A collection company (Afni, Inc.) found an old Verizon phone bill for $225 from a time when I was homeless and had to leave my apartment. The original date of the debt was in 1996, over ELEVEN years ago. According to Suzy Orman, this is well beyond the 7-year statute of limitations. Now, Afni claims that they are now considering this a new debt, effective now, since they have acquired the account and have opened a new collection. Can they really do this? If this is the case, then no one is safe. Now, this is of course assuming that the phone bill really IS mine, I tried to dispute it since I don't remember that far back, but they just insisted. Can you really, as a collector, take a 11, 15, or even 20 year old debt, and count it as new and current just because you opened a collection for it? How does this really work? Any advice would be very helpful - thank you so much! By the way, I have sent a formal dispute letter, along with a no-call letter, via certified return receipt mail. Thanks very much, everyone!