The Statue of Limitations

I was contacted by NCO stating that they are collecting for an account that was well over 7 years old. Actually, the department store credit card account was over 10 years old.

When I informed NCO of this, they stated that since they purchased the account from the original source, the account is now active again and the statue of limitations is not applicable. Is this correct?

The department store credit card was issued in California.

Comments for The Statue of Limitations

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Jan 28, 2010
Dispute over time barred debt
by: Gerri

No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

The fact that NCO just purchased this debt does not in any way affect the statute of limitations. In addition, debt collectors cannot misrepresent the status of a debt, and the fact that the debt collector may have told you incorrect information about the statute of limitations may mean he broke the law!

You have two choices at this point. One is research the statute of limitations for your state, and if you believe the debt is too old, to write the collector a cease contact letter telling them to leave you alone.

It's pretty straightforward. As we explain in Debt Collection Answers, you can write the collection agency, tell them you believe the debt is too old, and ask them not to contact you again. They can't contact you again except to take legal action, which would be unlikely if the debt is outside the statute of limitations. (If they do contact you again after getting your letter, you can contact a consumer law attorney for help.)

If you go this route, please also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission ( and your state attorney general. They need to know what's going on with these collection agencies. (NCO is one of the largest collection agencies in the world, and they should know better.)

The other alternative is to talk with a consumer law attorney. Because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides for attorney fees and damages if you win, the attorney may be willing to take your case on a contingent fee basis. That means you only pay the attorney if you win. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Of course, our answer is strictly for educational purposes and is not meant to be legal advice. Please let us know what happens.

Jan 28, 2010
From the originator of this question
by: Anonymous

Many thanks for your prompt reply and answer to my question regarding this situation with NCO.

I can now make a better decision as to what direction to take . . . which is to write to NCO informing them of their "error."

Thanks Again,

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