What to do if I received a letter today from a collection agency stating the my wages will be garnished for a debt from 11 years ago?

Can this be done? I have only just returned to work (for minimum wage) after being unemployed for over 2 years. I only average between 12-18 hours a week.

Asked on January 10, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As long as the creditor obtained a valid judgment within the legaly prescribed timeframe, then it can enforce the judgment so long as the judgement has not yet expired; judgements typically are good anywhere from between 6-20 years depending on the state (you can use google to find out your specific state law on this). However, if no valid judgement was obtained by now, then it is probably to late for your creditor to do so. As a general rule, a claim for a debt can only be made for between 3-10 years on an outstanding debt. So if there is no judgement currently in force, then your creditor cannot take legal action against you (although technically you still owe the money). Therefore, you need to: ask for a copy of the judgment to make sure one really exisits and, if it does, see if it has already expired.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.