December 6, 2023

Statute of Limitations Florida Debt Collection

Dealing with debt collection can be a daunting task, especially when you are not aware of the laws and regulations that govern the process. If you live in Florida, it is important to understand the statute of limitations for debt collection. This can help you protect your rights and avoid any unnecessary legal issues.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Debt Collection in Florida?

The statute of limitations for debt collection in Florida varies depending on the type of debt. In general, the statute of limitations starts from the date of the last payment or activity on the account. Here are some of the most common types of debts and their corresponding statute of limitations in Florida:

  1. Oral contracts: 4 years
  2. Written contracts: 5 years
  3. Promissory notes: 5 years
  4. Open accounts (credit cards): 4 years
  5. Auto loans: 4 years

It is important to note that the statute of limitations can be extended if the debtor acknowledges the debt or makes a partial payment. This is known as "tolling" the statute of limitations and can reset the clock, giving the creditor more time to collect the debt.


What Happens When the Statute of Limitations Expires?

Once the statute of limitations expires, the creditor can no longer sue you for the debt. This means that they cannot take legal action to collect the debt, and you are no longer legally obligated to pay it. However, the debt still exists and can be reported to credit bureaus, which can negatively impact your credit score.

It is important to note that if you make a payment or acknowledge the debt after the statute of limitations expires, you can reset the clock and give the creditor more time to collect the debt.

Protecting Your Rights During Debt Collection

Debt collection can be stressful and overwhelming, but it is important to know your rights as a consumer. Here are some tips to protect your rights during debt collection:

  1. Know your rights: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates debt collection practices. It protects consumers from abusive and deceptive debt collection practices and allows them to dispute debts that are not theirs.

  2. Keep records: Keep track of all communication with debt collectors, including phone calls, emails, and letters. This can help you dispute any inaccurate information and protect your rights.

  3. Validate the debt: If you are unsure whether a debt is legitimate, you have the right to request validation from the creditor. They must provide proof that you owe the debt before they can collect it.

  4. Seek legal help: If you are facing debt collection harassment or legal action, it is important to seek legal help. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.


Understanding the statute of limitations for debt collection in Florida is an important step in protecting your rights as a consumer. It can help you avoid unnecessary legal issues and protect your credit score. If you are facing debt collection, it is important to know your rights and seek legal help if necessary. By taking proactive steps, you can protect your financial well-being and avoid the stress of debt collection.

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