BBB Scam of the Week: Statute of Limitations on Debt
Joann Deal, with the BBB, joined us to discuss the importance of being aware of fake debt collection calls that could get you into debt.
Deal says a group in Dallas has been calling residents in the area about debt and reviving it, and saying they've received failed or refused payments from years ago.
According to the BBB, The statute of limitations is a rule that sets a time limit within which a creditor may sue you for payment of a debt. Bill collectors or creditors can report negative information about the debt as if it's recent information.
The length of time that a creditor has to sue you on an unpaid debt varies from state to state. In Louisiana, it's ten years. In other states, it might be shorter.
The time limit may also depend on whether your agreement with the creditor is in writing or not; the debt can be revolving or open-ended accounts.
If the time limit to sue on the old debt expired under your state's statute of limitations, that does not mean that a creditor or bill collector must stop contacting you about it. They can ask you to pay the debt. They can't sue you or threaten to sue you for it.
If a debt collector contacts you about an old, time-barred debt, be very careful in what you say to the bill collector.
If you say or sign anything that might be considered an acknowledgment of the validity of the debt meaning, you agree that you owe that debt even if the statute of limitations to sue has expired.
You may have revived, waived, or extended the statute of limitations.
If you agree with that bill collector to pay the old debt, then you also may revive, waive, or extend the statute of limitations.
If your unsure of what to do if you receive a call from fake debt collectors, Deal advises you hang up or call Monroe BBB at 318-387-4600.