They may be beyond the statute of limitations
to collect on the alleged debt - don't pay anything or consent or accept your liable for the debt.
A statute of limitations is a law which places a time limit on pursuing a legal remedy in relation to wrongful conduct. After the expiration of the statutory period, unless a legal exception applies, the injured person loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking money damages or other relief.
Please note that it may be possible to bring multiple causes of action from a single incident of wrongful conduct, and thus even if it appears that the relevant statute of limitations has run it may remain possible to bring a different claim. Also, there may be an exception to the standard limitations period that applies to any given situation.
The following periods represent a small sample of the statutory limitations periods in Colorado:
Professional Malpractice: Medical malpractice, 2 years from the date the injury was or should have been discovered. However no medical malpractice claim may be filed more than three years after the act giving rise to the injury occurred. Veterinary malpractice, 2 years.
Personal Injury: Under Colorado law the general limitations period for personal injury is 2 years. The limitations period for injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident is three years.
Fraud: 3 years. 1 year for actions involving the real estate recovery fund.
Libel / Slander / Defamation: 1 year.
Injury to Personal Property: 3 years for property damage resulting from the use of a motor vehicle.
Product Liability: 2 years.
Contracts: Written, 3 years; Oral, 2 years. A two year statute of limitations applies to tort actions arising from breach of contract.
As you can see - the statute of limitations for breach of contract (not paying a credit card) is 3 years. The statute of limitations starts to run when you should have made a payment but didn't.
Moreover, if you now would make a payment - then the statute of limitations starts to run again.
So, don't agree or consent to anything - inform them that you want a copy of all your statements from the credit card company.
Under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, you are allowed to challenge the validity of a debt that a collection agency states you owe to them. Use this letter and the following form to make the agency verify that the debt is actually yours and owed by you. Keep a copy for your files and send the letter registered mail.
Here's the sample letter that you should send them:
City, State Zip
Collection Agency Address
City, State Zip
Re: Acct # XXXXX
To Whom It May Concern:
I am sending this letter to you in response to a notice I received from you on (date of letter). Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.
This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX your office provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.
Please provide me with the following:
- What the money you say I owe is for;
- Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;
- Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;
- Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;
- Identify the original creditor;
- Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account;
- Show me that you are licensed to collect in my state; and
- Provide me with your license numbers and Registered Agent.
If your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the three major Credit Bureau’s (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion), said action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:
- Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Defamation of Character
If your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist.
Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel. This includes any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.
If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me immediately.
I would also like to request, in writing, that no telephone contact be made by your offices to my home or to my place of employment. If your offices attempt telephone communication with me, including but not limited to computer generated calls or correspondence sent to any third parties, it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter.
This is an attempt to correct your records, any information obtained shall be used for that purpose.