ANGIE M asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 1 decade ago

received letter from a debt collection agency who have bought debt I owe from 8yrs ago do i have to pay?

I have received a letter saying this debt collection agency has bought the debt, it is 8 years old and was occurred in a catalogue payment in a previous marriage, I have had no contact with this company since my first marriage broke up and to be honest had completely forgotten the debt. I have recently paid off in full all the iva.s that I incurred in the marriage break up , now being in a better financial situation. I was feeling quite proud of myself and now this one comes out of the woodwork! Do I still owe this money I dont even know if the 750.00 they are requesting is the right amount, they are threatening court action and bayliffs but as to yet I havent contacted them. Any advice anyone?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    NO you don't have to pay. If this debt is over 8 years old then it is beyond the 7yr 180day reporting period and should not appear on your credit report.

    This is from a junk debt collection agency. They will dig up old bills and try and collect.

    DO NOT make any payments to them, this will re-set the statue of limitations and it will appear on your credit report!

    This is considered a "time barred debt" and they can not seek legal action against you.

    Here are some links to help understand this situation.

    Information on time barred debts.

    Research the collection agency at this free link:

    Hope this is of help to you

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  • 1 decade ago

    Debt collection agencies often will harrass you, calling at all hours and threatening to take you to court, but they won't. Be carefull if you do call them because if they get your number you will get calls at all hours of the day, several times a day. I don't know where you are, but in Canada, if you request that they only contact you in writing, by law they have to abide by that. You do have rights!

    Write to them and tell them you have no idea what this is for and that you need proof and statements showing why you owe the money and how they arrived at that amount. I wouldn't just pay it without any documentation. If they can't come up with something with your signature on it, then how do you really know it's your debt? These companies do make mistakes. I have two different bills coming to my home on a regular basis and they are definitely not mine. The last name is correct, but the first is not and no one else has ever lived at this address!

    If they can come up with proof and you do agree that you owe them money then you do have to pay...your marital status at the time and the fact that you are now divorced doesn't matter. Unfortunately, if the debt is only in your name, then I believe it will be your responsibility alone.

    Source(s): Recently, there was a spot on our local news about collection agencies, their harrassing tactics, and individuals rights.
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  • Eunice
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The short answer is yes, the long answer is no. Yes you do still own the money and if they are willing to pay for your debt, they can buy it. However...... It is unlikely that the debt will be collectible. The laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in all U.S. jurisdictions you have a limited time within which to press your claim in court. Not having done so after all this time, the claim is probably dead. One warning here, don't pay anything on this debt, do not sign anything and I probably wouldn't even talk to them until I had consulted with my attorney. If you acknowledge this debt, you run the risk of reinstating it. Additionally, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Derogatory information can stay on your credit report for only 7 years after the date of first delinquency. Collection agencies will frequently try to restart the clock by mis-reporting the date of first delinquency, but this is illegal. Here again, don't pay anything on this debt, otherwise you will have created a new date of first delinquency. That is something you definitely do not want to do. Good Luck

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What state are you in? The Statute of Limitations depends upon that.

    Junk debt buyers prey on people's fears and make threats of actions that they cannot legally take. First of all, they cannot legally insert an eight year old debt onto your credit report (the reporting clock is seven years from the date it was charged off, NOT when they "purchased" the debt), and if it is beyond the SOL, and they are making threats, record them if permissible in your state and take THEM to court for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and make them pay you.

    Debt buyers are getting desperate as consumers are getting educated.

    Go to Creditboards and Bud Hibbs websites for a wealth of information. They can guide you through the validation process and how to handle this situation.

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  • My first question is did you or your wife deal with this company in the past? If the debt happened while married then you are responsible ( or her) unless divorce papers state she is responsible. If divorce papers state she is responsible then contact them and give them a copy of the papers. If divorce papers do not clear you of the debt then the way a lot of these companys work is they buy the debt at pennies on the dollar and hope to collect the full amount. In a lot of cases you can get them to accept a lower amount but get it in writting if this is what you decide to do. Good luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    Do what Sgt Big Red just told you to do. Follow his advice.

    Also make the collection agency prove their case with documents and signatures (yours). Anything less than that, just ignore'em.

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  • j h
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    even tho divorced you and ex both still share any debt prior to div UNLESS div stipulation says otherwise, but it has to be specific... my guess is it says nothing about unknown debts or this one... the more info this company has the more leverage they have to mess up your life (legal and illegal)... you may be able to barter with them and offer a partial single payment to clear the debt, but make sure you get EVERYTHING in writing... may want to fork out $100 and have a lawyer barter for ya... the more time they spend on it the more money they are going to need to make it worth thier while, but of course at some point they may give up and sell it to some other company

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  • Ginger
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    They bought the debt for a much smaller amount (10%) which no doubt started at a far lower amount such as $200. Add on late fees, interest and whatever else deemed collectible, the bill is now the $750. Rather than trash your hard-earned it and get the payoff in writing.

    Then always check your credit report for errors, chargeoffs, etc. If this one is on there, negotiate its removal if you pay in full.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What difference does it make if it's been 8 yrs? A debt is a debt. If you owe the money and have any honor and integrity, pay it. If you're just another deadbeat, why are you even asking. If you and the ex ran up a bill and failed to pay, this company can and will place it in your credit record, and should!

    Pay the bill and write it off to lessons of stupid youth and then forget it.

    • Kim6 years agoReport

      Written like a low life debt collector.

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