Bill Collectors Are Trying to Get Me to Pay for a Lease From 20 Years Ago. – Tom


“Dear Steve,

I was evicted from a home in New Jersey 1989 and this week I get a letter from a lawyer stating that he represents the owner and wants me to send him over $5000.00 to settle debt with interest.

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He also states that “”Failure to do so may leave us no choice but to move to litigation, if instructed to by our client, for which you may be responsible for our attorney fees and costs.”,” Is there a statue of limitations to sue? I did some research and it shows max of 16 years in New Jersey if lease had seal. Not sure if it did have seal but otherwise it would only be six years. Also since I am now divorced does my ex have responsibility since she was on lease also.


Dear Tom,

I suspect this will end well for you but before you respond or acknowledge anything to the debt collector, contact a local attorney and ask for specific advice regarding the statute of limitations in your state regarding this debt. Crap, it’s a 20 year old debt.

If this debt is covered by the statute of limitations, the collector can still make noise to collect but just can’t sue you to collect. Once you get a lawyer to help you with this issue, if the collector calls you, advise them to speak to your attorney about this matter.

The small cost for an appointment with a local lawyer will be well worth the investment and my bet will make this issue go away, far away.

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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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