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Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection in Nebraska

Chloe Meltzer | March 11, 2024

Chloe Meltzer
Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

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 Patrick Austin, J.D.

Patrick Austin
Attorney from George Mason
Patrick Austin, JD

Patrick Austin is a licensed attorney with a background in data privacy and information security law. Patrick received his law degree at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for the National Security Law Journal.

Summary: The statute of limitations for debt is typically five years in Nebraska, which means debt collectors cannot sue you if you haven't taken any action on your account for more than five years. If you've been sued for an old debt in Nebraska, SoloSuit can help you stand up for your rights, respond to the case, and use the expired statute of limitations as a defense in your case.

If you are being sued for debt then there are a few different affirmative defenses that you can look into. One of these defenses is to bring forth the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a specific period of time that you may be sued for consumer debt.

Consumers facing a lawsuit against them can use the statute of limitations as a means for avoiding being sued during an attempt to collect debts. The amount of time for the statute of limitations varies in each state but typically ranges anywhere from four to six years.

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Statute of Limitations on Debt in Nebraska

Debt Type Deadline
Oral contracts 4 years
Credit card 5 years
Medical 5 years
Student loan 5 years
Auto loan 5 years
Personal loan 5 years
Mortgage 5 years
Judgment 5 years
Source: Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-205, §25-206, and §25-1515

In Nebraska, the statute of limitations on debt is five years for credit card, medical, student loan, auto loan, personal loan, mortgage debt as well as judgments. For debts resulting from an oral contract, the NE statute of limitations is four years.

So, in the state of Nebraska, the statute of limitations is five years from the last payment made. This means that a creditor or debt collector sues you after five years have passed, you can raise the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense in an effort to get the Nebraska debt collection lawsuit tossed out of court. If the agreement was verbal, then that number is reduced to four years.

Don't make payments on an old debt until you've checked the statute of limitations

Once you make a voluntary payment on a lapsed debt, it resets the Nebraska statute of limitations. This means that even if a debt has not passed the statute of limitations and you make a payment on it, it will start the time period over again. At this point, the five years of the statute of limitations will restart. This allows the debt collector to bring you to court and sue you for your debt.

There are debt collectors known as “debt scavengers” who specifically search through old debts to collect on. This is why it is essential to know what debts you owe, the last time you paid those debts, and the potential consequences that come with paying (or not paying) on a debt.

Although the Nebraska statute of limitations on debt prohibits a creditor or debt collector from suing you for debt, they can still collect on it. This means that although you will not be brought to court, they may continue to contact you.

One common occurrence in the debt collection industry is to buy debt that has fallen outside the statute of limitations. Typically these debts are purchased at a tremendous discount. Then these collectors attempt to harass or trick consumers into paying off these debts. Although you cannot be brought to court for the debt, most consumers do not know the legalities of the situation.

Creditors that purchase these types of debts always lack basic documentation that can prove you owe the debt. This is another reason why they cannot take you to court, but they may continue to pursue you to collect your debt.

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Debt collectors will try to get you to pay expired debt

To get people to pay on the debt that has passed the statute of limitations, debt collectors will use many tactics. The same tactics are used to collect on debts that do not belong to you, or that have already been discharged in bankruptcy. All of these tactics are used in an attempt to revive the debt and reset the statute of limitations.

Common debt collection tactics include:

  • Pushing you to pay a small amount on the debt in exchange for “leaving you alone”
  • Promising they will not report the debt to the credit bureau in exchange for a small payment
  • Threatening to sue you or serving you with a lawsuit (both are illegal on a time-barred debt)
  • Re-aging debt on your credit report
  • Verbal abuse
  • Consistent harassment
  • Misrepresenting themselves as a “litigation” firm

If you deal with debt collectors that use the above tactics, your best choice would be to ignore them. You can check your credit report to see if the debt has been reported, but if they continue to pursue you, you might be able to sue them under the FDCPA.

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Respond to a lawsuit for a debt that is past the statute of limitations

The Nebraska statute of limitations on debt prohibits creditors and debt collectors from suing you after five years. Despite this, debt collectors may attempt to sue you anyway. This is done in hopes that having a lawsuit against you will push you to pay off your debt. Luckily, you can fight this. Here's how.

Respond in Writing

When you first receive a Summons in the mail your initial reaction may be to avoid it. This is the wrong choice. It is essential to file a written response when it comes to being sued for the expired debt. This written response is called an Answer and should be filed with the Nebraska court clerk, stating that the debt the creditor is trying to collect on an expired debt. You will simply explain that the debt has fallen outside the Nebraska statute of limitations and that you are using this as a defense to the lawsuit.

Request documentation

After filing an official Answer, your next step is to demand an account history for the debt. Any creditor or debt collector is required by law to produce documentation confirming your debt. This must be the original creditor agreement. If the debt is older than five years, they must also show proof that you have made some type of payment on that debt within that time.

The documentation must show:

  • The date the payment was made
  • How much the payment was for
  • How the payment was made, whether that was a bank transfer, check, or cash

If this information cannot be produced, then any judge should reject the lawsuit.

File a countersuit

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits creditors from suing you after your debt has passed the statute of limitations. When a debt collector files a lawsuit against you for an expired debt it breaks the law. This allows you to counter sue for up to $1000 in punitive damages, as well as compensation for any attorney's fees.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

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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"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

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