Can a collection agency take me to court for an unpaid payday loan from 6 or 7 years ago?

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Can a collection agency take me to court for an unpaid payday loan from 6 or 7 years ago?

I received a call telling me I would be served papers and to call the phone number provided. I called found out it was an old payday loan and was offered a settlement. All of my research on this company has me scared that this is a scam. The information for the loan isn’t on my credit report either. I live in SC.

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The time period in which to legally sue to collect a debt is known as the "statute of limitations". In most states, the time period in which to sue on such debt is typically 2-6 years. This runs from the date of the last activity on the account. However, while the date of last activity is generally the date of last payment or charge off, it can also be the date that a debtor entered into a repayment plan or otherwise acknowledged that they owed debt (even if it is just over the phone).

That having been said, if the statute of limitations has run and you can no longer be taken to court and have a judgement granted against you, you still technically owe the debt. However there will be no real mechanism for your creditor to collect. If the statute has not yet run (it may run longer tha 6 years in your state), you can be sued and your wages or other assets garnished. In that case, you may want to work out a settlement.


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