Coming into a bunch of money from an inheritance? Don’t be surprised if the collection agencies begin pursuing you for old debts. Even though the statute of limitations might have run out on a debt, you will find that plenty of debt collection agencies still want to make sure that you focus on them rather than going on with your life. This is something that a lot of people have to worry about as they get married as well — the assumption is made that if you have a second income, it means that the collection agencies might get some money.
Either way, the fact is that unless they take you to court, they can’t just attach themselves to your property. Even then, you have to make sure that the statute of limitations hasn’t expired. You will need to look at your state in particular to make sure that everything is where it needs to be in terms of limitations.
Unless they have received a judgment for the monies owed, you will not have to pay them anything. And they can’t go after debts that are time barred from being collected. They’re just going to be out of luck, and that means that you will have to make sure that you don’t get sucked into paying them anyway. Remember that a collection agency will tell you anything and scare you into anything to make sure that you pay up.
If you really do feel the need to pay them, you will want to make sure that you get some sort of agreement in place for less than the full amount. These companies are scavengers that pay pennies on the dollar for your debt. So even if they collect 30% of the balance, that’s going to be pure profit for them.
Don’t let anyone bully you — if they threaten court action and you know that it’s time barred, then you have a lot of bargaining power. Make sure that you use it to your advantage as much as possible!
Checking your credit report is one of the best things that you can do. When it comes to dates, you will generally need to look at when the account was placed into collections. That’s usually what ends up starting the SOL clock in the first place. However, it’s very important that you make sure that you check the laws in your state to make sure.
If you are harassed later on for this debt, you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Don’t forget that, even if the collection agencies hope you never read that law.
If you do make an agreement with a collections agency, you have to realize that it starts the SOL clock all over again. You also want to keep good records because collection agencies tend to “forget” and go after you all over again years later in hopes that you don’t have any record that you paid them.
It can be frustrating to have to keep so much information in mind, but it really does pay off in the long run. The more informed you become, the harder it will be for collection agencies to bully you in the future!