Collections On 12-Year-Old Debt

We Receive Collection Calls On 12-Year-Old Debt. Can They Still Collect on Debt This Old?

My husband purchased a truck in 1995 and turned it in less than one month later. The account was turned over to several collection agencies. We obtained a home loan in 2003 and at that time, that delinquency was no longer on his credit report. We have had his credit checked several times since then and it remained off of his credit. Today, we received a bill from another collection agency on the outstanding balance from 1995. I thought that something only stayed on your credit report for 7-10 years. This thing still haunts us. Can they still make collection calls on 12-year-old debt?

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Highlights


  • The passing of a statute of limitations does not mean the creditor is barred from collecting the debt in most states.
  • The statute of limitations does not prevent the filing of a lawsuit in most states.
  • Validate all debt, and especially 12-year-old debt.

It’s frustrating to receive collection calls on 12-year-old debt. Are collection calls on 12-year-old debt even legal?

How does a statute of limitations work regarding a debt that’s really old? Can 12-year-old debt appear on my credit report? Can a debt not appearing on your credit report be collected?

Read on, and we’ll answer your questions about collection calls on 12-year-old debt.

The Basics About Old Debt

Old debt never dies, except in two states. An original creditor, the original lender such as a credit card issuer, or a collection agent have the legal right to pester you about an old, unpaid debt forever. The exceptions are in Wisconsin and Mississippi. In those two states, a debt stops being collectible when the statute of limitations on the debt runs out.

Whether a debt appears on your credit report has no influence on a debt’s collectibility. An original creditor or collection agent is allowed to try to collect an old debt that does not appear on your credit report.

Let’s look at these rules a little more closely.

Statute of Limitations & 12-Year-Old Debt

Each state has its own statute of limitations rules. When it comes to debt collection, the rules that usually apply are for written contracts and open accounts. (See the Bills.com resource Statute of Limitations Laws by State to learn your state’s laws.) Some states, like the Carolinas, have short statutes of limitations for written contracts — 3 years. Other states, like the states that begin with the letter “I”, have long statutes of limitations — 10 years.

As mentioned, an original creditor or collection agent can contact you and ask for payment on a debt that’s of any age (excepting Wisconsin and Mississippi residents). So what’s a statute of limitations good for?

A statute of limitations is a defense you can use if an original creditor or collection agent files a lawsuit against you. Let’s say the statute of limitations that applies to your debt is 4 years. The original creditor files a lawsuit against you 4 years plus one day after the date you missed your last payment. You would answer the lawsuit with a motion reading something like, “Even if everything the creditor says is true, they filed their lawsuit after this state’s statute of limitations expired. Therefore, the lawsuit is time-barred, and I ask the court to dismiss this case.” If the court believes the facts in your motion, it will dismiss the case.

In many cases, the statute of limitations rules are easy to apply. Statute of limitations issues get tricky when the creditor and consumer reside in states with different statutes of limitations rules. See the Bills.com article How to Tell Which Statute of Limitations Applies to Your Situation to learn the five key questions lawyers ask when analyzing a statute of limitations issue.

t is a violation of the FDCPA for a collection agent to pursue a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Some collection agents still sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

Credit Report Rules and Old Debt

In the credit report world, negative items on credit reports are called derogatories. Most derogatories can appear on your credit reports for up to 7½ years. The starting point is the date of first delinquency. In other words, the date of the first missed payment starts the clock. Making a payment or settling an account does not restart the 7-year clock.

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the biggest publishers of credit reports. Each are independent, and each may publish different information in your credit reports. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion must follow the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The date of first delinquency is shown in credit reports. Subsequent activity, such as resolving the debt or one debt collector selling the debt to another collector, is irrelevant to the 7-year rule. The FCRA 7-year rule is completely separate from state statutes of limitations for debt issues.

