Really old debt

by Linda
(Reno NV)

I was unable to pay a credit card debt about 15 years ago & it was turned into collections.I did not respond to them because I had no money or a job. It was turned into the credit reporting Companies & stayed on my report for 7 years.I already paid the price w/ bad credit for all that time.

Now I get a letter from a collection agency saying that I still owe the debt and that serious financial decisions are now in my court. Can they legally get the $$ from me by attaching my bank accounts 15 years after the fact?

Who do I need to contact to see if the statue of limitations has run out. Should I close my bank accounts just in case? Any & all responses from you will be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Really old debt

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Jan 06, 2010
Very old debt
by: Gerri

Linda, Don't panic. This debt is very old and I am confident it's just been picked up by a debt buyer. According to the sources I consulted, the statute of limitations is generally 4 - 6 years in Nevada. As long as you haven't been making payments on it in the last several years, I don't see any reason for you to worry.

As we explain in Debt Collection Answers, if the debt is too old or you don't believe you owe it, you can send the collection agency a "cease contact" letter. It's simple. Just provide your contact information and ask them not to contact you again. Tell them you know the debt is too old. They can't contact you again except to take legal action, which sounds unlikely given the circumstances. If they do contact you again after getting your letter, you can contact a consumer law attorney for help.

You do imply in your question that the collection agency has threatened dire consequences if you don't pay. Their threats sound like they could be illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and possibly under state law as well.

It wouldn't hurt for you to talk with a local consumer attorney with experience in debt collection laws. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

If the collection agency has broken the law, at a minimum you'll want to report them to the FTC (www.FTC.gov). But the attorney may also recommend legal action, particularly if they continue to threaten you after you tell them to stop contacting you. If you have a good case, the attorney will take it on a contingent fee basis, which means you do not have to pay up front.

Of course, this is meant as educational advice not legal advice. Please let us know what happens.

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