Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
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The statute of limitations on open accounts (credit card accounts) and contracts is 6 years under New Jersey Code §2A:14-1. However bankruptcy tolls the applicable statute of limitaitons because 11 USC 362 ("automatic stay") prohibits creditors from pursuing a debtor while in bankruptcy.
This is set out in 11 USC § 108(c), which is a tolling provision; it extends state statutes of limitations for creditors who are barred by the automatic stay from taking timely action against the debtor. See Young v. United States (In re Young), 233 F.3d 56, 59 n.3 (1st Cir. 2000).
Thus, the time you were in bankruptcy doesn't count against the statute of limitations applicable to the creditor's right to pursue the debt. Thus, there would have to be 6 years from the last payment or charge on the account - less the years you were in bankruptcy - in order for the debt to be barred.
It provides in pertinent part:
If applicable nonbankruptcy law . . . fixes a period for commencing or continuing a civil action in a court other than a bankruptcy court on a claim against the debtor, . . . and such period has not expired before the date of the filing of the petition, then such period does not expire until the later of -(1) the end of such period, including any suspension of such period occurring on or after the commencement of the case; or
(2) 30 days after notice of the termination or expiration of the stay under section 362 . . . of this title . . . with respect to such claim.
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