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Matt Kesler
Matt Kesler, Researcher/Law Student
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2734
Experience:  A year away from my J.D. and I've handled my own legal issues involving the business I own for years
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a hospital is trying to collect a debt after 7 years

Resolved Question:

i won a lawsuit in 2001 after all this time about a month ago a have a collection agency calling me for a hospital debt that was never paid .my question is after all this time now do they have a right to try to collect on this debt ????
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.
The statute of limitations is the time limit a creditor has to file a court judgment to receive payment for a debt incurred.

The statute runs from the date the debt became delinquent until the date a court order is sought.

It sounds as though nothing has been done through the courts (since a collections agency is calling you).

So, according to Florida statutes section 95.11 the written contracts statute of limitations would apply. This limitation in Florida is 5 years.

So, I would suggest telling the collections agency on their next call that the 5 year statutory period has passed and they can no longer collect the debt so you will no longer be answering their calls.

Do note that even though they can't legally obtain an order for collection of the debt after 5 years your credit report is still being negatively affected. They will report this as an open delinquent account until you've paid and that will make obtaining any reasonable credit (including credit cards, home loans, car loans, etc) very difficult because it will lower your credit score dramatically.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
ok i understand the first part after 5 years ,they dont have a right to collect after 5 years but i dont understand how can they ruin my credit ????

thank you XXXXX
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.
The credit report is a private reflection of how you pay your debt.

If you don't pay this it will be reflected in your credit score to warn future creditors about the fact that you haven't paid this debt owed.

The only way this wouldn't appear would be if the debt itself was invalid (I.E. They made a mistake and you don't really owe the funds).
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