by Madison
(Fort Worth,Tx usa)

I broke a lease in Dallas and in Las Vegas and I have utilities from Vegas that all went to collections. How can I get in touch with collections to start making payments on all my debts to get off my credit?

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Feb 09, 2012
by: Debtcollectionanswers

Have you not received collection notices from the collectors regarding these debts? If you have, then their contact information should be on the notices. If you have not, you can check your credit reports to see if the names of the collection agencies are listed there and then google the agency names to find phone numbers for them. Another option is to contact the creditors and ask them to provide you with the information you need.

You should know however, that paying the debts you owe will not necessarily remove the collection information from your credit files. Legally, that information can remain there for seven and a half years after the date that the debts first became past due. Sometimes however, a collection agency will agree to remove negative information in exchange for your paying a debt. If that happens, be sure to get the agreement in writing before you pay any money. Also, be aware that the agency cannot remove any negative information your creditor may have reported. It can only remove negative information it reported.

One other thing to take into account is the age of the debts that you owe. There is something called the statute of limitations (SOL). This is the amount of time you can be sued for a debt and there are different SOLs for different types of debts, each of which is set by the state where a debt is incurred. While the SOL on a debt is in effect, you can be sued for the money you owe, but once the SOL has expired, a collector cannot sue you. If you are sued, you can use the fact that the SOL has expired to get the lawsuit thrown out in court.

Why is this important? Because if you owe a debt and the SOL on it has expired, you risk restarting the SOL on it if you offer to pay the debt or even admit that the debt is yours. If you did that then you would be at risk for a lawsuit again. So, before you contact any collectors, find out whether or not the SOLs on your debts have expired. (You can find out what the SOL on a debt is by calling the attorney general's office in the state where you incurred the debt.) If the SOL has expired, you still owe the debt, but you cannot be sued for the money.

If you want help deciding how to handle your debts, contact a consumer law attorney near you who helps consumers with debt collection issues.

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