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Why Would Anyone Pay a Debt Outside the Statute of Limitations? – Mike

“Dear Steve,

I had a credit card several years ago that I never paid and was never sued on within the statute of limitations and when it passed the seven year period it dropped off my credit report. I changed my phone number before I stopped paying and the original creditor and the collection agencies never found my current phone number. I never received collection calls so I never discussed this debt. Thus, they never had any statement where I admitted anything since I remained completely silent. They also never had my bank account information, but now I don’t use a bank account anyway.

I have seen several references to debts that are barred from lawsuit by the state statute of limitations but are said to be collectable but I don’t understand how they are or why anyone would pay a time barred debt. So what if they ask you to pay it? Even if someone verbally agrees to pay, they can’t enforce it even with the phone call being recorded. Unless you give them consent to withdraw from your bank account, they can’t forcibly withdraw it because they would need a judgment to do this which they can’t get after the statute of limitations expires, is that correct?


Dear Mike,

The Statute of Limitations only covers the period during which you can be sued for the debt. If your debt is truly out of stat then you may not be able to be sued but the debt can still be attempted to be collected on, forever.

Before you rest on a debt is out of stat, you should discuss the situation with an attorney that is licensed in your state. These can be tricky issues.

I would suggest that someone might want to deal with an old debt and deal with it so they don’t have to run and hide their entire life. Having credit and a bank account provides financial safety advantages.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About Steve Rhode

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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