Pennsylvania (PA) Statute of Limitations


Pittsburgh Lawyer

A Statute of Limitations is a law which sets forth the maximum time period for which a person or business can wait before filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, depending on the type of case or claim. The time periods vary by state. Federal statutes set the limitations for suits filed in federal courts. State laws set the time limitations for suits filed in state courts. If the lawsuit or claim is not filed before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is forever dead (barred).

In Pennsylvania, the most common Statutes of Limitation are the two year statute (for personal injury and property damage type claims) and the four year statute (for claims based upon any type of contract (this would include Credit Card collection cases)).

The big question is "When does the Statute of Limitations on my case expire?"  On a credit card case, the general answer is Four Years and Thirty Days from the date of the last payment on the account.

A big concern that I see from my clients is that they think that the Statute of Limitations is their only defense...nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience, the SOL is used on less than 10 percent of the collection claims that we defend. There are a multitude of other defenses, many of which are introduced before the SOL is even discussed. If you are being pursued by a collection agency or a credit card company, please contact my office for a free, no obligation consult to discuss your issue.

Copies of the referenced Pennsylvania statutes are listed for your review.

§ 5524. Two year limitation.

The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within two year:

  1. An action for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution or malicious abuse of process.
  2. An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.
  3. An action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property, including actions for specific recovery thereof.
  4. An action for waste or trespass of real property.
  5. An action upon a statute for a civil penalty or forfeiture.
  6. An action against any officer of any government unit for the nonpayment of money or the nondelivery of property collected upon on execution or otherwise in his possession.
  7. Any other action or proceeding to recover damages for injury to person or property which is founded on negligent, intentional, or otherwise tortious conduct or any other action or proceeding sounding in trespass, including deceit or fraud, except an action or proceeding subject or another limitation, specified in this subchapter.

§ 5525. Four year limitation.

The following actions and proceedings must be commenced within four years:

  1. An action upon a contract, under seal or otherwise, for the sale, construction or furnishing of tangible personal property or fixtures.
  2. Any action subject to 13 Pa. C.S. §2725 (relating to statute of limitations in contracts for sale).
  3. An action upon an express contract not founded upon an instrument in writing.
  4. An action upon a contract implied in law, except an action subject to another limitation specified in this subchapter.
  5. An action upon a judgment or decree of any court of the United States or of any state.
  6. An action upon any official bond of a public official, officer or employee.
  7. An action upon a negotiable or nonnegotiable bond, note or other similar instrument in writing. Where such an instrument is payable upon demand, the time within which an action on it must be commenced shall be computed from the later of either demand or any payment of principal of or interest on the instrument.
  8. An action upon a contract, obligation or liability founded upon a writing not specified in paragraph (7), under seal or otherwise, except an action subject to another limitation specified in this subchapter.

Pittsburgh PA LawyerIf you have further questions about the Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations call Attorney Artim at (412) 823-8003 to schedule an appointment. If you prefer, send an email to Attorney Greg Artim