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Question By
sauerc

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Credit balance is in collections- Help
I have a delinquent balance of over 17K on a credit card. It has not been paid since 2009, the company claims that they are not pursuing me or have plans to "at this time". I am guessing that is because I have a wage garnishment from another creditor. The status says "In collections" What should I do? I cannot afford 17K and I don't want to call them. Since I last called them, all they do now if call my home #.

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Check the statute of limitations for collecting a debt in your state.  Since this debt is so old, it's possible that the original creditor cannot take any legal action against you because too much time has passed. (http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-state-statute-limitations-1282.php)

When your debt becomes 7-years old (since last being reported), it will be automatically removed from your credit reports.  However, this will not stop collection agencies from hounding you.  Despite the fact that you legally don't have to pay the money back, there is that moral issue you still owe the money, and that will never go away.  Therefore, you can be hounded for the next 15-50 years as your account will be sold from one collection agency to another. 

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Reply by
brandnew554

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Its actually illegal in most states for collection agencies to sell and attempt to collect debt after 7 years. It's called harrassment and you can tell them that if they attempt to contact you after that period. 

The debt is already 5 years old, it will fall off of the account in 2 more years. If you make a payment toward it it will reset the clock to 7 years again... elongating the bad credit situation youre in. 

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