Some debts have a reporting period longer than 7 years, including:

  • Tax liens: 10 years if unpaid, or 7 years from the payment date
  • Bankruptcy: 10 years from the date of filing (15 U.S.C. §1681c). Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion report chapter 13s for 7 years
  • Perkins student loans: Until paid in full (20 U.S.C. §1087cc(c)(3))
  • Direct and FFEL loans: 7 years from default or rehabilitation date (20 U.S.C. §1080a(f)(1) and 20 U.S.C. §1087e(a)(1))
  • Judgments: 7 years or the debtor’s state statute of limitations on judgments, whichever is longer. Learn the lifespan of a judgment in your state at the Bills.com Statute of Limitations Laws by State page.

The start of the 7-year period begins at the date of first delinquency. If no payments are made on the debt, the 7-year period begins when the first payment was due. Review your credit report carefully to make certain the dates of first delinquency are reported correctly. Unscrupulous collection agents reset the date of first delinquency to stretch out how long a derogatory account appears on consumer’s credit report. This is called "re-aging a debt" and is illegal under the FCRA.

Just because a debt does not appear on a credit report does not mean the statute of limitations for the debt passed. The opposite is also true: The passing of a state statute of limitations on a debt does not mean the debt may not appear on a credit report. The federal FCRA and state statutes of limitations are separate and independent of each other.

Whether a debt appears on a credit report does not establish legal liability for the debt. The opposite is also true: You may have legal liability for a debt not reported to the credit reporting agencies. Credit reports are not legal records of every debt a person owes.

isconsin and Mississippi outlaw lawsuits against consumers in cases where those state statutes of limitation have passed. Wisconsin and Mississippi are the only exceptions to the “lawsuits are allowed for original creditors even if the statute of limitations expired” rule.

Your Question: Collection Calls on 12-Year-Old Debt

When you receive collection calls on 12-year-old-debt, validate the debt. Follow the hyperlink just mentioned to learn quick and easy steps to validate debt. It’s worth your while to take this step for two reasons.

  1. If the collection agent cannot validate the debt, it cannot collect the debt.
  2. The older the debt the more unlikely it is the collection agent can validate the debt, according to the FTC. It is unlikely the original creditor will be able to give the collection agent any information to validate a 12-year-old debt.

You mentioned your state’s statute of limitations and this debt’s appearance on a credit report. As we mention above, just because a debt does not appear on a credit report does not mean your state’s statute of limitations clock has run out. Federal credit report laws and a state statute of limitations laws are separate and independent from each other.

If you have problems paying your credit card debts, consult with a Bills.com debt resolution partner who can discuss your options.

Don't pay a debt simply because a collection agency contacts you. Do not make any payment on the debt before reviewing the situation carefully. Making a payment could reset the statute of limitations clock back to zero. If the clock is reset, the creditor may be tempted to take legal action against you without concern about a statute of limitations defense you offer.

A collection agency’s contacting you does not necessarily mean you are legally obligated to pay the debt. It also does not mean this 12-year-old account will reappear on your spouse’s credit report.

Since the deficiency balance on your spouse’s vehicle is more than 12 years old, it should no longer be appearing on his credit reports. If your husband is sued for this debt, he very likely can use the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense to dismiss the case. That makes a lawsuit possible legally, but unlikely.

Under the FCRA, the debt should not appear on his credit reports. Consider sending a cease communication letter to the collector, which will stop the phone calls.

A new company purchasing your account cannot lengthen the time the account appears on your credit report. Be careful, though, because unscrupulous collection agents change the date of last activity on old accounts so they appear on your credit report for longer than 7 years.

Pull your credit report and review the accounts in question to make sure you see no unauthorized changes. If you find any incorrect or suspicious information on your credit report, such as  this 12-year-old debt reappearing on your credit report under a different name, dispute the listings with the credit bureaus.

Visit the Bills.com credit resources page to learn more about credit, credit scoring, and credit reports.

For further information regarding options available to consumers struggling with debt, I invite you to visit the Bills.com Debt Help page.

