Getting Ready to Buy a House and an Old Debt Has Resurfaced. – Sara

“Dear Steve,

I have recently cleaned up my credit report as I’m getting ready to buy a house. I was contacted by a third party collection agency to pay an old written-off debt to a bank from 2005. I live in WA state. Isn’t the statute of limitations up on this debt? Do I still have to pay? Do I dispute the debt in writing even if it was legitimate 8 years ago? What are my options for making them leave me alone? It is not on my credit report any longer from the original bank and there’s no mark on my credit from the collection agency…. Thank you in advance!


"Credit rating" handwritten with white chalk on a blackboard

Dear Sara,

Even if the statute of limitations has expired, that just means you can’t be sued for the debt. Any collector can attempt to recover the debt outside of suing you, well, forever.

According to this site, the Statute of Limitations in Washington State is 6 years. If you have not done anything in the last six years to restart the statue clock like make a payment or acknowledge the debt then this might just be an attempt to get you to pay by asking.

You’d have to talk to an attorney licensed in your state for specific legal advice on this however. I am not an attorney.

If you suspect the amount they are attempting to collect is not accurate, you could ask them to validate the debt. Read How to Dispute and Ask a Debt Collector to Validate a Debt.

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


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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