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Statute Of Limitation For Debts (Illinois)

Robert J. Adams and Associates Nov. 12, 2018

(Contracts, medical bills, repossession, credit cards, purchases, etc.)

Creditors can pursue individuals for a limited period of time. This article sets out some of the more common time limits:

  1. In general, written contracts (see footnote)1: 10 years

  2. Oral contracts: 5 years

  3. Sale of goods (automobiles, furniture, natural gas): 4 years

  4. Store Credit: 4 years

  5. Credit cards in Illinois: 5 years

  6. Bad check penalties: 2 years

  7. Checks other than bad debt penalties: 3 years

  8. Money judgments: 7 years but can be revived up to a total of 27 years.

  9. Parking tickets and red light tickets: does not seem to have any time limit.


  1. The time to start the clock is the later of the date of last payment or from the date of default.

  2. The statute of limitation is NOT restarted: if responding to a collection letter and disputing the debt.

  3. The statute of limitation is NOT restarted when a Debt Buyer attempts to collect.

Attempting to collect a time-barred debt MAY violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if:

  • a settlement or payment plan is offered, or

  • if the attempt is misleading,

  • Contact a consumer attorney and have them review the letters you received. This should not cost you anything.

A debt may be reported on your credit report for 7.5 years after the default that led to charge off or 7 years from charge off, whichever is less. Check your credit reports to see if the debt is being reported and if so whether the information about it (dates) is accurate.

Caution: The Statute of Limitation is a defense. If you are sued you it must be asserted the defense. If not asserted the creditor could well prevail.

There are other time periods not discussed in this article: such as Injury to a person, property damage, libel/slander, fraud, malpractice, trespass, and some others.

If you receive a collection letter you can go to my blog:

Collection Agency Disputes and Sample Letter

Disclaimer: Posting on legal matters is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

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The odd Illinois definition of written contract (all material terms are in writing and not subject to change except by another signed writing).1