I hope the information I provided will help you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

45 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    John
    My husband had a judgment against him dated Feb. 20, 2001, by Missouri law it should be expired as of Feb. 20, 2011. However it is still showing up on his credit report but it is showing up as a collection debt rather than a judgment under the public record section and they have changed the date so many times it's hard to keep track but it looks like they have something on the credit report dated 2008. They have also changed their name on it 3x (at first we thought it was being sold but it isn't we called and verified this, they have just changed the name). Now we're trying to buy a home and even thought it's been 10 yrs and the judgment is not renewed so it is legally expired it is still showing up and that one thing is keeping us from getting approved. He wrote to the credit bureaus and disputed it but all they've responded with is that it is his debt. We are aware that it was his debt but it should no longer be on there. Does anyone know what paperwork we'll need to provide to
    1. Get it off his credit report, and
    2. Have documentation a lender will accept to show this is no longer a valid debt while waiting on the credit bureau to update his report?

    We'd love to be able to move forward with purchasing this home, but without proper documentation we can't. Any ideas/advice is appreciated!! Thank you!

    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Start with a copy of the judgment, or a related document showing the date of the judgment being Feb 1, 2001. Then also include a photocopy of the Missouri statute that spells out the lifetime of a Missouri judgment. Take this to a Missouri lawyer who has experience in civil litigation. Ask him or her to write a letter to the legal departments at the big three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), explaining that if the judgment and related derogatories are not removed immediately, you will file an action against them under the FCRA, and your state's libel laws.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Annie
    In Tennessee, my husband just received a phone call today from a debt collection agency that just received the account on 3-20-12 from the bank where the debt was originally owed stating he owes $4,870.75. It is for a repossession on a truck from back in 2001. He no longer has the paperwork showing payments made to the bank after the truck was repossessed. This was not paid in full to his knowledge since the paperwork is no longer in his possession. Since this has been 11 years and this debt has not come to his attention until now, does he still owe this debt according to the Tennessee repo law? What should be done to ensure this is taken care of before they wipe out my bank account? If he does owe this and has to make payments? What amount would suffice to make monthly payments on, or do they settle in this case? Our knowledge has been with hospital bills so I am unsure as to handle this repo debt(secure loan from 11 years ago). We are having a wedding in June so I am afraid of this financial burden hindering us at this time. Thanks for your time.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      You may feel your spouse owes the deficiency balance out of a sense of moral conviction, but he may not owe the debt as a matter of law. If the collection agent telephones you again, do not tell the caller you owe the debt or will agree to pay the debt. Instead, validate the debt. Follow the hyperlink I just mentioned to learn how to validate a debt. Debt validation is a consumer's best friend because a debt that cannot be validated may not be collected. If your spouse does not have any records of this debt, chances are the original creditor does not either.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Karen
    I applied for a mortgage 2-1/2 months ago and my credit was excellent (around 800). TODAY I got a letter from a collection agency telling me I owe an $88 payment to an eye-care company from DECEMBER 2004, which is just about 7-1/2 years ago. Number 1, I pay medical companies (like my dentist, etc.) with a credit card so I have a record; this also means that there is no way I should have any outstanding debt. Unfortunately I don't have my credit card records from 7 years ago (who would keep them that long?!). I will be sending this company a cease-and-desist letter and disputing the charge, and from everything I have read they cannot contact me again or report this to credit bureaus, but I am furious and very exasperated by the timing. Could this $88.00 debt that I have never heard of before today show up on my credit reports when my lender re-pulls them just before closing? I am SO careful, I can't believe this has happened! Also I just looked at my Experian report and it shows absolutely nothing negative, so at least as of today with that bureau, nothing derogatory has shown up. Oh, I'm in New Hampshire (have lived here for 10 years).
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Karen
      Any answers? Please?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      It is unlikely one derogatory from nearly 7½ years ago will have much of an impact on a person with an 800 FICO score, so it is unlikely this one item will scuttle your home loan application. In the unlikely event that your loan will not be approved unless you can prove you paid it, you may have to either pay it in full or work out a settlement with the creditor.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2012
