Is it legal for a creditor to never send me a bill and then 5 years later send me to a collections agency?

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Is it legal for a creditor to never send me a bill and then 5 years later send me to a collections agency?

I just received a collections notice in the mail, supposedly for an energy bill from 5 years ago. However, I never received even 1 bill from the energy company in the past 5 years, so I had no clue I owed any money.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do not confirm you owe any money. Pull up your credit reports, check to see if the bill is on there and dispute it through the credit reporting agencies if it is on there. If it has not shown up yet, you need to understand the statute of limitations may have lapsed, and therefore, you do not need to pay it. Simply wait and see or you can certainly call and explain you do not owe this debt and leave it at that. The better approach would be to wait it out. If you get a second letter, again run through the credit check or contact your local consumer protection agency to help you.


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