Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Old Debt

Am I Still Responsible for My Old Debt? – Rachel

“Dear Steve,

When I was 18, I had 2 Visa credit cards. I maxed them out within the first year, not realizing the consequences. Now, 11 years later, a collector that has purchased the debt has sent me a letter saying that I have 45 days to pay or make payment arrangements. The last payment that I made was 10 years ago. I have not been contacted between that time and the present until now.

Am I still responsible for this debt even though it has been over 7 years and is not currently showing on my credit report?


Dear Rachel,

A collector can attempt to collect on an old debt forever. However depending on which state you live in the ability for the collector to sue you may have passed. This is commonly known as the statute of limitations.

You would need to contact a lawyer licensed in your state for a definitive answer if the collector can still sue you. In your case the person attempting to collect on the debt is the owner of the debt so sending them a cease and desist letter to stop contacting you would not work since the letter only is effective on third-party collectors and not the debt owner.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

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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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