Long ago debt

by Shannon
(Sault Ste Marie, Michigan)

I have a furniture store credit card that went in to collections at least 10 or more years ago for an amount of about $15,000. It was one that was affected by my divorce back in 1998. I haven't been in contact with anyone in regards to this debt. This past spring I received a letter from a collections agency in regards to this debt offering a payout of a much smaller amount. And in the letter was the typical threat of court or garnishment of wages, all that stuff. With this being as old as it is, does it fall within the statute of limitations for them to sue? I live in michigan.

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Jul 27, 2010
Collector Trying to Collect an Old Debt
by: Mary

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

Some collection agencies are in the business of purchasing very old debts from creditors and then trying to pressure unsuspecting consumers into paying at least some money on the debts. It sounds like one of these kinds of collectors may be contacting you given that my sources indicate the statute of limitations on credit card debts in Michigan is 6 years. (The 6 years begins on the last date that a payment is made on the card.)

When the statute of limitations on a debt has expired, a debt collector (or a creditor) is not entitled to sue you, garnish your wages, and so on, although the company is entitled to continue contacting you about paying what you owe. Therefore, I suggest that you do one of two things:

Send the debt collector a cease and desist letter. Once the collector receives your letter, it is legally obligated not to contact you again.

Contact a consumer law attorney in your area who handles debt collection cases about what to do next. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

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