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North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

Melissa Lyken | December 26, 2023

Melissa Lyken
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Melissa Lyken, BS

Melissa Lyken is a senior paralegal and legal-finance content writer with over eight years of professional legal and business experience and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Fact-checked by George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD/MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Summary: The North Dakota statute of limitations on most debt is six years, including credit card debt and debts resulting from most types of loans. However, other types of debt, like mortgage, have a ten-year statute of limitations in ND. If your debt is old enough, you can use the expired statute of limitations as a defense in your debt lawsuit with the help of SoloSuit.

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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North Dakota's statute of limitations on debt can prevent a judgment against you

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 may still file against you, but you can raise the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. The court would then have the option of dismissing the lawsuit on the grounds it was filed beyond the applicable statutory period. This would, in effect, mean 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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ND statute of limitations on certain 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. The table below illustrates the ND statutes of limitations on different types of debts:

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Colorado

Debt Type Deadline
Breach of contract 4 years
Credit card 6 years
Medical 6 years
Student loan 6 years
Auto loan 6 years
Personal loan 6 years
Mortgage 10 years
Judgment 10 years
Source: N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-15, § 28-01-16(1), and § 41-02-104

The North Dakota statute of limitations on debt resulting from credit cards, medical services, student loans, auto loans, and personal loans is six years according to N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-16(1), which states:

“The following actions must be commenced within six years after the claim for relief has accrued:

1. An action upon a contract, obligation, or liability, express or implied.”

The statute of limitations on judgments and mortgage debt is ten years, according to N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-15:

“The following actions must be commenced within ten years after the claim for relief has accrued:

1. An action upon a judgment or decree of any court of the United States or of any state or territory within the United States;

2. An action upon a contract contained in any conveyance or mortgage of or instrument affecting the title to real property except a covenant of warranty, an action upon which must be commenced within ten years after the final decision against the title of the covenantor; and

3. Any action or proceeding for the foreclosure of a mortgage upon real estate.”

Finally, the statute of limitations on a breach of contract is four years, which is coded by law under N.D. Cent. Code § 41-02-104:

“An action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the claim for relief has accrued. By the original agreement the parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year but may not extend it.”

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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Is your debt time-barred?

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 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 a personalized Answer to your ND debt lawsuit online, in a matter of minutes, with the help of SoloSuit.

Find out if you restarted the statute of limitations timeline on 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, as outlined in N.D. Cent. Code § 28-01-37, which states:

“In an action brought to recover a balance due upon a mutual open, and current account, when there have been reciprocal demands between the parties, the claim for relief is deemed to have accrued from the time of the last item proved in the account on either side.”

In other words, 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. And if your debt is still valid within the ND statute of limitations, consider debt settlement before your court date.

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