A long time ago (in a far far away place...just kidding, but when I was really young, like 1999-2000 and in Oregon) I lived in an apartment with my ex and I went to the grocery store to get a money order for our rent. To make a long story short, someone stole the money order out of my bag while I was shopping (yes, I was stupid to leave my bag accessible in the cart, but I was 22 years old and just dumb) and the apartment complex didn't want to wait for a new money order to be issued and evicted us. Cruel, but true. Anyway, to make matters worse, they charged me for a lot of stuff that was pretty ridiculous (for one, they packed barkdust up to the windows to build the complex cheaper - and it caused mold, which they charged me for). I didn't know what to do to fight anything being young and stupid, so I let it go. Eventually it was picked up by a collection agency and they came after me. I never admitted to the debt, but I did verbally agree to a payment plan of $25/month over the phone with them (the debt was about $2800 if you can believe it). Around 2008 I thought I was going to file bankruptcy so I called to let them know, and they told me they would enter that into the system and I forgot about it... I didn't end of filing bankruptcy, fought to pay off any other debt I had that was on my credit report (which wasn't them, which is why I forgot) and finally got into a comfortable place. Now....fast forward to this month, the calls have started back up and they have sent me two letters threatening me with legal action if I don't respond. I do not know what to do- I really should have fought it when this all happened, but stupidly I didn't, and I'm not sure if I can fight it now. I don't know what the SOL is for this debt, and I don't know if the best thing to do here is to start with a DV letter. Any suggestions? I'm honestly really scared and after finally fixing what I thought was everything (got a house, down to just a few small things that are on my credit that will drop off early next year)- this debt pops up to ruin everything I've fought for. While I still honestly feel I should not be responsible for it, I'm just at a loss as to where to start. When does the SOL start on this type of debt, and can they legally sue me? I think they can, and that's why I'm so scared. I'm sorry this is such a long post, but I wanted to give some background in hopes someone could give me a detailed, helpful answer about what to do and what the SOL situation might be. Thank you so much to anyone that reads this and thank you to anyone that responds - I appreciate it!!
Get a copy of the statute of limitations in both Oregon, where you signed the contract creating the debt, and in your current state
If a debt collector does bring legal action, they have the option of bringing it in either of those states.
With the initial delinquency being in approx 2000, but having made firm offers to pay at a later date, look for any provisions in either of those SOL statutes that provides for reset of the SOL based on payments or firm offers to pay.
Hopefully, you will find that SOL has expired in each of those jurisdictions.
Regardless of whether you made any paymentsm, their ability to get their collection into your credit report has apparently expired, as any issue of payments or offers to pay do not reset the federal period for credit report exclusion, which is simply 7 years plus 180 days from the date of your first delinquency on the debt, after which you did not bring the debt back into good standing.
The DV process may provide some temporary reprieve against their calls and letters, provided you send it within 30 days of their date of dunning notice.
When did they provide you with dunning notice? However, it appears that the actual existence of the debt is documentable, at least in their view, so most likely they have a fairly easy task in providing a statement that they have obtained verification sufficient to assert its accuracy. I would send a DV, but it most likely will have little lasting effect on the real issue.... whether they can sue, and whether you are content to rely on both credit report exclusion and lack of ability to sue for the debt as basis for putting it under a barrell.