How long can you be chased for a debt?

Dealing with unpaid debts can be a challenging and time-sensitive process. You may be wondering how long you have to recover your unpaid debts or how long creditors can legally pursue you for outstanding payments. In Australia, the limitation period for debts varies depending on your location. This article aims to clarify the timeframes associated with debt recovery, the consequences of exceeding these limits, and how RCR Lawyers can assist you in navigating debt recovery effectively.

Limitation Period for Unpaid Debts

In most states across Australia, the limitation period for pursuing unpaid debts is set at six (6) years. However, it’s crucial to note that the Northern Territory has a different timeframe, with a limitation period of three (3) years. Understanding the limitation period is essential as it defines the legal timeframe within which creditors can take action to recover their debts. This period starts from one of the following dates:

  1. The date when the debt became due and payable.
  2. The last date a payment was made toward the debt.
  3. The date when the debtor acknowledged in writing that they owed the debt.

Calculating this period accurately is of utmost importance, as failing to do so could result in your inability to successfully recover the debt, and the debt will become statute-barred.

Statute-Barred Debts

A statute-barred debt is one that has surpassed the limitation period specified by your state or territory (six (6) years in most Australian states and three (3) years in the Northern Territory). When a debt reaches this status, the creditor no longer has a legal right to pursue its recovery. However, it’s crucial to understand that certain actions can reset the clock on the limitation period, preventing a debt from becoming statute-barred. For example, if the debtor acknowledges the debt in writing or makes any payments toward the debt, the limitation period restarts.


Act Swiftly to Recover Unpaid Debts

As time passes, your chances of successfully recovering an unpaid debt decrease. The longer you wait, the more challenging the process becomes. If you’re dealing with outstanding debts, we strongly recommend taking swift action to protect your interests.


Rely on RCR Lawyers for Effective Debt Recovery

At RCR Lawyers, we specialize in debt recovery solutions tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Our experienced team of debt recovery lawyers is well-versed in the intricacies of debt collection and the associated legal processes. We offer comprehensive guidance and support to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.


Consult with RCR Lawyers

Should you require any assistance in regards to unpaid debt, contact our debt recovery lawyers now to discuss your options in a no-obligation consultation with the experts. We will guide you, step by step and ensure the best possible outcome for your circumstances.  Call our Brisbane lawyers on (07) 3009 8444 or our Sydney lawyers on (02) 9307 8900. Alternatively, click here to get started.


The blog published by Rostron Carlyle Rojas is intended as general information only and is not legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing the blog posts, the reader understands there is no solicitor-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a legal practitioner, and readers are urged to consult RCR on any legal queries concerning a specific situation.

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