North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

Melissa Lyken

February 18, 2021

Can't we come to some kind of agreement?

Summary: If you defaulted on a debt long ago and the debt collectors are knocking at the door, know how to respond. The statute of limitations in North Dakota could be up. Find out if you can tell your debt collector that they're too late.

Did you default on a debt and now you are being sued out of the blue? You may be wondering if your creditor can still chase you down and oblige you to pay on your unpaid debt or if the statute of limitations for them to take you to court has passed.

If so, you may want to read further to see just how the statute of limitations on debt in North Dakota works. We will look at what may happen if the prescriptive period lapses before the creditor files a lawsuit. We will also discuss what you should do once your debt becomes time-barred.

Let's take a look at the statute of limitations in North Dakota, some of the principles you might want to know so you refrain from making mistakes when paying your old debts. You'll be able to tell if your debt is time-barred or if you may have restarted the clock for it.

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Know the North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

The statute of limitations on debt is simply the specific time frame a creditor has to file a collection suit against a debtor who has defaulted on their debt. When a creditor files a lawsuit, they are essentially asking the court to enter a judgment that will legally oblige the debtor to pay the unpaid debt. They also request you pay attorney's fees and other costs associated with the lawsuit in many cases.

Once the time given in the statute of limitations expires, the creditor can no longer file a collection suit against the debtor. Though a creditor may still file against you, the creditor loses their legal ability to hold you accountable for the debt if they sue you after the prescriptive period.

If you believe the prescriptive period for your debt has lapsed, you will want to include this when you file your Answer. Don't think that just because the statute of limitations has passed, you don't have to respond to the lawsuit. File your Answer before the deadline to avoid a default judgment and include this information in your response. You can save yourself a headache and generate your Answer on our website in minutes.

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Learn About North Dakota's Statute of Limitations on These Five (5) Types of Debt

The statute of limitations on debt in North Dakota depends on the kind of debt that the debtor has. Each type of debt has a different prescriptive period. Here are five types of debt in North Dakota and their statute of limitations:

1. Written Contracts and Oral Agreements – 6 years

Written and Oral contracts have a six-year prescriptive period. A creditor may file a collection lawsuit within six years from the time the debtor defaults on their obligation—common examples include medical debts, credit card debts, and unpaid rent.

2. Auto Loan – 4 years

Auto Loans in North Dakota have a four-year prescriptive period. If the debtor defaulted on paying their auto loan, the creditor could file a lawsuit within four years after the cause of action accrued.

3. State Tax Debt – 6 or 10 years

There are two distinct types of tax debt, so let's look at two examples:

  • In our first example, we have a taxpayer who files a tax return and pays the wrong amount in taxes. In this case, the state has six years to file against the erring citizen.

  • Next, we have an individual who did not file a tax return. The state has a ten-year prescriptive period to file a collection suit.

4. Mortgage – 10 years

If a debtor defaults on a mortgage, the creditor can file a lawsuit within ten (10) years.

5. Judgment – 10 years

If the court enters judgment on the debt, the creditor may execute that judgment within ten (10) years from the entry of judgment.

Depending on the kind of debt that you have and whether or not there's already a court judgment on it, the statute of limitations will not be the same.

Upon the lapse of the statute of limitations, if the creditor did not file a lawsuit to collect, the creditor may no longer legally hold you accountable to pay that debt. The debt now becomes a time-barred one.

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North Dakota Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Oral

6

Written

6

Auto

4

State Taxes

6 or 10

Mortgage

10

Judgment

10


Source: Findlaw



Know If You Have a Time-Barred Debt

When the creditor fails to file a collection lawsuit during the prescriptive period, the debt becomes time-barred. If you believe your debt is time-barred, you can breathe a sigh of relief if you are confident you didn't restart the statute of limitations. We will visit this in the next section.

Though you still owe the creditor for the debt, the creditor is hindered from holding you accountable for it. Some creditors may still file a collection suit against you. If that is the case, you will need to file a response to the Complaint or Petition. Filing your response or Answer does not have to be a complicated process. You can let the court know that the statute of limitations passed in your Answer. You can generate your Answer on our website in minutes.

Find Out If You Restarted the Prescriptive Period for Your Debt

There are instances when a creditor can legally collect on a debt even though the statute of limitations has expired. If an annoying debt collector kept haggling you to pay even though you were in a rough spot, they might have enticed you to make a few payments. If you made any payments during the prescriptive period, this act has the effect of reviving the statute of limitations.

If the debtor acknowledges a time-barred debt or voluntarily makes payment on the debt, this can restart the prescriptive period. The statute of limitations can restart when the debtor makes a new promise to pay, acknowledges the debt, or voluntarily pays the debt. So, debtors need to be careful when making payments or promises on time-barred debts because it may reset the statute of limitations.

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Getting sued for a debt can be a confusing and exhausting process. We hope this information helps you determine if your debt is time-barred or if that old creditor is playing by the rules.

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