14 yr old debt collection agency wants money

by Patricia
(Penfield,New York)

Capital Management Services,Buffalo, NY wants me to pay
14yr old debt,I am 75yrs old only have small Social Secirity& civil service retirement to live on,I cannot
pay the$10,610.69 they say I owe,will settle for$1,591.60
I cannot pay this.The Bank says they can& do take all
money out of your bank account.These folk know all my information I believe off the internet& have searched up on me.I am very frightened about this,I was told the type income I have is exempt from judgements?What should I do?This co. is representing another agency who I think
maybe repesents the original debt.

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Aug 05, 2010
Agency Trying to Collect 14 year old debt
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

You are correct -- the debt collector cannot collect on the debt by taking your Social Security and retirement income. Furthermore, if the debt collector were to try to take that money, it would have to sue you first and win a judgment against you. However, your debt is so old that the debt collector is legally prohibited from suing you. That's because every state establishes a statute of limitations for specific kinds of debts. Prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations on a debt, a debt collector can sue for that money; but not after the statute of limitations expires. Given that my sources indicate that the statute of limitations on most debts in New York State is 6 years, your 14 year-old debt falls outside that limit. So, if the debt collector threatens you with a lawsuit or actually files a lawsuit against you, he has violated the law.

You should know however, that if you tell the debt collector that you owe the debt or offer to settle the debt, you risk reactivating the statute of limitations on the debt all over again, which would put you at risk for being sued. And, although the debt collector could not take your Social Security money or your retirement income if it won the lawsuit, dealing with the lawsuit would take time and money and be a hassle for you.

I suggest that you deal with you situation by taking three actions. First, send the debt collector a cease and desist letter. This letter will put the collector on notice that you do not want to be contacted again, If the collector does, then he has violated your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Send the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested.

Second, download a copy of my free Free Debt Collection Worksheet. Keep the worksheet close to your phone in the event that the collector continues calling you after he receives your letter. Every time he calls, write down what he says to you on the worksheet. The information could be helpful if you decide to take legal action against the collector.

Finally, schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney in your area who handles debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. The attorney may decide that you have a good basis for a lawsuit against the collection agency and can also advise you about any other actions you should take to protect yourself.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question.


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