After How Many Years the Debt Expires?

Debts and other liabilities are a bane of persons and other entities that are unable to collect debts due from the debtor. For the latter, the provisions of the Civil Code, which regulate the statute of limitation of obligations, may be a salvation. Is it worth relying on it until the debt expires?

Limitation and enforcement by bailiffs

Limitation and enforcement by bailiffs

Expired debt, which attracts bailiffs, it would seem that they can not be enforced… and yet. Bailiffs are involved in the enforcement of expired debts, and in their law offices, there are plenty of such cases. Where does this condition come from?

First of all, this is a matter of the fact that the enforcement authorities do not have information on whether or not the claim is time-barred. The bailiff’s task is to initiate the enforcement process immediately after the person being someone’s creditor submits the bailiff’s application with the enforceable title.

It is worth knowing that the enforcement body, which is the bailiff in this case, is not obliged to analyze whether there are any contraindications to the execution in a given situation or not. The bailiff, after receiving the application for the initiation of bailiff’s enforcement together with the enforcement title to the case, is obliged to initiate enforcement proceedings, can not carry out analyzes of whether such actions are justified. Speaking in simple language, the bailiff should not be interested in whether the debt he is supposed to enforce is overdue or not.

It is also not important for the bailiff to know what kind of claim it is, which would allow him to judge whether it is overdue or not (the bailiff has no right to judge this). The bailiff is only obliged to check whether the application for the initiation of the enforcement proceedings meets the formal requirements, other issues, such as those related to, for example, limitation of debt, should not concern him.

It sounds disturbing if we are a debtor who counted on the limitation of claims and thus the release from debt. However, there is a possibility to initiate an enforcement action by the court – the application for an anti-conviction complaint must be submitted by the debtor and show a visible initiative, because the courts have no obligation to analyze cases related to the limitation of claims.

If the claim is confirmed by a legally valid court decision, it expires after ten years from becoming final. As for possible interest – the period after which it expires is three years.

What are the periods of banking debts?

What are the periods of banking debts?

If you are talking about bank debt and its prescription, this issue may be about the expiration of the overdraft or debt on your credit card. Due to the fact that they are similar but different, however, two different limitation periods apply:

  • In the event of a limitation of debts on the debit account, the limitation period is two years – this is due to the fact that claims arising from bank account agreements are subject to a limitation period of two years from the date of expiry of the repayment date, and the debit on the account clearly follows from the contract bank account.
  • In the case of credit card debt, the Civil Code clearly states that the limitation period for this type of debt goes beyond the period of three years from the date on which the debt payment deadline has passed.

Long inheritance and deadlines for their prescription


Inheritance debts are another element that expires. According to the current regulations, a person receiving a drop has six months to reject it. In the event of failure to do so, it is implicitly assumed that this person accepts the inheritance along with all his or her encumbrances, that is also with the obligations of the testator. The current regulations look slightly different than the ones still in force less than 3 years ago, when the heir inherited all of the debt, at the moment it is the maximum equivalent of the received property.

What is important in terms of the limitation of inheritance debts, the period of limitation is the same as their obligations. In this case, it is legally recognized that the debt simply changes the owner, which does not interrupt the course of the debt period and is not tantamount to its interruption or termination. That is, inheriting someone’s mandate, it expires after one year, in terms of credit it will be three years, the debit on the bank account – two years, etc.

Limitation of debt to ZUS

Obligations towards the Social Insurance Institution are covered by the limitation period of five years. In this case, the limitation of the obligation is synonymous with the expiry of the claim.

It is worth knowing that if you have any outstanding amounts due to the Social Insurance Institution, you can apply to the Social Security Institution to postpone the date of payment or – if it turns out to be helpful – to spread the debt into installments. In that case, the limitation period shall stop. This is the so-called moment of suspension of the limitation period in relation to receivables towards the Social Insurance Institution, after which the period of prescription expires.


Provisions determining the limitation period for specific obligations vary depending on the nature of the obligation. In order to keep up with the periods of limitation of the commitments we are interested in, it is necessary to keep up with the changes taking place in Polish law, as such regulations often change. Are you interested in additional financial knowledge? ZUS debt – how to check?



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