The law on debt limitation defines when the claim expires. If there are special provisions in another law that differ from the law on debt limitation regarding the limitation period of the debt or another aspect related to limitation, they shall be followed instead of the said law. For example, the statute of limitations for taxes and labor law claims are regulated by their own laws.
According to the law on the limitation of debt, the debt expires after three years, unless the limitation period has been interrupted before then. However, the statute of limitations for the debt is five years, if a legally binding judgment has been issued.
The limitation period begins to run from the due date, if it has been determined in advance to bind the debtor. If the due date for payment of the purchase price or other consideration has not been bindingly determined in advance, the limitation period begins to run when the seller has handed over the object of the sale to the buyer or when the other contracting party who is a creditor has fulfilled his own performance obligation.
If the expiration has been interrupted, a new expiration period of the same length begins to elapse, which can be interrupted. The limitation period of the debt is interrupted, for example, when:
- the parties agree on payment arrangements,
- the debtor pays the debt or otherwise acknowledges the debt to the creditor,
- the creditor demands payment from the debtor or otherwise reminds the debtor of the debt
- the creditor files a lawsuit to collect the debt or monitors his claim in a debt settlement orbankruptcy
- the creditor initiates a enforcement case regarding the debt.
If the due date for payment of the purchase price or other consideration has not been bindingly determined in advance, the limitation period begins to run when the seller has handed over the object of the sale to the buyer or when the other contracting party who is a creditor has fulfilled his own performance obligation.
However, the statute of limitations for damages must be terminated before ten years have passed from the breach of contract or from the event that led to the damage or is the basis for the return of benefits. This deadline does not limit the right of the injured party to claim compensation for personal or environmental damage.
A debt resulting from a crime is not considered time-barred as long as a criminal case can be prosecuted or while the criminal case is pending in court.
A monetary debt based on a contract of a natural person expires at the latest when 20 years have passed since the debt fell due. If the creditor is a natural person, the limitation period is 25 years. The limitation period referred to here cannot be interrupted.