Alaska Debt Collection Laws

Richard Crabtree

Submitted by Richard Crabtree, Routh Crabtree, A Professional Corporation

Published by The National List of Attorneys

Routh Crabtree, A Professional Corporation, was formed in the 1980s when its principals joined together to form a practice concentrating its efforts on the representation of creditors’ rights. It has since grown to be the largest creditors’ rights firm in Alaska, and represents numerous banks, credit unions, credit card companies, third-party debt buyers, and select commercial creditors. The firm’s president, Richard L. Crabtree [Reed College, B.A. 1972 (American Studies), Lewis & Clark, J.D. 1975], is a member of the Anchorage Bar Association (past president), Alaska Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Alaska Creditors Bar Association (past president). He is admitted to practice before all Alaska state courts, the U.S. District Court for the State of Alaska, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The firm is a member of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, and represents Alaska on NARCA’s State Law Committee.


I.      Alaska Collection Laws

a.     Statute of Limitations

Except as otherwise provided by statute, the Alaska statute of limitations for open accounts, written and oral contracts, is three years in duration. AS 09.10.053. Contracts for the sale of goods are subject to the four year limitations period provided for in Alaska’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code at AS 45.02.725, unless the parties agree to a shorter period of not less than one year. The statute of limitations on promissory notes is six years per AS 45.03.725. The statute of limitations for bringing actions on judgments or decrees of a court of the United States or of a state or a territory within the United States is ten years per AS 09.10.040. See Hamilton v. Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply Co., 562 P.2d 333 (Alaska 1977).


b.    Judgments and Judgment Liens

Judgment liens are good for ten years from the date of judgment (AS 09.30.010), or for such shorter periods as execution may issue on the judgment. Judgment liens are renewable. Judgments themselves, however, continue until satisfied or discharged by death or bankruptcy, so long as a writ of execution is obtained within five years of the date of judgment and is not recalled, or so long as a period of five years or greater does not elapse without a writ being outstanding. AS 09.35.020. See State Dep’t of Revenue ex rel. Inman v. Dean, 902 P.2d 1321 (Alaska 1995). If a period of five years has elapsed without a writ of execution being in effect, permission of the court is required before a writ can issue. Alaska R. Civ. P. Rule 69(d); AS 09.35.020.


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