How long can a collection agency pursue me for the money I owe? 25 Answers as of June 24, 2013

How long can collection agencies pursue me for the money I owe and will it drop off my credit report after a certain amount of time?

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
They can pursue you forever, but they can only sue you within six years of the last activity on the account. That is why on some older debts, they try to trick you into making a payment, so that you restart the six year statute of limitation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/28/2011
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
You ask a broad question. The collection agency can pursue it as long as they are contracted or own the account. However, once the time passes where they can sue you (a/k/a statue of limitations) they can still pursue it but they will no longer be legally enforceable assuming you defend the lawsuit on statue of limitations grounds. On the other hand, the the creditor sues you and gets a judgment then the lawsuit can be enforced for many years. In Massachusetts a judgment is enforceable for 20 years.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/16/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
The statute of limitations for a debt incurred in California is 4 years on a written contract.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
The usual statute of limitation for collection of a debt is 4 years from the time of the breach. If the creditor get a judgment it has 20 years to collect, but that can be extended for an additional ten years. A debt that isn't a judgment will typically stay on a credit report for 7 years.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2011
G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc.
G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc. | Tony Yuthas
This varies by state and sometimes by court. Normally in Colorado, a debt is collectable for 20 years from judgment, but this can be refreshed or renewed prior to the expiration of that period.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/16/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    A collection agency can pursue debt until you file for bankruptcy. An old debt may not be collected because of the statute of limitations. Negative credit information is on your credit report for 7 years, bankruptcy for 10.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    A credit report is not a legal document. It is like a newspaper - just a written rumor of your financial situation that is supposed to follow industry standards. They can pursue the debt until you pay it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    For most, money owed it is 7 years, but they frequently "forget" to drop it off after the statute of limitations have run and you have to challenge it with the credit agency to get it dropped off.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    Once you file for bankruptcy in federal court creditors are barred from contacting you to collect a debt.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    Assuming we are talking about a collection agency attempting to collect against you for a credit card for which there is *no* judgment, then the statute of limitations is 6 years. That means they can attempt to collect the debt for six years after the date of the default *before* they sue you. This does not mean that the debt goes away after 6 years, it simply means that if they want to collect against you, they will need to sue you, and move toward a judgment against you. With a judgment in hand (and an execution, issued by the Court), they will have additional powers, and considerably more time to satisfy their judgment. A bankruptcy attorney can help you to eliminate these debts, even where a judgment has been issued.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    In Colorado a collection agency has six years in which to pursue collection. The collection will drop off your credit report seven years after the last entry. The net effect is that a collection account can ruin your credit for a long time; whereas, bankruptcy will rebuild your credit within two years.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    There is a way to demand they stop collection efforts.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    The statute of limitations on a debt with a written contract is 4 years from the date of last activity (so making a payment counts as activity and restarts the 4 year time period). It can stay on your credit for 7 years.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    They can chase you for life regardless of it being collectable. It will be on your report for 7 years. At some point depending on your state it will cease to be collectable.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    The length of time a creditor has to enforce a debt (and by enforce I mean sue you for it) is called the statute of limitations. There are different limitations periods for different types of actions. The creditor would likely sue you on a contract theory of recovery. In California, the statute of limitations on written contracts is 4 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    A collection agency can pursue you until you pay the money or file for bankruptcy. The debt will remain on your credit report unless indefinitely. If it is paid, then that fact will also be shown, as will the fact that it was compromised if not paid in full.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Until they file a lawsuit against you for the money you owe, have the court issue a write of garnishment or levy on your property. ALso they won't drop it on your credit report until the debt is satisfied. If you're asking how long can they keep calling you after bankruptcy, etc, the answer is the day they receive the notice of filing, usually within 14 days after you file the case. The charges against you on your credit report will also disappear after your case is closed, usually 3 to 4 months after you file.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/15/2011
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