Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS)
Louisiana law defines an “open account” as:
Account where a part or all of a balance is due; AND
It does not matter how many transactions between the parties AND
It does not matter if the parties expect future transactions
Louisiana Revised Statute 9:2781(D)
Common examples are credit card accounts, bills for repair work, doctor bills, etc.
Examples of debts that are NOT open accounts are promissory notes; mortgages; or most contracts.
Under Louisiana law, in a lawsuit to collect money based on an open account the creditor can get attorney fees and all court costs, unless the amount the court awards is less than they requested. Attorney fees are usually 25% of the total debt owed, unless seriously challenged.
The time period to sue on an open account is three (3) years from the date of the last charge, purchase, payment or credit entry on the account.
That this three (3) year period has passed does not stop a debt collector from attempting to collect or suing. But it will give you a solid legal defense to collection if you present the defense before a judgment is entered.