Must I pay a 15 year old debt?

by Robin
(New Hampshire)

I have recently been hassled by multiple phone calls from a debt collection agency. Apparently this is about a 15 year old debt, made under my former married name (I am now divorced). They will provide no details about the debt, except once one of the representatives let slip it was from US Cellular. After that one slip they refuse to provide any additional information. I don't feel responsible for a 15 year old debt, that I have no details about. How can I persuade them to stop calling? I live in the state of NH.

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Oct 01, 2011
Must I pay a 15 year old debt?

The statute of limitations on that debt expired long ago -- this is the time during which you can be sued for a debt that you owe. Therefore, I recommend that you send the agency a cease and desist letter telling it that you do not want to be contacted about the debt again. I suggest that you read our advice on using a cease and desist letter first however.

By law, the agency must not continue communicating with you about the debt after it receives your letter other than to confirm that won't contact you again. If it does, you should get in touch with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps resolve debt collection problems. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. You may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, if you speak with the collector, do not admit that you owe the debt or offer to pay even a small amount of money on the debt. If you do, you will start the statute of limitations on it running all over again at which point you would be at risk for being sued the money.

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