    Rick
    I received a letter from a debt collector in Houston TX. It regards an electric bill that was run up in my name, at an address in Ohio I never lived at. I remember about seven years ago getting a call from the electric utility in Ohio when I moved, and they said I had this bill in my record. I said I had never lived at the address. I was told to send them proof, so I sent them stuff with my address on it from the time period of the bill. The electric utility dropped the issue. Now, what do I do that this debt collector has purchased this old discharged debt? I am going to send a debt validation letter, but if all they need is a computer printout stating I owe the old debt, what can I do? Funny thing, I just bought a house, litterally three weeks before this, and there was nothing in my credit. In fact, I get my report annually, and this has never been there.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      A consumer's best friend in a situation like you described is a debt validation. Validate the debt immediately following the instructions on the page I just mentioned. A debt that cannot be validated cannot be collected.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    al
    I am receiving a notice from a creditor that evidently purchased debt from the city of Houston. They are claiming that I parked my old car in a tow away zone in January 2007. It is now February 2012. The creditor is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Statue of Limitations is 4 years in Texas. The last notice I received was "final notice-credit bureau Listing" claiming that they will report the debt to my Credit Bureau. Can this effect my credit? Are they allowed to report the debt to my credit bureau now that the SOL of limitations has passed? I am contemplating buying a house soon and don't want this come back and haunt me :) Thanks!
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      State statute of limitations laws have nothing to do with the federal law (the FCRA) regulating what appears on a credit report. Yes, a new derogatory appearing on your credit report may have a negative impact on your credit score. If your credit score is on the border of qualifying you for a home loan, a new derogatory can push your score into the "no qualify" category. My advice? Clean up the mess before it appears on your credit score.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      al
      So the creditor from Wisconsin that bought the debt from the city of houston can now put this new negative report on my credit? despite it being from 2007? Thank you for your help :)
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Yes, if the derogatory item is less than 7½ years old, and the information is otherwise accurate, the collection agent may add the derogatory to a consumer's credit report. See the Bills.com article Fair Credit Reporting Act to learn more.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Feb, 2012
    Erik
    I recently received a call from the South Florida Group saying that I owe $5,000+ on a credit card that went delinguent in 2000. At that time, I had approximately $20,000 in credit card debt and I spent several years settling all that. It may be tough for me to find any paperwork saying that I paid this debt, not only because I have moved several times, but also because I did not always receive proof of payment when I paid off a card. My credit has been repaired for over two years now and this comes as quite a shock to me. Any help regarding my legal rights in this matter would be much appreciated. Erik
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      Bill
      Don't acknowledge that you owe the debt, as you may not owe it. Validate the debt if you receive anything in writing. Check into the statute of limitations, to see if the collector is trying to collect on an expired debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Robin
    I received a call from a collection agency about an old credit card debt of 10 years ago in the amount of $1000. I was asked to make payments monthly but declined. I was told that this debt would be turned over to the IRS for collections and I would have to deal with them. Is this possible and will the IRS come for me for a debit owed to a credit card company?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      You were told a complete falsehood, but I have to give the collection agent bonus points for creativity. The IRS collects taxes for the federal government. As such, it has plenty of work to keep its agents busy. The IRS is not a collection agent for delinquent credit card debts. I suggest you validate the debt.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Robin
      The thing about the collectors try to gain monies on this debt, it is over 12 yrs old and was bought by this collection agency. The funny part is, I have another credit card from the company from which these people are trying to collect on. I am doing better and am making payments on time. The collection agency was calling me and hanging up on me when I would answer. I called them back and said, "You hang up on me when you call me and to please do not call my number again." So far I haven't received any more calls from them. And to date, I haven't received anything in writing in writing from them either. This began over 5 months ago so am I clear? Is the debt still owed?

