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Statute of Limitations in Oklahoma (Complete Guide 2023)

George Simons | March 21, 2023

You may have a debt, but you also have a defense.

Summary: The Oklahoma statute of limitations on credit card debt (and written contracts) is five years. For oral or implied contracts, the Oklahoma statute of limitations is three years. Once the statute of limitations has expired on your, you cannot be sued for it. Avoid making any payments to a debt collector until you know more about the debt. Use SoloSuit to respond to debt collectors and beat them in court.

If you keep getting calls and letters from creditors seeking repayment for an outstanding debt, it is important to figure out the age of the alleged debt. Why? Because there are laws that give a time limit for debt collection lawsuits to be filed in Oklahoma. The time period is known as the “statute of limitations.”

In this article, we will outline the statute of limitations on different debts in Oklahoma and explain how you can use this information to defend yourself in court.

Use the statute of limitations as a defense in your lawsuit.

What is the statute of limitations?

The statute of limitations is the time period in which a creditor, or debt collection agency, can file a lawsuit against you to try and recover an outstanding debt. If the statute of limitations in Oklahoma has expired, both creditors and debt collection agencies are prohibited from filing suit against you for the debt.

The statute of limitations will vary both by the type of debt and the state in which you reside. For example, the statute of limitations for a debt collection lawsuit in Florida is different from a debt collection lawsuit filed in Oklahoma.

In certain circumstances, the time period for taking legal action will be dictated by the specific language in a contractual agreement. For example, many credit card agreements feature a “choice of law” provision that designates a particular state law that will apply if there is a dispute.

Knowing Oklahoma’s statutes will help you respond to debt collectors in the best way and increase your chances of winning your case.

Oklahoma statute of limitations on debt

According to Oklahoma statutes, 12 OK Stat §12-95(A)(1-2) states:

“A. Civil actions other than for the recovery of real property can only be brought within the following periods, after the cause of action shall have accrued, and not afterwards:

1. Within five (5) years: An action upon any contract, agreement, or promise in writing;

2. Within three (3) years: An action upon a contract express or implied not in writing; an action upon a liability created by statute other than a forfeiture or penalty; and an action on a foreign judgment;”

This means that the statute of limitations for written contracts and open accounts is five years, while the statute of limitations on oral contracts is just three years. In other words, the Oklahoma statute of limitations on credit card debt is five years.

So, if you owe a credit card debt, your creditor or debt collectors only have five years to sue you for it, based on the date of the last activity on the account.

The table below outlines the statute of limitations on different types of debt in Oklahoma:

Statute of Limitations on Debt in Oklahoma

Debt Type Deadline in Years
Open Account 5
Written Contract 5
Oral Contract 3

Let’s take a look at an example.

Example: Luke is being sued for an old credit card debt that he doesn’t even remember. He finds out that the debt was sold to a debt collection agency called LVNV Funding who is taking him to court. Luke does some research and finds out that he hasn’t been active on this credit card account for more than seven years, meaning the statute of limitations on his debt has expired. Luke uses SoloSuit to Answer the lawsuit and uses the expired statute of limitations as one of his affirmative defenses. The case gets dismissed, and Luke is off the hook!

You can make the right affirmative defense the right way, with SoloSuit.

Understanding the statute of limitations in Oklahoma can help you know how to respond when debt collectors start calling. Before you agree to make any payments to a collector, you should investigate the statute of limitations. Here’s why.

When does the statute of limitations start?

A common question asked about the statute of limitations is when the timer begins. Well, much like the statute of limitations itself, the date that the clock starts on the statute of limitations will vary based on the state in which you reside. In some states, the commencement of the statute of limitations is when you made your last payment. In other states, the limitations period will commence on the date of your first missed payment.

Creditors and debt collection agencies can file a lawsuit to recover the debt before the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, when the limitations period expires, creditors are unable to take legal action against you to try and collect on a delinquent debt.

Do not accidentally reset the clock on an old debt

It is important to understand that debt collectors are not legally obligated to tell you that the statute of limitations expired. Some debt collectors who know that the statute of limitations period on the debt expired may be particularly aggressive to try and convince you to make a payment. Why? Because the collector knows that if you make a new payment toward the old debt, it will effectively trigger a restart on the statute of limitations period.

In Oklahoma, when there is “new activity” on a time-barred debt (e.g., making a full or partial payment) the statute of limitations can restart which gives the creditor or debt collection agencies several additional years to take legal action against you.

This isn’t the only trick debt collectors have up their sleeves.

Don't let debt collectors intimidate you. File a response with SoloSuit and win in court.

Beware of these debt collection tricks and tactics

Unfortunately, many debt collectors will use every trick in the book to try and recover a debt, even if that debt is extremely old and barred by the statute of limitations in Oklahoma. Here is an overview of some of the common tricks and tactics used by debt collectors when pursuing payment on an old debt:

  • Threatening to file a lawsuit against you, even when the statute of limitations period has expired.
  • Threatening you with a prison sentence (spoiler alert: you cannot go to jail for failing to pay a consumer debt).
  • Threatening you with foreclosure on your home.
  • Contacting your friends, family members, and work colleagues.
  • Misleading you by saying that a small payment toward the debt will effectively restore your good credit. Please understand that a single small payment toward debt will in no way impact your credit score. The only reason they want you to make a small payment is to try and restart the clock on the statute of limitations.

Each of these examples is considered a violation of the Oklahoma Fair Debt Collection Practices Act—a state law that protects consumers from questionable debt collection tactics.

Oklahoma collection laws can protect you

If you want to avoid the threat of being sued for a time-barred debt in Oklahoma, proactively ask if the debt Is time-barred based on the statute of limitations. Debt collectors are legally obligated, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), to respond honestly when asked whether the outstanding debt is time-barred. If the debt collector confirms that the statute of limitations has expired on the debt, do not acknowledge the debt and do not agree to pay any of it.

The FDCPA is a federal law enacted by Congress that was intended to protect individuals from being subjected to harassing debt collection attempts.

In addition to the legal obligation to tell you whether the debt is time-barred due to the statute of limitations, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from contacting you before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm, contacting your employer, using threatening language, etc.

If you are unsure whether the debt is time-barred based upon the statute of limitations, ask for confirmation on when the last payment was made. The debt collector should be able to tell you the date of the last payment. On the other hand, if the debt collector does not have this information, it may be an indication that the collection agency is trying to collect on debt with flimsy or paltry evidence.

You also have the right to request a debt validation from the creditor. You can do so by sending a Debt Validation Letter within 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector. This letter forces debt collectors to confirm the specific information about the debt collection agency (or creditor), the debt purportedly owed, and your rights under the FDCPA. The creditor or debt collection agency is legally obligated to stop all collection efforts until it responds to the Debt Validation Letter.

Send a formal request for a debt validation to get collector off your back.

Old debts remain on your credit report after the statute of limitations expires

Once a debt has passed the statute of limitations, a debt collector or creditor is barred from suing you to try and recover the debt. However, it is important to note that an old, unpaid debt will remain on your credit report.

Specifically, old debts that have not been paid will generally stay on your credit report for seven years from the date of the first missed payment. As a result, the old debt can still negatively impact your credit score and make it more difficult to qualify for loans and credit in the future.

Protect your credit score and fight debt collectors in and out of court.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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