Maine Debt Collection Laws

David R. Dubord

Submitted by David R. Dubord, Gosselin & Dubord, PA

Published by The National List of Attorneys


Attorney David R. Dubord is a shareholder with the Lewiston, Maine, law firm of Gosselin & Dubord, PA. Attorney Dubord concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial law, creditors' rights law, creditor bankruptcy law, and collection law. He received his B.A. degree from Boston College and his J.D. degree from the University of Maine School of Law. Attorney Dubord was an instructor for the National Institute for Paralegal Studies, and he is a frequent speaker and seminar presenter on collection law topics. He is a member of the Maine State Bar Association, the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, and the Commercial Law League of America. Admitted to practice in 1980, Attorney Dubord has been lead counsel in cases in all of Maine’s state courts as well as the Federal District Court for the State of Maine, the Maine Bankruptcy Court, the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, and the Federal Court of Claims.


I.  Statute of Limitations

In accordance with the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in Maine, the statute of limitations for contract actions which involve the sale of goods or personal property leases is four years from the date of the breach of the contract or lease. 11 M.R.S. § 2-725; 11 M.R.S. § 2-1506. This includes actions on open account for goods sold and delivered and installment purchase agreements for vehicles. However, by agreement, the parties to such contracts can reduce the statute of limitations to as little as one year.  11 M.R.S. § 2-725; 11 M.R.S. § 2-1506.

For contracts not involving the sale of goods that are signed under seal and for promissory notes signed before an attesting witness, the statute of limitations is twenty years. 14 M.R.S. § 751.

For mutual and open accounts, the cause of action accrues at the time of the last item proved on the account. 14 M.R.S. § 852. In some cases, a payment made by a debtor on a contractual debt may toll or extend the running of the statute of limitations. Reed v. Harris, 139 Me. 225, 28 A.2d 741, 742 (1942).

Domestic and foreign judgments are presumed to be paid after twenty years, but this presumption of payment can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. 14 M.R.S. § 864; Jackson v. Nason, 38 Me. 85 (1854).

The statute of limitations for all other contract actions, such as claims based on services rendered or sums due on a credit card account, is six years. 14 M.R.S. § 752.