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New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Melissa Lyken | December 01, 2022

You to your debt collector.

Summary: We'll explain all of the statute of limitations for debt in New Hampshire. If you get sued for a debt use SoloSuit to respond in 15 minutes and win your case.

Are you being sued in the State of New Hampshire for an old debt? You may be asking yourself why an old creditor is filing a lawsuit against you trying to collect on a debt that you may have defaulted on many years ago. You may also wonder if the statute of limitations may have already expired on that debt. If you requested more time to pay your debt, you might have reset the clock for the statute of limitation on your debt. Let 's take a closer look at the statute of limitations laws in New Hampshire and see if you may be able to shake this old ghost that 's come back to haunt you.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Simply put, the statute of limitations in debt refers to the amount of time a litigant has to file a lawsuit. This means that if a creditor wants to sue you for a debt, they have to do so within a specific range of time, or they will forfeit the opportunity to do so later on.

The statute of limitations on debt refers to both consumer and business debt. Consumer debts are incurred by an individual primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, such as a credit card. On the other hand, business debts are debts that an individual incurred to obtain money or investments for a business. As a recourse, the creditor may file a debt collection lawsuit and ask the court to render a judgment requiring the debtor to pay the loan amount and any additional damages that the creditor may suffer, such as attorney's fees. In these cases, a debtor can receive default judgment when they fail to pay back the debt owed and fail to respond to the complaint in the lawsuit.

The real question here is, how long does a creditor have to file a collection suit against a debtor? The answer to this question depends on the statute of limitations in your state. It is critical to note that there are also different prescriptive periods depending on the type of debt an individual incurred. Let 's take a closer look at the statute of limitations on debt in New Hampshire.

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New Hampshire's Statute of Limitations Laws on 5 Types of Debt

The state of New Hampshire does not treat the statute of limitations for all debts the same. So it's important to note that depending on the type of debt you have, there are different timelines that a creditor has to file a lawsuit. Here are the five types of debt and the statutes of limitations for each one:

  1. Written contracts. Let's discuss debts that are based on written contracts and open accounts. For these debts, the creditor can file a collection suit within three (3) years from the time the debtor defaulted in paying their obligation.
  2. Promissory notes. A creditor has six (6) years upon default to file a collection suit for debts that arose from negotiable instruments. Negotiable instruments refers to promissory notes, bills of exchange, checks, government promissory notes, delivery orders, and customs receipts.
  3. Judgments. This includes actions of debt upon judgments, whether domestic or foreign, recognizances, and contracts under seal. In these cases, the creditor can file a lawsuit within 20 years after the cause of action accrued.
  4. Mortgage. If a debtor defaults on a mortgage, the creditor can file a lawsuit within 20 years. This period also applies even if there is already foreclosure on the mortgage. A creditor can bring on legal action on notes secured by a mortgage of real estate as long as the statutes of limitations are still active.
  5. Sales of goods. An action for breach of any contract for sale must occur within four (4) years after the cause of action has accrued. By the original agreement, the parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one (1) year but may not extend it. Therefore, if the debt on sales of goods is involved, the creditor's prescriptive period may be from one (1) to four (4) years. The default period for these debts would be four (4) years.

Tolling Period and Other Factors that affect Statutes of Limitations

Other scenarios must be considered that will affect the statutes of limitations listed above.

First is what is called the tolling of the period. Tolling stops or pauses time from running during the period of the statute of limitation. Tolling usually takes place when a debtor requests additional time to pay on a debt. When this happens, the statute of limitations restarts. As you can see, If you started to make payments one year after you defaulted on a debt, this can significantly affect the actual timeline of the statutes of limitations on your case.

To sum it up, once a debtor makes a subsequent payment after they've defaulted, the period of limitations will be tolled. The prescriptive period will continue after the debtor fails again in paying their obligation, which restarts the clock again. So, if you requested additional time to make payments on your debt, you will need to consider this when calculating the prescriptive period for your lawsuit.

The second scenario would be in the case of installments. As a rule, each separate payment in an installment loan has a different period of limitations. The exception here takes place when there is an acceleration of the loan.

Filing Your Answer to A Lawsuit When The Statute of Limitations Passed

For all the statute of limitations laws listed above, it is essential to remember that the creditor can not file the collection lawsuit outside of the period of limitation provided by the law. If your creditor is filing a lawsuit against you and confirm that the statutes of limitations passed, you can include this in the Answer you file with the court.

We hope this information helps you know if it is too late for that old creditor to hunt you down to pay that lingering debt or if they are playing by the rules.

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How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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