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How Should I Deal With My Lincoln Tech Debt I Could Not Pay?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I was in Lincoln Tech back in 2013 but I had to quit due to medical reasons (major surgery). I couldn’t return.

I was not able to work for several years just really got back on my feet but they have me in collections the debt of $6000+ was due to be removed from my credit report next year.

I know they have been calling I spoke with them years ago I told them I wasn’t working and was unable to make any type of payment.

But I see now where they have that they opened the report in 2017 I spoke with them in 2014?

How do I go about my dispute process?

Can I have it removed?

Do I have to pay it?

Chris

Answer:

Dear Chris,

It appears you agree that the debt is something that you did incur back in 2013. Due to circumstances beyond your control, you fell ill and were not able to return or to work.

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There are two issues that surround your situation. The first is the statute of limitations in your state. If this debt is now outside of the statute of limitations, they might still attempt to collect on this debt or even sue you over it. You would have to raise the issue the debt is time-barred and now too old to sue you over. The time the statute of limitations expires on this debt in your state is something only an attorney can give you a legal opinion about.

The second issue involved the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The debt should be listed as going into default on the date it last went delinquent which sounds like in 2013. After seven years the debt should no longer be reported on your credit report. Technically it’s seven years and 180 days but in practice, it is just seven years.

Collection companies sometimes “adjust” the reporting date to keep it on the credit report. They use that as leverage to get you to pay.

I think your issue can be best resolved by speaking to an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. You can check this list to find someone in your state.

The tricky thing about the statute of limitations is a collector can trick you into verifying the debt or making a payment restarting the clock on that debt.

I would classify your issue with this debt as more annoying than the worst thing ever. If this debt is dragging down your credit score than you should also think about how to rebuild your credit instead of just waiting for this to fall off.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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