HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Bill Collectors » Can a debt collector collect a debt if it's 12 years old?

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  #1 (permalink)
: I got a letter in the mail today from a California debt collector asking to collect on a debt from 2002 from Southwestern Bell (a phone company). I live, and have always lived, in Missouri, so the debt is from there. The statute of limitations for debt in Missouri is 10 years. Does it matter that the collection agency is in California? Shouldn't this debt be erased because it's 12 years old? I really have no idea what it is from, I'm guessing an old phone bill.
I really have no idea what this debt is regarding. I was still living at my moms house during this time and there were no bills in my name. Would it be ok if I just didn't respond to the letter? Will I get into some type of trouble?

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  #2 (permalink)
: There is no statute of limitations on long a creditor can attempt to collect a debt.

There is, however, a statute of limitations on how long your legal obligation to pay remains. if the statute of limitations has expired, then you have no legal obligation to pay.

Some unscrupulous collection agencies go after zombie debts banking on the consumer's ignorance of the law.

Simply inform the collection agency that you are aware of your rights. The statute of limitations on this debt has expired, now go away.

They will leave you alone.

Good luck
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  #3 (permalink)
: Statutes of limitation refer to how long a LEGAL RIGHT to recovery exists. It does not prevent collectors from ASKING for money on older debts.
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  #4 (permalink)
: If it is actually your debt, yes they can attempt to collect. If it is beyond the statute of limitations, though, they cannot sue.
If it is not your debt, send a letter disputing it.
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