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Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection in New Mexico

Melissa Lyken | December 01, 2022

Tell debt collectors their time is up.

Summary: Debt collectors like to come after debtors for expired debts. Before you make any payments, find out if that debt collector filed a lawsuit that the court will happily dismiss.

Have you recently received a message from your creditor asking you to pay an old, unpaid debt? You may have forgotten about the debt, or you may be confused about how the debt collector can still collect on your debt even though significant time has passed. A creditor can sue a debtor for an outstanding debt and breach of contract for a designated time-frame.

Once the creditor has taken this action, the statute of limitations timeline for debt collection also begins. The statute of limitations is the period of time in which the creditor can file a lawsuit and legally request that the debtor pays their unpaid debt. Once the statute of limitations passes, it becomes a time-barred debt, and the creditor cannot legally enforce it.

If you are wondering whether you are still legally obliged to pay your debt or if it has become a time-barred debt, then read on for further information about the statute of limitations for debt collection in the state of New Mexico.

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Categories of Debt and the Statute of Limitations in New Mexico

Nebraska Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Written Contracts


Oral Contracts


Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange or Bonds


Contracts for Sale of Personal Property


Mortgage Debt


Credit Card


Auto Loan


State Tax


Domestic and Foreign Judgment


Other Creditors


Source: Findlaw

The statute of limitations refers to the specific time frame in which a debt collector or creditor can hold you accountable for a debt owed. As with other states, New Mexico has established different periods within its statutes of limitations that range from four to ten years depending on the type of debt. Continue reading to get a thorough understanding of the different kinds of debt in New Mexico and their prescriptive periods.

Written Contracts – 6 years

For debts based on a written contract, the creditor has six years to file a collection lawsuit against the debtor for their unpaid debts. An example of this would be a medical debt or other debts evidenced by a written agreement.

Oral Contracts and Open-Ended Accounts – 4 years

When the debt is based on a verbal agreement, the prescriptive period given to the creditor for filing a collection lawsuit is four years from the time the debtor defaulted on their obligation.

Promissory Notes, Bills of Exchange or Bonds – 6 years

When the claim of the creditor is founded on promissory notes, bills of exchange, or bonds, they have a period of six years to file a lawsuit.

Contracts for Sale of Personal Property – 4 years

For this kind of debt, the creditor has a four-year time frame to legally collect from the debtor. However, this period may be reduced to a one-year prescriptive period if agreed to by both parties, but it may not exceed four years.

Mortgage Debt – 6 years

Debts based on a mortgage contract have a prescriptive period of six years.

Credit Card – 4 years

The creditor may collect the credit card's outstanding balance within four years from when the debtor defaults.

Auto Loan – 4 years

For debt due from auto loans, a creditor may file a collection lawsuit within four years from the time the debtor defaulted.

State Tax Debt – 10 years

The state has a ten-year prescriptive period in which they can file a collection lawsuit against a delinquent citizen, beginning when the latter did not file their tax return or pay the correct amount of tax.

Domestic and Foreign Judgments – 14 years

The creditor may enforce a judgment on domestic or foreign debts within fourteen years from the time the judgment is entered.

Other Creditor – Debtor Transactions – 4 years

For all other types of debt not specifically stated above, the creditor has a four-year prescriptive period to file a collection suit and pursue a claim against their debtor.

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Debt Collectors Have a Set Time-Frame to Hold You Accountable

Upon the lapse of the statute of limitations for each kind of debt, if the creditor did not file a collection lawsuit to collect from the debtor, the debt is now time-barred. Consequently, the creditor is now barred from filing a court action or seeking help from the court to enforce their claim against the debtor. Even though the statute of limitations may have passed on your debt, many debt collectors still pursue lawsuits. So it is critical for you to include this defense in your suit if it applies to your circumstance. The debt is not extinguished and will remain in the debtor's credit report for six years. However, the debtor is not legally obliged and will not be forced to pay the debt that they owe.

Use the Statute of Limitations on Time-Barred Debts

When debt becomes a time-barred debt, the creditor may still demand that the debtor pays the old debt. The debtor can still pay it if they feel that they are morally obliged to pay it. However, undertaking a payment or even making a new promise to pay will affect the debt's lapsed statute of limitations.

If you seek to use the statute of limitations as a defense in your lawsuit, you must take into account any payments that you may have made during the statute of limitations. Many debtors are unaware that making payments during the statute of limitations resets the clock on the prescriptive period.

Upon making a partial payment or making a new promise to pay a time-barred debt, the statute of limitations will be reset, provided that the payment or the promise is made in writing and signed by both of the parties concerned. However, it will not extend to the lien of any mortgage on real estate or any interest therein given to secure the original indebtedness.

Suppose four to six years have already passed from the time you defaulted on paying your old debt. In that case, there's a significant possibility that it is now a time-barred debt, and the creditor who is calling you may be trying to restart the statute of limitations period. Before paying an old debt, make sure to first check the statute of limitations for New Mexico.

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