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California Debt Statute of Limitations


The statute of limitations on debt in California limits creditors and debt collectors from collecting a debt after a specific time period.

Once the statute has expired the debt becomes legally uncollectible. Creditors and debt collectors may still pursue payment but you cannot be legally sued for the debt.

However, making a payment, acknowledging you owe the debt or making a written promise to pay the debt can renew the statute of limitations. Be careful when speaking with creditors and debt collectors about old debt because they are aware you have no legal obligation to pay debt that has passed the statute of limitations.

*Disclaimer: The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed, check your State’s Statutes directly to ensure up-to-date information.

California Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oral Contract: 2 years

Written Contract: 4 years

Promissory Note: 4 years

Open-Ended Accounts (Example: Credit Cards): 4 years

Collection Agency Bond Required: No

Collection Agency License Required: No

What happens in California when you have unpaid debt

If you can’t afford to pay a consumer debt in California, the law limits what a creditor or debt collector can do to collect the debt. A creditor or debt collector can take you to court and get a judgment against you.

Once a creditor has a judgment against you, it may be able to garnish your wages or ask the court for the money in your bank account. However, there are some forms of income that cannot be garnished. For instance:

In California, the following types of income are usually not subject to wage garnishment:

  • Public and private retirement benefits (such as IRAs and 401Ks).
  • Most forms of public assistance, including unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits, county assistance, student financial aid, and union benefits.
  • Insurance benefits, including payments received from life and homeowners insurance policies.
  • Social Security benefits (except in cases of debts owed to the federal government, such as delinquent taxes, and garnishments for overdue child support)

There is no such thing as a “debtors’ prison” so not paying your debt will not lead to imprisonment ⏤ unless the debt is child support or restitution ordered after a criminal conviction.

Professional credit repair companies

Credit repair can be an enormous task. Credit repair companies can do what you may not have time to see through. Consider getting professional help to get a clean slate.

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Lexington Law

Lexington Law is the leading credit repair organization with attorneys and paralegals that are knowledgeable about the laws and statutes regarding the credit bureaus, credit reports, and credit scores. With over 27 years of experience in helping clients with everything from late payments to charge-offs to bankruptcies, Lexington Law is a good choice for a credit fix company. Their “white glove” services help clients improve their credit and educate them on how to maintain good credit.

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  • Free consultation: 1-877-587-4574
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  • More than 500,000 credit repair clients helped
  • Free Transunion credit report including credit score
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  • 50% Discount for Couples, Family, Household, & Active Military
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[us_single_image image=”53125″ size=”medium”] boasts an average credit score gain of 40 points in 4 months for clients. offers credit repair services and credit score tracking all-in-one. Clients enjoy a comprehensive solution that allows them to stay on top of their credit 24/7 with email and text alerts when significant changes happen on your credit report. Services

  • Average 40-point increase in Transunion credit score during first four months
  • Free access to your Transunion credit report summary
  • Three-step plan for checking, challenging and changing your credit report
  • Online tools to help clients track results
  • TransUnion Credit Monitoring at No Extra Charge
  • Cost: $14.99 Setup – As Low as $49.95/mo.
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Credit Assistance Network

Credit Assistance Network understands the credit industry and will help you navigate the credit bureaus for success. Their staff is comprised of credit, debt and loan specialists with several years in the credit fix industry. Credit Assistance Network specializes in disputing inflated, unverifiable, inaccurate and questionable negative credit items.

Credit Assistance Network Services

  • Disputes items on your credit report
  • Mails dispute letters to major credit bureaus
  • Tracks progress online
  • Online tools to help clients track results
  • TransUnion Credit Monitoring at No Extra Charge
  • Cost: $14.99 Setup – As Low as $49.95/mo.
  • No Contract – Cancel Anytime

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Credit Saint

Credit Saint employs in-house licensed legal staff who can successfully help you navigate the federal credit reporting laws. Their staff is comprised of a team of professionals. Clients get monthly updates and credit profile analysis to help you understand updates and current status. Clients will also get information on how to build a positive credit history while they work on fixing your credit.

Credit Saint Services

  • Free credit report evaluation
  • 24-hour account access: Check the status of your account any time you want
  • Free credit report: Get full access to your credit reports, not just a curated summary
  • Average monthly fee of $79.99 plus a setup fee of $99
  • Cancel anytime: No need to commit to a never ending contract

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CreditPros was founded in 2009 by Jason M. Kaplan, Esq. who researched every credit law. After seeking advice from the nation’s best FICO experts, he developed advanced methods and strategies to fix credit. The company operates in 50 states (and Washington, DC).

CreditPros Services

  • Access to full credit reports
  • One-on-One consultations with a Certified FICO© Professional
  • Unlimited Dispute Letters
  • Debt Validation letters to creditors
  • Goodwill Letters to creditors
  • Cease and Desist Letters to Collection Agencies
  • Cost: $119.99 Setup – As Low as $69.00/mo.
  • Cancel anytime plus 100% money-back guarantee

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