Over 9 year old medical debt

by Debby M.
(Texas)

My husband has a hospital debt from 2001. We paid a reasonable amount faithfully every month up until March 2010 even though we don't have a written agreement stating when and how much we are to pay. We haven't even received a bill for a few years now. We're trying to purchase a house and just found out the debt was sold to a collection agency this month and it's on our otherwise perfect credit report. Can they legally collect on a 9 year old debt? We live in Texas if that matters.

Comments for Over 9 year old medical debt

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Sep 08, 2010
old hospital debt
by: Gerri & Mary

Yes, it does matter which state you live in. Our understanding is that the statute of limitations for most consumer debts in Texas is four years. However, the fact that you have been making payments faithfully maintained that the statute of limitations has not expired. (It often runs from your last payment.) However, we are not attorneys so please do not take this as legal advice.

We have heard so many complaints about medical bills. We strongly believe there needs to be a Truth in Medical Billing Act comparable to the Fair Credit Billing Act. We would encourage you to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and let your elected officials in Washington know about this problem.

You may also want to read our advice about medical debt collection as well as the
Medical Debt Relief Act, proposed legislation that would require credit reporting agencies to remove medical debts from credit reports thirty days after they have been paid.

In addition, we would question whether this account can be reported on your credit report at this late date. Generally, collection accounts may only be reported for 7 1/2 years from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. Since this bill was due originally in 2001, it's possible that it shouldn't be on your credit reports at this point. However, we would have to refer you to consumer law attorney to help you figure out whether that's the case here.

Because this is fairly complicated - an old debt and no clear accounting of what you actually owe, we are going to have to suggest that you talk with a consumer law attorney who can help you understand your options. You can either look for a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases, or call the Collection Complaint Hotline at 888-711-5183 for a free, confidential case evaluation.

We hope you are able to straighten this out!

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