South Carolina Debt Collection Laws

S. Nelson Weston, Jr. Adam S. Tesh

Submitted by S. Nelson Weston, Jr., & Adam S. Tesh, of Richardson, Plowden & Robinson, P.A.

Published by The National List of Attorneys


S. Nelson Weston, Jr., a shareholder at Richardson, Plowden, & Robinson, P.A. received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of South Carolina (USC) in 1986 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989. He clerked for the Honorable Frank P. McGowan, Jr., prior to joining Richardson Plowden. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar's Commercial Law Committee, as well as the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association and the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA). He is a past member of the Supreme Court of South Carolina’s Commission on Bankruptcy/Debtor-Creditor Specialization.


Adam S. Tesh received his bachelor’s in history from Winthrop University in 1993 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2000. He has practiced in the area of consumer debt collections for more than ten years.


Since 1973, Richardson, Plowden & Robinson has provided a complete portfolio of legal services. With a skilled team of more than 30 attorneys covering over 25 practice areas in Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Charleston, our experience and outstanding client service have helped make us one of the 20 largest firms in South Carolina.


1)  Statutes of Limitations for open accounts, written contracts, domestic and foreign judgments:


S.C. Code §15-3-530: Actions other than for recovery of Real Property.

Pursuant to this statute, the statute of limitations will expire three years after the debtor’s initial date of default. A second statute in South Carolina (referred to below) serves as a tolling statute in many debt collection cases.


S.C. Code §15-3-120: Effect of new promises in writing or part payments.

A partial payment or a written promise to pay a debt serves to toll the statute of limitations on a suit seeking collection of that debt for an additional three years.


S.C. Code §15-3-520(a): Within Twenty Years.

A suit for collection of a Contract that is secured by a Mortgage of Real Property is enforceable within twenty years of the date of the creation of the Contract if there is no maturity date.


S.C. Code §15-3-600: Action for Other Relief (Foreign Judgments).

Pursuant to the holding in Abba Equipment, Inc. v. Thomason, 335 S.C. 477, 517 S.E.2d 235 (S.C. Court App. 1999)(Rehearing denied July 24, 1999)(Cert. Dismissed Oct. 27, 1999). The above referenced statute begins to run when a Judgment Debtor moves to South Carolina. A Judgment Creditor has ten years from the date a Judgment Debtor moves to South Carolina to seek to have a Foreign Judgment enrolled against that Judgment Debtor.


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