Debt Collectors are professionals that have been tasked with contacting consumers about past-due debts and this page will be a very large help to you if you are being contacted by one right now.
Please BOOKMARK this page, as it will contain valuable information you can use to manage your interactions with a debt collector and how to work with one if a debt collector is calling and you owe money.
First things first….
How old is the debt that is being collected? This is measured by the date of the last payment ever recorded, to todays date. This is what defines the “Date of Delinquency”, and it matters. Debt Collectors cannot collect the debt anymore once the date of delinquency has passed and you can demand that they forever cease and desist contact with you if that’s the case. If you do not want to pay an account that has expired, that’s up to you.
If you get calls from Debt Collectors attempting to set up payment plans on old or “Zombie” debts, just refuse, and tell them to never call again.
Statute of Limitations on Debt Collections By State
Each state has it’s own measured limit to how long a debt collector can try to collect debts. Here’s the whole list, by state. Ready?
4 Different Types of Consumer Loans exist, and all have different times that apply, so lets break it down:
- Oral – (Oral agreements are those that only exist in spoken communications)
- Written – (Written, are contractual agreements and good examples are credit cards, with written terms and conditions)
- Promissory – Promissory notes are similar to written contracts but include specific details that you, the borrower, promises to uphold. This can include monthly payment amounts, interest rates, and length of the loan.
- Open or Open-ended accounts are loans with a revolving balance that you can borrow from and repay over and over. This can include credit card debt and lines of credit with lenders.
|Alabama||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|Alaska||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
|Arizona||3 Years||6 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|Arkansas||3 Years||5 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
|California||2 Years||4 Years||4 Years||4 Years|
|Colorado||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Connecticut||3 Years||6 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|Delaware||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||4 Years|
|Florida||4 Years||5 Years||5 Years||4 Years|
|Georgia||4 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Hawaii||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Idaho||4 Years||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years|
|Illinois||5 Years||10 Years||10 Years||5 Years|
|Indiana||6 Years||6 Years||10 Years||6 Years|
|Iowa||5 Years||10 Years||5 Years||5 Years|
|Kansas||3 Years||5 Years||5 Years||3 Years|
|Kentucky||5 Years||10 Years||15 Years||5 Years|
|Louisiana||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||3 Years|
|Maine||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Maryland||3 Years||3 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|Massachusetts||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Michigan||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Minnesota||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Mississippi||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
|Missouri||5 Years||10 Years||10 Years||5 Years|
|Montana||5 Years||8 Years||8 Years||5 Years|
|Nebraska||4 Years||5 Years||5 Years||4 Years|
|Nevada||4 Years||6 Years||3 Years||4 Years|
|New Hampshire||3 Years||3 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|New Jersey||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|New Mexico||4 Years||6 Years||6 Years||4 Years|
|New York||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|North Carolina||3 Years||3 Years||5 Years||3 Years|
|North Dakota||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Ohio||6 Years||8 Years||15 Years||6 Years|
|Oklahoma||3 Years||5 Years||5 Years||3 Years|
|Oregon||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Pennsylvania||4 Years||4 Years||4 Years||4 Years|
|Rhode Island||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years|
|South Carolina||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years||3 Years|
|South Dakota||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Tennessee||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years||6 Years|
|Texas||4 Years||4 Years||4 Years||4 Years|
|Utah||4 Years||6 Years||6 Years||4 Years|
|Vermont||6 Years||6 Years||5 Years||3 Years|
|Virginia||3 Years||5 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|Washington||3 Years||6 Years||6 Years||3 Years|
|West Virginia||5 Years||10 Years||6 Years||5 Years|
|Wisconsin||6 Years||6 Years||10 Years||6 Years|
|Wyoming||8 Years||10 Years||10 Years||8 Years|
Debts that do not have any limitations
- Child Support
- Federal Student Loans
Re-Aging Debts – How Debt Collectors can TRICK you into reviving dead debts.
See the chart above? Is the debt now too old to be collected? If you’ve determined that it is, debt collectors will try to get you into a payment plan and offer you settlements as deep as 90% to get any money from you.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY THEM.
DO NOT ENTER INTO A PAYMENT PLAN FOR OLD DEBT.
If you agree to a payment plan and start paying on a debt that’s beyond the time limits you’ve brought the dead debt back to life again. When you make a payment on something that’s beyond the “Statute of Limitations” you renew the time all over again and that gives your debt collector the ability to now file a lawsuit against you to collect that debt. It’s a major mistake to pay zombie debt. Don’t do it!
Debt Collection Calls
Debt Collectors use the phone as a tool to collect past-due debts. They rely heavily on it to harass you and your family and they know how to motivate you to pay the debt by keeping the pressure on all day, and all week. The representative calling you is compensated for every account they collect on, so they are incentivized for getting you to pay.
Debt collectors are trained to act in two ways:
Nearly 90% of all debt collectors behave in an aggressive way because their threatening demeanor works. It’s scary and motivating. It’s this very reason they use it and these collectors that use the tactic get paid, and some make millions doing it.
THERE ARE RULES HOWEVER:
- Cannot call you before 8AM (Based on your time zone)
- Cannot call you after 9PM (Based on your time zone)
- Cannot have any contact with anyone else regarding the debt.
- Cannot call your employer to reach you when work doesn’t allow personal calls
- Cannot call friends, relatives or neighbors mentioning debt collection or “A personal business matter”.
- Cannot call friends, relatives or neighbors seeking your location if they’ve already contacted you and have your location information.
- Cannot repeatedly ring your phone in an attempt to “harass or annoy”.
- Cannot lie to you about the debt, the amount due etc;
- Cannot threaten to sue you for a debt when they have no intention of actually suing you.
- Cannot threaten to file charges, report the debt to the IRS, Social Security or have you arrested. Simply put, none of these things can be done and all are a lie.