July 1, 2013 | dan Question: Can I still be sued for a 9 year old debt? I have a creditor saying I need to contact an attorney due to lawsuit filed. The debt is 9 years old. Answer: The most commonly applicable statutes of limitation in Illinois are 10 years for a contract wholly in writing, such as a promissory note to a bank, 5 years for a contract not wholly in writing, such as a credit card, and 4 years for a retail installment contract or other contract for the sale or lease of goods (such as a car, furniture). If you are being sued you need to appear and defend. Anyone can sue you, even if you have a complete defense. Do not default. Filing a time barred lawsuit is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if a consumer debt and a “debt collector” (collection agency, collection lawyer, debt buyer) is involved. Also, a debt collector may have to disclose that a debt they are trying to collect is time barred.