jodi w asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 7 years ago

Can a collection agency report a nine year old debt on my credit?

I got a call today from a collection agency across the country saying I owe a debt from a check that I cashed at Ace check cashing back in 2003. I have no idea what this is. This is the first I am hearing about it. They had my ssn. Not sure if I should pay it, or if it is a scam. Worried about my credit. Looked the company up online and it says they buy old debts. The name of the company is Bryant hodge and associates.

11 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best Answer

    I understand your worries and sugget that you proceed with caution. Be careful in your dealings with the collection agency. Just because they have your ssn and other information does not make them legitimate.

    I recommend that you immediately send a debt validation letter. You can receive full details of how to do so at page .

    Even if the debt is validated, you most probably do not owe the money, due to the statute of limitations (SOL). Check out the relevant law for your state at However, the SOL does not preclude the creditor from suing you, so do not disregard any legal docuements or lawsuits. You will need to make an affirmative defense. If you are not sure what to do, then get legal advice.

    Lastly, if you feel that you are being unfairly treated, send a complaint to the FTC. You can get more information about debt collection and how to send a complaint at the FTC Web site and at

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    First, get everything in writing, especially the date of 2003.

    Then once you get that tell them to cease communications and write a letter to them stating the same thing.

    In terms of reporting the debt and ruining your credit:

    They cannot report it to the credit bureau anymore as it is too old. That's why you get the date of 2003 in writing, that way if they do report it with a fake date, you have written proof from them.

    In terms of collecting the money through the courts:

    There is also a statute of limitations on the collection of the debt which may be different on the statute for reporting it to the credit bureau (depends on what state you live in). They could still sue you if it's within that statute of limitations. Even if it's out of that statute of limitations, they can still sue you and if you don't show up in court a judgement will be entered against you. Just show up and say: "Your honor, I request the case against me be dismissed as the statute of limitations has run out" Again, since you have that letter from them that tells you the debt, you're good to go; make sure to bring it with you.

    Whether you wrote a bad cheque and forgot or not; they can no longer touch you for this (alleged) debt.

  • Reena
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Tell them that you do not acknowledge this debt and that in any case they are SOL.. and explain to them that you mean "Statute Of Limitations" when referring to SOL.

    Then hang up.

    They can not report it to your credit report because it is way too old and has fallen off your credit report around 2010. It can not be put back on the credit report and what they did is buy an old debt in hopes that they can convince you to pay it up. You can not be sued over this and any attempt to collect is up to their expertise and your good faith. If you are willing to settle it... fine... If you want nothing to do with these sharks and don't feel like paying it... then don't. They paid pennies on the dollar for the right to collect and the debt has long since been written off and adjusted by the company that you owed the money to. That company has long taken the tax credit for this debt.

    Never acknowledge that a debt is yours and don't give out personal information. If they don't already have it... then that is not your problem and it only shows that they are desperately trying to find the right person to match up with a debt. Assume they got the wrong person and deny any knowledge of this debt and tell them to get lost.

  • They can try to collect on a debt as long as it hasn't been settled.

    In this situation you should be very wary of this company. While it is definitely possible that this is a legitimate attempt to collect on an outstanding debt, this also is similar to a type of fairly common scam which involves a person threatening legal action in regards to some debt far in the past.

    I would suggest demanding written proof of the debt. They are required to verify the validity of the debt upon your request (or else cease collection attempts).

    Read this section of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

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  • 7 years ago

    Technically speaking, they cannot ruin your credit or collect from you because first of all the contract you made was with Ace not bryant, now if you say you dont know what they're talking about, and you nerver did such a thing then there should be a signature of you, have them compare it, but if is not too much they will try to collect at all cause, even $10-$20 payments. If is not much they will drop it.

    Source(s): Personal experiece but I did commited the atrosity ended up paying $50 for a $200 dollar debt
  • 7 years ago

    Tell them to pound sand. The Statute of Limitations for collecting on the alleged debt has expired. They cannot sue you in court, which means they have no power to collect from you.

    The Statute of Limitations has also expired on their ability to report this item on your credit report. If it appears, contest it with the credit bureau. If the collection agency refuses to remove the item, sue them under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

  • CatDad
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    The FTC laws are perfectly clear on this issue: bad debts can be reported for up to 7.5 years, starting from the original date of default. Nothing resets this. A default from 2003 can only stay through the year they could not put this on your credit report.

    - Send them a cease communications letter.

  • 7 years ago

    If you told them on the phone that you would pay something, even just one penny, then they can report all of it, not just the part that you agreed to pay.

    If you told them nothing, not even one word, then the debt is too old to be reported on your credit.

    Don't do anything. Do pay. Most importantly, don't say anything on the phone, not even your name. It's too late for them to do anything, until you do something. Once you talk to them on the phone, they can lie and say that you told them you would pay, and then they can report it and make you pay, even though they can't if you don't say anything.

  • 7 years ago

    Simple answer....ask them to send you a copy of the check. Tell them that you won't pay them anything until they can prove that the debt is legitimate.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I agree with CatDad. It's way past the SOL, they can not sue you. If you have their number. just call your phone co and have them put a block on the call. There is no charge for this service. If they send you letters, just black out your name and address and write " Return to Sender".

    Source(s): Retired bill collector 35 years
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