Debt Collection Statute of Limitations in Florida Explained 

A creditor’s rights attorney is an attorney that represents the creditor in debt collection. The main objective of this attorney is to help collect the money that a debtor owes. 

Creditors are businesses, banks and financial institutions, such as credit card companies and mortgage lenders. They may be called different names in Florida depending on their business structure or the type of business they are engaged in, but they all have two things in common: they lend out money and expect it to be repaid. 

A problem can arise with the latter if a debtor starts missing payments and the creditor takes too long to take the issue to court. A debt collection statute of limitations is a legal statute that bars creditors from filing lawsuits against their debtors for collection. The amount of time a creditor has to file a lawsuit in Florida will depend on which type of debt is owed. In this article, we’ll dive a little further into what the debt collection statute of limitations means for you, your rights as a creditor, and what a creditor’s rights attorney can do for you. 

The Creditor’s Rights Attorney: What He Does 

Creditor’s rights attorneys are knowledgeable in debt collection and can help you with legal issues related to this topic. They specialize in collecting debts that are over two years past due. Creditor’s rights attorneys can help you collect on any debt, including medical bills, credit cards, and auto loans. In addition, they can sue on your behalf if you need to take legal action against someone who owes money. 

What’s The Purpose Of A Creditor’s Rights Attorney? 

The purpose of a creditor’s rights attorney is to help you with any legal issues related to unpaid debts. These include lawsuits for nonpayment of debt and

wage garnishments, foreclosure lawsuits, or liens against real property owned by your company/organization. As a creditor, you have certain rights, including the right to be paid. If you feel like anyone has violated your rights, Paul A Humbert’s law office is here to help you. 

Debt Collection Statute of Limitations on Debt for the State of Florida. 

The statute of limitations on debt in Florida is generally five years. Therefore, as a creditor, you usually have five years to sue your debtor for the money you are owed. 

Florida state law states that

“Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced: WITHIN FIVE YEARS.- (a)A legal or equitable action on a contract, obligation, or liability…”. 

This is for “general”, “contractual” debt like a credit card or medical debt. There are other types of debt with statutes of limitations ranging from 1 year (performance-based contract) to 20 years (unpaid property taxes or monetary legal judgement), all the way up to “no statute of limitations” for unpaid alimony. 

Many debtors know that if they can stall long enough, they will be able to walk away from the debt without having to pay it off. We want to ensure you get paid back what is legally owed to you, and we will fight tooth and nail for your rights as a creditor. 

Time-Barred Debt 

Time-barred debt is old debt for which the statute of limitations has expired, and the creditor is no longer allowed to pursue legal action. This type of debt is typically considered uncollectible. 

When Does the Clock Start on the Statute of Limitations?

The Florida statute of limitations for consumer debt begins to run on the date that a payment is missed or when you first incurred the liability, whichever occurred later. 

In Florida, the statute of limitations on contractual debt (like your credit card bill) will be reset–or tolled–if debtors make a payment. So if, for example, you own debt with a five-year statute of limitations and your debtor makes a partial payment within the first year, you can still sue within five years from the date of that payment. 

Can the Clock Restart After Time Has Run Out? 

The statute of limitations for debt collection in Florida is generally five years from the date of the last payment or from the date on which the debt was incurred. However, if a debtor makes a partial payment on a contractual debt (like a credit card payment), that will reset the statute of limitations and restart the clock, regardless of whether or not time has run out. 

Once the clock has run out, a creditor can no longer pursue legal action, but just because a creditor can’t pursue legal action does not mean they can’t attempt to collect. 

Collecting a Debt After the Statute of Limitations Has Expired 

While it is not a prohibited practice to sue a borrower after the statute of limitations has expired, doing so would likely get your lawsuit dismissed. However, courts don’t keep information tracking different debts and their statutes of limitations—it’s up to the debtors themselves to prove the statute of limitations has run out. 

Once that deadline passes, borrowers should understand that they still owe the debt. As a creditor, you can still call, send letters, or otherwise try to collect the debt, but you must do so in accordance with the law. So get in touch to ensure you aren’t violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). 

What Happens if You Overstep as a Debt Collector?

If you are a debt collector, you can be held liable for violating the FDCPA. The FDCPA provides consumer protection for debtors and creditors alike. It requires that all parties involved in collecting debts treat each other with dignity and respect. Violating these rules can have serious consequences. If it’s possible you have overstepped as a debt collector, or you aren’t sure how to navigate this landscape, be sure to get in touch with a creditor’s rights attorney right away. 


When pursuing debt collection in Florida, one of the most important things to understand is the statute of limitations in Florida. If you seek a judgment against a debtor, you should speak with an attorney who can provide legal counsel and advise on how best to proceed with your case. Debt collection is a complicated process. First, you need to know the laws that govern it, including the FDCPA. If you’re unsure what you can or can’t do, talk with a consumer rights attorney specializing in this area.