Is there a period of time in which a debt collection is no longer valid?

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Is there a period of time in which a debt collection is no longer valid?

I received a call today from a collection agency stating that I owe $4000 and have a legal claim against me. They indicated that they have had this for 7 years. I was not aware of the claim and this is the first contact they have made. Is there anything I can do or do I just need to pay them what they say I owe?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may be too late for them to take action against you. The "statute of limitations" defines how long someone has to sue to enforce a debt or cause of action; once the SOL has passed, it is too late to sue, which means it is too late to enforce the debt. You do not indicate the type of debt in this case, but in MN, it appears that almost all SOLS are 2 - 6 years; that means that a 7-year-old claim should be too old to enforce. If however there had been a judgment against you 7 years ago, that could still be enforced. For a more precise answer, consider re-posting you question with additional detail, such as the type of claim or source of debt.


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