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I’m Being Sued Over an Old Debt I Don’t Recognize. What Do I Do?

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

Some debt collector has been contacting me by phone about an old debt I know nothing about and saying I am going to miss my court date in a state I have not lived in for 10 yrs.

Can they file a law suit if you are not notified in person?


Dear Donna,

I don’t think this issue is about how you can be notified about a lawsuit but more about collection efforts for an old debt you don’t recognize. It might not even be a debt you owe.

You should immediately contact the debt collector and ask them to verify the old debt and prove you actually owe it. It might even be far beyond the statute of limitations and they can’t sue you over the debt.

For what to do to validate the debt with the collector, see this, this and this.

If they can’t adequately prove the old debt the issue should die. If they come back and press the issue, then talk to an attorney who is licensed in your state. You can find one at

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

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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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