      I love you by the way. Such a wonderful thing you do and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thanks you.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      Several thoughts:
      • Collection agents buy, sell, and trade collection accounts like kids with baseball cards. Your 12-year-old collection account may sit in a filing cabinet for another 10 years, or be traded to another collection agent next Tuesday.
      • If any collection agent contacts you in writing about this debt, be sure to validate the debt and use Certified Mail so that you have proof of delivery of your debt validation letter. Repeat this step for any collection agent who contacts you about this account.

      A debt that cannot be validated may not be collected by that collection agent. A collection agent who receives a debt validation letter on an account it cannot validate may choose to sell or trade that collection account to another collection agent, who may take another crack at collecting the account from you.

      I appreciate your thoughtful remarks — you are welcome!

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2012
    Tess
    I just received a letter from Convergent Outsourcing Inc regarding a debt. I called and they informed me it was with AT&T from 1999 and I am required to pay the balance in full immediately. I argued with the lady and she hung up on me? In 1999 I lived in IL. I have resided in WI since 2001. I do not recall seeing this on my credit report nor do I remember ever owing anything to AT&T. Am I protected from the statue of limitations from IL? Am I required to pay this or should this be a thing of the past?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Jan, 2012
      Bill
      First, do not pay anything unless the collection agent can validate the debt. Send a debt validation letter immediately because there is a time limit for doing so. If a collection agent cannot validate a debt, it may not collect it.

      Second, you mentioned Wisconsin. America's Dairyland protects consumers with an excellent statute of limitations law that outlaws the collection of debt that is older than Wisconsin's statute of limitations for that particular species of debt. Consult with a Wisconsin lawyer who has experience in consumer law. You may have just won a small amount in a lottery, so to speak.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Feb, 2012
      James
      I found this thread because I received a letter from the same company (Convergent) saying that I owed $4,000 from an AT&T card from 1999 (just as you). I called the company immediately. They ask me to verify the last 4 of my social. I did, and they told me how much I supposedly owe. I have no recollection of this debt. I've bought 3 cars since 2001 and never had any problems with my credit. In 2010, I was a victim of identity fraud and meticulously reviewed my credit reports. I never saw anything like this on any one of them. Since your situation is so similar, I'm now wondering if this is a scam. If it is legit, what could they do to me? I have no outstanding debts from the 1990s that I am aware of. If I did, why was I unaware of them until 2012?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Linda
      I just received a letter today from the exact same company, saying I owe $168, but they will settle for $58 from 16 years ago that i don't even remember. It has never appeared on my credit report. I'm not paying it. Even if the debt was mine, it was 16 years ago!!!
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2012
      Bill
      If the debt is 16 years old, it is older than any state statute of limitations for breach of contract. Send the collection agent a cease communications notice. Should the collection agent file an action against you in your state court, consult with a lawyer about filing a motion to dismiss with the court based on your state's statute of limitations.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    william
    I recently was contacted by a bill collector about a credit card account that went delinquent in 2000. It has not been on my credit report in the last 5 years that I have been checking my report. Not sure if it was on the report before that. I currently hold a cedit card that is in good standing from the company the collection agency says my delinquent account is from, the account numbers are not the same so they are saying this is an old account. I don't ever remember having a cedit card from this company they say the account was open in 1999 and went delinquent in 2000. Should I ask for the signed contract saying I opened the account? I'm not sure what to do at this point?? should I pay it or fight it. I just dont want this showing up on my cedit report 11 yrs later. I'm from Iowa not sure on the local laws Thanks for any help
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2011
    chris
    i recently got a bill in the mail from a collection agency concerning an old bill from verizon in 2004. Iwent thrugh my records and found a check that i paid the account only problem is that i paid be phone and the check is only a receipt for my self and holds n ground as proof of payment, i tried calling the bank to get old statements but ive had no luck. from what ive been reading on the page its past the statue of limitations for pa and i shouldent even worry about it is that correct or how else could i handle this?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      Just because a statute of limitations has passed does not mean a creditor may not collect a debt, except in Wisconsin. The passing of a statute of limitations gives a defendant in a lawsuit an affirmative defense, and nothing more. See Statute of Limitations to learn more.

