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Should I pay a very old collection debt no longer on credit report?
About 8 or 9 years ago, I had a credit card with a balance around $2500, and ended up unemployed for considerable time. After regaining employment, I paid off all my other debts, but as this one had gone to collection and gone up to nearly $4000 within a few months, I never had the money to pay it. Years went by and it disappeared from my credit report. Ironically, the last few of the debts I did pay are still on my report, but will be dropping off soon.

In any case, I still get collection letters periodically about the old debt. At this point they are claiming the debt is over $7000, I guess they have just been adding on interest over the years or something? They are offering a settlement for 90% discount, so about $700. I have no issue paying the $700, but the question is should I do this given the debt is already long gone from my credit report? Will paying it bring it back to my credit report?

It's a legitimate debt and while I am not going to pay the super-inflated $7000+, I feel that paying $700 is fair and do-able and the right thing to do, but I definitely don't want to do it if it's going to cause me another 7 years of credit agony.

Does anyone have experience settling debts over 7 years old?

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If it makes you feel better, pay it.  I wouldn't.  If you do decide to pay it get a letter or email stating that the $700 settles the debt in full.  Do not give them electronic access to your bank account (they will wipe it out, because they are liars) and send a money or.  Staple your receipt to the letter from the Collection Co and keep it for the rest of your life, because in a few years it will resurface and you need the proof that you paid it.  Remeber "most" collection companies are lying sob's.

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Eight  or nine years ago in virtually all states is well past the Statute of Limitations for debt collection so any attempts to collect on this debt would be illegal.  By now, this debt has been written off as "uncollectable" and used as a "bad debt" deduction on the company's tax returns.

The collection agency that is trying to collect may be one of those "junk debt buyers" (that's the polite name) who purchase bundles of expired debts and attempt to collect on them in hopes that the original debtor might be coerced into paying it.  If this is no longer on your credit reports from any of the three credit bureaus (hoping you did check all three) then the next letter you receive can be returned unopened with the note " Return to sender. Uncollectable.  SOL expired."     

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