Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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Statue of Limitations on Collecting a Debt?

Dear Melissa,

I have a few questions if you don’t mind answering. I received a letter from a collection agency requesting I pay them a bill that they say I owed. I had no recollection of this bill and began to question the validity. They informed me it was from an old debt from 1994. I truly do not believe it is mine however they did confirm the last four digits of my social security number. That started me consider the all the identity fraud. I first wondered why no one attempted to reach me beforehand considering how old this supposed debt is. 

My questions are how much time does the collector have to collect on a debt? Is there a deadline for pursuing a debt? If this is not my debt what do I do to prove that I don’t owe it?

 Peter L.

Dear Peter,

1994??? Wow!  First, I would send a letter to the collection agency requesting validation of the account.  Chances are they are a debt buying company and not a traditional collection agency.  If they cannot prove the debt, they will have to close it out.

 The other side to this is that the statute of limitations is over of just about to expire.  The longest amount of time for an SOL is 15 years, which means that if you happen to live in Kentucky or an Ohio, the two states with 15 year SOL’s, it expires this year.  This means that you cannot be sued or have any adverse information reported to your credit.

So if it does turn out to be your bill, do as you wish.

Melissa Douros Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc.

As the owner of Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc., Melissa Douros uses her eight years of being a collections specialists to offer advice and answer questions pertaining to debt collection. With running her own successful collection agency, she seeks to keep debt collectors accountable for their actions and in line with the law.

Do YOU have a question for Melissa? Email her at melissa@dovcocs.

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