maximizing provisions under Statute 2305.06 for up to 15 years. However, there are important legal requirements, specific to Ohio when pursuing efforts beyond the six-year limitation provided by Statute 2305.07. The lawsuit filing must include the original contract with the creditor from the year the debt account was opened, with the debtor’s signature, in order to meet requirements to pursue a suit utilizing Statute 2305.06.
Cheryl Munson has been writing since 1990, with experience as a writer and creative director in the advertising industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a focus on advertising from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.