If you have old credit card debt, you may be wondering how long a collector has to collect.
There was an interesting article in our local newspaper "The Oregonian" today, 4.2.12 entitled "More time for debt collectors".
Seems that three people sued the credit card/debt collectors (specifically Daniel N. Gordon, an attorney in Eugene that specializes in debt collection) that the creditors could not sue after 3 years because the statute of limitations was only 3 years in the state of Delaware (the state where the credit card company lists as the home office).
The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a creditor can have as long as the individual's state's statutes of limitation to attempt to collect a debt.
In Oregon and Washington, the statute of limitations is 6 years.
What does that mean to you?
If you have old credit card accounts that you have not paid on for over 6 years you have a couple of rights that you need to know:
If you see that debt (longer than 6 years) on your credit report, you can request that it be removed as the statutes of limitations has expired.
The credit reporting agency (usually Experian, Equifax or TransUnion) will investigate and if you are correct, remove the item.
In some listings on a credit report, you will see a notation of when this account is scheduled to be removed due to the statute of limitations being exceeded.
It is important for you to know what the statute of limitations is for your state. You can find a listing (although you should double check on line at your State's official site) at:
LISTING OF STATE'S STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS
Another reason it is important for you to know your rights is if a collector sues by filing a claim in the county court of your residency, you can dispute the claim if the statute of limiations has expired (for your state of residency).
You need to be aware of the term "re-aging" debt. If a collector calls and you agree to make a small payment to stop further action, etc., the statute of limitations clock is reset and basically starts over!
Therefore, if you have old debt, is is NOT WISE to talk with a collector or to make any acknowledgment of the debt.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), if you make a request in writing to the collector, they must stop calling you at home or at work.
In making the request, DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEBT!
State that you dispute the validity of the debt and that you are not responsible.
Demand that they cease from calling you at work and home or that you will report them to your state's Attorney General's office.
If you would like help, here's a link that will show you HOW TO STOP COLLECTION CALLS.
If you want to resolve an old debt rather than risk legal action from collectors, you should consider a Debt Settlement Program, where you may be able to settle the debt at 50% or less and have it removed from your credit report!
For more information, click the link below for a FREE CONSULTATION!