I Work for a Debt Relief Company and Have a Question About a Client. – Chris

“Dear Steve,

I work for a debt settlement company.

A client believes he is free from debt after 4 yrs if they havent collected. Is this true?


Dear Chris,

I’m very happy to assist you to help this client.

I believe the client is talking about the statute of limitations. The only states it is four years are California, Pennsylvania (no garnishments in PA), and Texas (No garnishments in TX).

Adult Ed - QuestionsBut the statute of limitations is a slippery slope without have the specific situation reviewed by an attorney that is licensed in the state the client lives in. There are a number of issues that can start the clock starting and stopping so hoping any particular number is right by assuming would be a mistake.

It is interesting that in two of the states consumers cannot be garnished for credit card debts so dealing with debts in those states would adjust the game plan.

Sometimes that statute of limitations can stop if you leave the state and the time barred statute used is not clearly set in stone. It can be the state the person lives in, the state the creditor was in or the state defined in the agreement.

To make it more complicated, making a payment or acknowledging it is a valid debt can start the clock over again.

Tell the client to consult with an attorney licensed in their state before that hope the statute of limitations will protect them. And remind them that just because the debt may have exceeded the statute it can still be collected on.

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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2 thoughts on “I Work for a Debt Relief Company and Have a Question About a Client. – Chris”

  1. under current laws, your client will almost never be “free from debt”, even if the account is past statute of limitations to file suit. the account can still be reported the credit reporting agencies 7years from the delinquency date with the original creditor. even after that, collection agencies can still attempt to collect the debt in most areas. To be “free from debt”, you client would need to file bk, or pay the debt.

    • I suppose “free” is a relative term, but I don’t want readers to be mislead. To suggest that the only way to be “free from debt” is to pay it or file BK is wrong. As Steve suggested, talk to a lawyer in your state. That and it occurs to me that Janis was right when she sang “freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose” although I never thought of it in this context before.


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