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I recieved in the mail a letter from a collection agency on a cc bill over 13 yrs old. I am in Alaska. My question is how do I find out if this has a "judgement" on it? They are offering a settlement and my current bank said to talk to a laywer that they might not be legit. I know bad on my part for not paying...but I will spare the details. Thanks!
The Statute of Limitations on open accounts (credit cards) is six years in Alaska. The collection agency maybe trying to collect on a "zombie" debt, or a debt that you no longer owe or have a legal obligation to pay. Send the collection agency a "debt validation" letter. Make them prove that the debt is yours, that you have a legal obligation to pay the debt, that they have a legal right to collect from you, etc. Templates for Debt Validation letters are readily available on the Internet. Include a paragraph stating that the collection agency cannot contact you anymore until the debt has been validated. Send the letter by certified mail. Keep copies for your records.
Pull your credit report to see if there is a judgment listed. annualcreditreport.com is the real free site to check your credit file for free once a year. - NOT freecreditreport.com ====================== If there is no judgement...and assuming that this is credit card debt that you defaulted and have not made any payments in 13 years, then this debt is way outside the statute of limitations for all 50 states...it is also past the allowable 7-year reporting cycle on credit reports....so they can't place this on your credit file . This is ancient, time-barred debt that you would not have to pay back.. Technically, a debt collector can come after you forever for defaulted debt...however, once the statute of limitations is up...they've lost the power to successfully take legal action. Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can send them a "cease communications" letter and that will be all that you need to do. Per this law they must cease collection activity. Send the collection agency a letter via Certified Mail + Return Receipt (NOT regular mail) stating: Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, cease all communications with me about this alleged debt. This letter has been mailed via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. Receipt of this letter is being officially time stamped. ========================== * Do not sign your signature on any document that you mail to a debt collector. It could end up on a forged document that can be used against you. Simply type your full name. If the debt collector calls back, tell them that you have officially sent a certified letter to them to cease communications with you per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Don't let them scare/bully you into paying this ancient, time-barred debt with bogus threats of arrest or legal action...they can't do either...they are powerless over you.
Hi Akriley, I used to get letters like this all the time and not even once did it turn out to be anything they could actually collect on. I was also successful in getting any derogatory info expunged from my credit record. Now, you could get a lawyer (expensive), or you could shoot them a few letters that "looks" like you hired a lawyer. Go to and click on the link that says Sample Letters. You'll find a whole list of sample letters you can use. Some of the letters are botched out, but you can sometime get 99% of what you need by just looking at what is available for free. I wish you luck beating that shameless collection agency. Let me know if you need more info or help.
Listen to CatDad...he's right on point. The only thing that i would add is that in any communication with the debt collector, in NO WAY SHOULD YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE DEBT IS YOURS minnesota COULD BE YOURS! This could re-start the statute of limitations.