Can a collections agency take me to court if the debt was accumulated in the U.S but I now live in Canada?

I had an unsecured $5000 line of credit with Wells Fargo when I lived in the U.S. I stopped paying a couple years back when I moved to Canada and the interest and late fees have apparently taken what I owe up to $10,200. I just received a call from a collections agency saying they are taking me to court if I don’t settle the debt. What recourse do they actually have?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are now living in Canada, you can be sued in the United States for a debt that you incurred in the United States. The issue is whether you owe the debt and if you owe it, is the time to collect upon it by filing a lawsuit barred by the statute of limitations in the state where the debt arose.

Ordinarily, the time to sue on a credit card dent is 4 years after the debt was incurred and where no payments have been made on it. I suggest you consult with an attorney about your situation to see if the claim is time barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

If so, the attorney you consult with should write a letter to the collections agency stating your position. If not time barred, perhaps a monthly payment plan in writing would be in order to pay it down if you can do so?

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