Check if your debt has expired (“become statute barred”)

What does it mean to say that a debt is ‘statute barred’?

The law[1] states that the credit card provider (or any company that has bought the credit card debt) only has 6 years to bring court proceedings against you for the debt. The 6-year period starts from whichever is later of:
–          The date of your last payment; or
–          The date of your last acknowledgement of the debt in writing.[2]

If this 6-year period has passed, then the debt is said to be ‘statute barred’.

[1] Section 5(1) of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic)
[2] Section 24(3) of the Limitation of Actions Act 1958 (Vic)

What happens if the credit card company brings legal proceedings against me after the 6-year period has passed?

You will be able to defend their claim on the basis that the debt is statute barred. In most cases the credit card company / debt collection company will simply abandon their claim if you can show them that the debt is statute barred. If you think you are in this situation, please call 1800 466 477 immediately to get legal advice.

The Credit Card Debt Assistance Tool will help you
check if your debt is statute barred

This tool will:

  • Ask you some questions about your credit card debt and your general situation;
  • Calculate when this debt will become state barred, based on your answers;
  • If the debt is statute barred, generate a letter that you can send to your credit card company / debt collector, asking them to confirm that it is.
  • Send you an email with a link to the letter and some other information to help you understand the law as it applies to statute barred debts.
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