      My advice? Validate the debt.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Teresa
      I received a call from a collection agency on an AT&T bill from 1995 for $250.00. The number had been showing up on my cell but of course no messages. Finally the guy finally left his name and number and I had enough. It was a Sunday and we had company so I was not happy for the 2 calls. I called back. Asked who he was and what he wanted. The conversation went like this. Him? How am I talking to? Me? I,m Sure my number came up when I dialed you so what do you want, you keep calling? Him? It doesn't work like that I need your phone number? Me? I gave number. Him? Is this he said my mom's name. I said yes because she is in a nursing home and I handle her phone and other bills. Then he said she owes the bill from 1995. At this point I informed him I knew she did not and I did not want him to ever call this number again. At this point he said does she live at and he gave my address on OK. She of course does not live with me because of the nursing home in MS. Then he stated he would mail her a letter to my address. At this point I informed him I did not want a phone call, a letter, or to hear his company name again or I would sue them. May have got carried away. My Mom phone bill has always been less than $25.00 a month because she gets a break for getting help. We have 3 cell phones, internet service, and pay a bill over $200.00 a month to AT&T a month now not counting my mom's $25.00 bill at the nursing home. These is in her name has been since she lived with us since 1999. If this was owed in her name how have we had this service all these years with no problem. She has always had the same land line number phone number. The only thing I am worried about is did I go to far of the phone?
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2012
      Bill
      The next time a collection agent calls about an oddball debt and doesn't seem to know who they are talking to, do not give them any information. Say you want them to send you the information in writing, and that you plan to validate the debt. When they write, validate the debt.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2011
    Mark
    Hello, I had a bad debt that technically I did not owe, but had no proof. It was an old health club bill. It was from 1998. It has long since been on and off of my credit report. All of a sudden, i have gotten collection calls. I did not admit responsibility. I simply said "I do not owe any money. I will not pay any money. Note your account". The foreign gentleman stated that this will reflect poorly on my credit report. Am I correct in my assumption that A) Since this debt has already been on my credit report and has fallen off, they can't resubmit it? B) Being that the debt is 13 years old, they can't report to credit bureaus? If they DO report it again and it appears on my report, what are my rights? Can they be sued for harrassment?
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Oct, 2011
      Bill
      Most derogatory entries must be removed from a consumer's credit report after 7½ years. (The reporting times for bankruptcies, federal student loans, and judgments are longer.) The rule I mentioned is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and is a federal law. The FCRA contains penalties for creditors and the consumer credit reporting agencies for violating the law. Follow the link I just mentioned to learn more about the FCRA.

      On to your questions:
      1. The FCRA has no, "Once a debt appears and disappears, it cannot appear again," rule. The 7½ rule is the significant rule you need to focus on.
      2. The date of last delinquency is when the 7½-year clock starts to run. If the date of last delinquency was 13 years ago, this debt is well outside the 7½-year rule.
      3. As mentioned, the FCRA gives consumers a cause of action against creditor who report erroneous information on a consumer's credit report.

      Collection agents are not consumers' lawyers, and the legal advice they dispense may be incomplete, misleading, or just plain dead wrong. Collection agents have one job — collect money. Some make outlandish claims in an attempt to motivate consumers to make a payment.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    Tom
    Bill, I live in Ohio and yesterday I received a letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC about an old debt. They purchased the account in July 2011. The last time I believe there was any activity was in 2002 and upon checking my credit report to verify any information on this debt, The debt itself has been dropped by my credit report. My questions are 1 : Did it drop off my credit report 7 years after the last activity I did? 2 : How would I go about checking my credit report that it falls under the statute of limitations in Ohio of 4 years 3 : What should be my next action in dealing with this old debt.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Yes, it fell off your credit report after 7½ years from your first delinquency.

      Start by validating the debt.

