If I have a debt from6 years agothat the collector istrying to serve me papers on, what are my options?

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If I have a debt from6 years agothat the collector istrying to serve me papers on, what are my options?

I use to be bad at paying my bills but have changed that over the year. In 2005 I had a MD bill go to collection and they are trying to serve me with papers now 2011. I am wondering what my best option is. Should I pay the debt? What is the statue of limitations in Utah? I do not want this to stay on my credit 7 more years. My credit report states that this will be taken off in 8/11, However it was “last updated” 2009. What do you recommend??

Asked on February 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This would probably be a matter based on a written contract--a written obligation to pay fo rmedical services. The statue of limitations in Utah for that is 6 years, which means that you could be sued up to 6 years after you defaulted--or failed to pay the debt--which itself will be some number of weeks or months after you first incurred the debt. (You don't default until you fail to pay the debt when due.) Therefore, depending on the exact time, you could easily still be within the statutory period and could be sued.

Should you pay? If you don't pay, but it's a good debt, the creditor will win in court and get a judgment against you. That judgment may enable them to garnish your wages, or put a lien on or execute against some of your property. It is also something the creditor can look to enforce for many more years. You need to balance that against you financial situation in deciding what to do. You could try to negotiate and settle the debt for less than it's full amount, too.


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