Bankruptcy Chapter 7 & 13

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FAQ Topics
  Stopping Creditors
When, Where & What
  to File

Debts Discharged
Child Support &
  Spousal Maintenance

Spouses & Joint Debts
Listing Creditors
Preference in
  Paying Creditors

Court Meeting
Property Lost
Tax Effect
Secured Debts
Changes &
  Chapter 13 Plan

Missed Plan Payments
Dismissed Cases
Credit after Bankruptcy
      

Creditor's Actions Before Bankruptcy

What is the statue of limitations for Arizona regarding bad credit against someone?  7 years?  We have a judgment against us that is 5 years old and is not paid.  Is it true that in 2 years they can no longer collect it and it must be removed from our credit report?

There are a number statutes of limitations in Arizona for various kinds of debt.  Here are a few:

  • Contract in writing for debt.  Since creditors require a written agreement, this limitation would apply to most debt.  An action for debt evidenced by or founded upon a contract in writing must be commenced within 6 years from the time that the cause of action accrues.  [A.R.S. �12-548]  The 6 years does not start at the time that the loan is made.  It starts on the date that the payments are due--either the date that the final payment is due [Cheatham v. Sahuaro Collection Service, Inc., 118 Ariz. 452, 577 P.2d 738 (App. 1978)], or the date that each payment is due [Navy Federal Credit Union v. Jones, 187 Ariz. 493, 930 P.2d 1007 (App. 1996)].
    If this statute is applied in the case of credit card debt, this could be a very, very long time.  The minimum payment required for a credit card may not require that the final payment be made for 10, 15 or more years.  Following the second case, you could still be sued for 6 years after the final payment was due.
  • Oral Debt.  Where there has been no written agreement or evidence of the debt, suit must be commenced within 3 years, usually measured from the date that the debt was incurred.  [A.R.S. �12-543(1)]
  • Leases.  An action for default under a lease, including breach of warranty or indemnity, must commence within 4 years after the cause of action accrues.  [A.R.S. �47-2A506(A)]

Credit reporting agencies are governed by Federal Law.  Generally, credit information may be reported for 7 years.  The governing law, 15 U.S.C. � 1681c (renumbered as � 605), can be viewed at the Federal Trade Commission's site, Fair Credit Reporting Act.

[11-10-02]


These questions and answers are not intended as legal advice or as a statement of the law.  They are intended to suggest areas which you should discuss with your attorney.

Although Bankruptcy law is Federal code applicable to all states, the way it is applied may depend upon state law and varying practices of the courts, trustees, and even attorneys. As a result, some of these answers are directly applicable only in cases filed by our office in Arizona.

This page was last revised: 09/18/04