What to do if I have a 6 year old debt with the state for unpaid tuition because I didn’t fill out my loan correctly so but was charged a balance anyway?

I currently have a debt with the state collection unit for $5,500. The debt is for unpaid tuition. Does the statue of limitations apply to state debts like this one? And will they eventually write the debt off and leave me alone? If so, how many years will a collector like this, stop pursuing you? I’ve heard that they don’t except negotiations or partial payments.

Asked on September 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, District of Columbia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) A statute of limitations applies to all debts, including those owed to the state or other governmental unit or entity.

2) Whether or not any given creditor will eventually write off the debt and "leave you alone" depends on their internal policies--there is no way to predict this. Note that a debt "written off" is still a debt defaulted on, so your credit score or rating will take a significant hit.

3) As for how long it will take them to stop pursuing you--the outer limit is defined by the statute of limitations (which, by the way, starts running from when you defaulted or failed to pay--not from when you took out the loan or incurred the debt); however, again, depending on their internal policies, they may stop pursuing you earlier.

4) It's up to each creditor to determine whether they will accept partial payment or a payment plan.

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