Expiry of debt

Legislation on expiry of debt is complicated. You may run into misunderstandings if you are pondering on your debts by yourself; that's why it pays to ask an expert for advice.

Debts have different expiry times that are stipulated by several laws. Expiry of debt depends on the kind of debt that is at issue or at which stage of collection the debt is.

The basic principles are as follows:
1. In general, debt expires in three (3) or five (5) years. This applies to all debts except debts that can be foreclosed (see point 2).
2. Specific expiration time is five (5) years. This applies to taxes and public fees such as TV fee, hospital and other public health care fees, maintenance debt, and fines.
3. Final expiration time of debt is 15 or 20 years.

Expiry of debt can also be cut. This can happen when

  • the parties involved agree on payment arrangements, collateral security, or other changes in the terms, or, for instance, that the expiry has been cut
  • the debtor pays back the debt or otherwise acknowledges the creditor of the debt
  • the creditor demands payment from the debtor or otherwise reminds the debtor of the debt.

Final expiry of debt

Private persons’ debts cannot be collected forever: there is a certain deadline. For more information, go to: the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (the FCCA) website.