Is it possible for a collection agency to collect on a 15 year old debt?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it possible for a collection agency to collect on a 15 year old debt?

The debt is from 1996 and the agency and sheriff cannot even tell me what it is for. I gave the sheriff a post-dated check so I could keep my car. However if I am no longer obligated to the debt, can I make a stop payment on the check?

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Nebraska

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In NE, a creditor can sue on a debt for up to 4-5 years (depending on the type of debt involved). This time period is known as the "statute of limitations" (SOL). However if you made a partial payment (or in some states even agreed to make a partial payment) the SOL would be started all over again from the date of the partial payment. Additionally, if a creditor is successful in obtaining a judgment in court, that judgment is good for up to 20 years. So on the face of things you have no grounds on which to challenge any of this.

You however, may have defenses. For example, if you were not properly served (notified) of the proceedings against you. The fact is that all defendants must be given a chance to appear in court and present their case. So if this was a default judgment (one granted because you did not show up), you may be able to have the judgment set aside (thrown out). At this point you should gather up all relevant documentation and consult directly with an attorney in your area. Whatever you do, do not stop payment on the check until you do.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption