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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Yes, they can attempt to collect the debt and try to get you to pay it, threatening civil legal action (a criminal threat would be illegal under Federal law). The fact that it's almost 10 years old (assuming that it was actually done in 2004) AND assuming that you have not paid anything towards this debt in at least the past 6 years means that they can't actually win a case should they sue you, due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations on a contract action (the essence of the relationship with the Advance company is contractual) is 6 years in Arizona.
Now the statute of limitations does not mean that the debt is no longer valid. The debt will continue forever if not paid, BUT it means that they can't successfully sue you for repayment.
It sounds like they're trying to get you to pay immediately (before checking out your rights, etc...) and that if you don't accept now, they will "sue" you.
Can they still list on my credit or can I dispute it? If I do get served do I go to court and state the statute of limitations?
If you haven't paid anything toward it in 7 years, they can't list it on your credit.
If you do get served, the statute of limitations would be a defense.
But if they contact you, I would suggest telling the, that you know that the statute of limitations is LONG expired on this case and that you're not going to acknowledge that you owe anything, and that you're not going to pay even a penny towards it.
If they do list it on my credit do I write the credit bureau stating statute of limitations?
You could, but you can also tell the attorneys / collection firm that this is a violation of the "Fair Credit Reporting Act" to report a stale debt more than 7 years after the event.
(and threaten to take them to court over that... that should get them to remove it if it's there)
OK I feel better.
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