Limitation of debt and repayment


You certainly have to pay for the service to use it. A noble idea, which, unfortunately, does not always find application in reality and it is possible that many entrepreneurs have met an unreliable contractor on their path. They had gone through the bumpy road of payment claims, or worse, were convinced of its fairness without taking any decisive steps to recover their debts. Meanwhile, the debt has expired. Is it possible to demand repayment of an expired debt?

Limitation of debt in practice

To better understand the essence of the statute of limitations, please refer to the Civil Code.


Art. 117 sec. 2

After the expiry of the limitation period, the person against whom the claim is entitled may refrain from satisfying it, unless he renounces the use of the plea of ​​limitation. However, waiver of the plea of ​​limitation before the expiry of the period is null and void.


In other words, if the debt becomes time-barred, the debtor may avoid paying the obligation, but it does not automatically follow from the interpretation of the law. The fact that there has been a statute of limitations does not mean that the debt has been completely extinguished. The creditor or debt collection agency still has the right to demand payment of the expired debt by taking whatever action is permitted by the code.

Obtaining an order for payment of an expired debt

One of such actions may be obtaining a debt order. The court may issue such an order even if the debt has expired, because it does not conduct a hearing and does not analyze the case from scratch. It may come as a surprise to debtors to receive an order to pay an expired debt, but it is perfectly legal.

However, the Civil Code includes a wicket for debtors that allows them to circumvent the payment - the right to raise the plea of ​​limitation.

The plea of ​​limitation

This is nothing more than an objection to an order to pay an expired debt. Only upon this request, the limitation period may be legally (legally) recognized.

If the debtor raises the plea of ​​limitation, the creditor's claim will be dismissed by the court, i.e. he will lose the case. This means paying court costs and reimbursing the defendant. It should be noted that expired claims are not tax deductible costs.

Defense against statute of limitations

The last resort for the creditor at the time when the debtor raised the plea of ​​limitation is to carefully analyze whether the limitation period has actually expired. The limitation period may have been interrupted, which neither of the parties was aware of, and one of the ways is to recognize the claim by the debtor.

The claim is recognized as:

  • the debtor's request to spread the debt into installments,

  • redemption of interest,

  • partial payment made after receiving the request for payment,

  • filing a motion to the court for summoning a conciliation.

The second way is to claim that the debtor is abusing his right by using the plea of ​​limitation. The basis for such a suspicion is the situation in which his behavior has convinced the creditor that he will pay the liability voluntarily, deliberately postponing it. As a result, there was a statute of limitations and the debt remained unpaid. The court considers such behavior to be contrary to the principles of social coexistence.

In summary, the creditor has the right to demand repayment of the expired debt. The regulations do not completely invalidate the debts - but they provide the possibility of non-performance of the contract after a certain period of time. In order to prevent such a situation, it is worth remembering the principle "prevention is better than cure".