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Collections and Bills

I vwas wondering how long can a collection or old debt come after you. I got something in the mail from over 14 years ago, I was under the impression it was taken care of but WOW I also thought that there was a certain amount of time and then they could nor come after you, I mean it came ion my maiden name I have not used that name for over years.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:57 AM on Mar. 31, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (6)
  • I'm not sure but if you should dispute it. You can do it online. I want to say the website is and they let you see your credit report completly free once a year and they also tell you how you can dispute it. If that doesn't get the agency to take it off then you should call them, and without admitting you owe or saying you don't owe, requst proof of the actual debt. A piece of paper saying they bought the debt won't count...they would need to original paperwork. There are lots of good articles on msnmoney about debt collectors and how to handle them but I can't give any specific links. If it doesn't bother you that it may still be on your report id just throw the stuff away.

    Answer by AmazingAmanda at 11:08 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • Debt is often sold. What you need to do is go to and pull your credit reports from all 3 bureaus.  Look them over carefully & dispute any mistakes.  Pulling your own reports will not affect your credit score.  You can pull your reports 1x per year for free. 


    Answer by motherofhope98 at 11:09 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I did and it is not on none of the credit reports and they aid I still owe this! Really confused especially because it has been 1996 the last time I heard of this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:24 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • check your state laws, but around 7 years of non payment, and usually you aren't required to pay after that. i can't remember what this is called, maybe someone else will. if the people asking for the money are not the people you originally owed the money to (if the collector purchased this debt) then you have no contract with them, and are not required to pay. tell them to provide you with a signed contract or stop calling/ writing.
    or if you believe you owe the debt, you could pay it.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 2:51 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I agree with "happy2bmom25". It depends on the state you live in. What she is refering to is called "Statue of Limitations". This means that from the date the account was charged off, a collection agency, ect has an allotted ammount of time to collect on the debt. It varies from state to state, and if they have proceeded with legal litigation, this may affect the "statue of limitations" to an extended period as well. Which means: lets say you opened a credit card in a XXX state. "XXX" state has a "statue of limitations" of ten years. However, let's call the company "Credit Y". Credit Y has tried to contact you to make payments, ect for eight of those years. This is still in the hands of the company you owe. However, IF Credit Y charges off the account, and sends to a collection agency, or third party, from the "charge off" date is where they start counting the TEN Years.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:05 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • when the debt is sold the statute of limitations starts all over again...check reports from all 3 bureaus if it's not on any of them just ignore the bills...if they are calling you get the name of the company and their address and send them a cease and desist letter (you can find templates online)

    Answer by DFSNIKKI at 2:52 PM on Apr. 6, 2010

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