      Don't pay a penny if the debt is past the SOL. You can also read more about Ohio collection laws.
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Mar, 2012
      Charles
      Portfolio Recovery will tell you anything! Get everything in writing before you make any agreements.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Sep, 2011
    jeff
    Bill, I have a company called West Coast Filing Services trying too sue me for credit card debt from 8 to 10 yrs ago. I just made up a couple of letters today and going to send them out tomorrow by mail. They are trying too impose wage garnishment I guess they had a processor trying too track me down for few years now. 1st letter was a Limited Cease and Desist Letter and the 2nd was a Debt Validation letter is this the proper way of doing it. I live in N.H.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Jeff, it depends on whether the creditor already has a judgment against you. Pull a credit report and see if there is anything in the 'public records' area of your report.

      It very likely is the case that it is a collection agency trying to collect on an expired debt, hoping to intimidate you into paying through bogus threats. If that is the case, then you took the right steps.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Aug, 2011
    Teri
    Bill; A debt collector sends me an occasional bill offering to cut the old debt in half along with payment arrangements. What really gets me is that for several years now they continue to do an Inquiry on my credit report of which affects my credit score. This is a 13 yrs ago credit card debt way past the statute of limitations. Question: The company is called; Asset Management. Can they lawfully send me collection notices and perform credit inquiries on my credit report?? Thanks; T.
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Aug, 2011
      Bill
      You ask a tough question. I did get some off the record information from an attorney, but please do not use this as legal advice, but only as a starting point for further research. Keep in mind that the answer to your question also depends on the jurisdiction in which you reside, as state law plays a large part in the equation.

      It appears lawful to continue collection activity, even though the SOL has likely passed. It is just that the creditor can't use the court system to collect on the debt, if you raise the SOL as a defense.

      Are you sure the inquiry is affecting your credit score? I believe it should be a "soft pull," which does not affect your score. Does the debt still show on your credit report? If so, contact he bureaus that report it and ask that:
      1. The delinquency be removed, as it is past the SOL and uncollectible.
      2. That the collection agency be blocked from further inquiries on that account number

      That may or may not work, but it is worth a try.

      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Apr, 2011
    Tyler
    I stopped paying on a US Cellular account I had back in 2003. The last payment was made on 11/6/2003. The account was not purchased by a collection agency until 1/3/2007. I find it really strange how US Cellular would just hang onto a debt for over 3 years before reporting it to a collection agency. Is there anything against them doing this? Also, when I bought a car back in 2006 it showed up on a credit check, but it currently is not showing up on any of my credit reports
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      An original creditor (or collection agent for that matter) can sit on a collection account, or actively pursue payment from the debtor. There is no collateral estoppel theory that I am aware of that a debtor may use to prevent the collection of a previously dormant delinquent account.

      What you noticed on your credit report in 2006 was a "hard pull" caused by the car dealer's finance department when it conducted a credit check on you. These disappear after a year or so.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Bill
    The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is 4 years Statute of Limitations Chart so if you have not made a payment or had any activity in over 6 years you may want to seek legal counsel or send the collector what is known as a "debt validation letter" and then tell them to stop contacting you. Good luck Mike. I hope this helps you out and let us know how it goes.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2009
    Mike
    Hi,I have a collection agencie calling me on a debt that is over six years old,can they file a legal motion against me for the debt after that long of a period. I live in Pa. and I am having a hard time finding info on this and what to do about this situation. Can you please help. Thank you Mike
    0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Linda
      I recently got a creit report for a cell phone bill for $4114.00, which was not or bill was used by an unauthorized person.Filled out the paper work in 2001 and it was removed. We recently got a new credit report and the bill is back on our report called the orignal company and they said they sold it to another agency called US asset managemnet, I explained to them this was all settled and than said no it is not and we have to pay this bill. This bill is from June 2001, I told her I have 3 credit reports after that where it was removed, why after all these years is this bill back on my credit report and what can I do to get it off
      0 Votes

    • 35x35
      Sep, 2011
      Bill
      Dispute the derogatory entry on your credit report. Under federal law, derogatories like the one you described must be removed after 7½ years.
      0 Votes