Can a seven year old debt and charged off still be collected?

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Can a seven year old debt and charged off still be collected?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, if the debt has truly been charged off, it can no longer be legally enforced; when a debt is charged off, it is declared uncollectible, which is why the creditor can deduct it as a tax loss. If the debt is still collectible, it can't be charged off--it has to be one or the other, not both.

Second, a seven-year-old debt may be too old to enforce. There is something called a statute of limitations, which is how long someone has to bring a legal action. Once the statutory period has passed, no lawsuit is possible. In Michigan, most statutes of limitation would seem to have expired already, on a seven-year old debt--for example, the statute of  limitions for a contract is six years from the time the contract was violated.


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