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LEV, Retired
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29796
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor law
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I received a call from a bill collector stating that they ...

Customer Question

I received a call from a bill collector stating that they are trying to collect a debt from approximately 1994. I requested them to send me a bill with dates of service who this bill was originally with and had no response. this was approximately 11/07. Now they are calling again. My question is how do I dispute a bill that is not on my credit report when I have not been provided any information.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LEV replied 9 years ago.

It is very likely that the statute of limitation on your debt has been run out. The statute of limitation depends on the type of debt.

In Washington the statute of limitation:

  • on the Open-end Account (like credit card) is 3 years
  • on obligations based on the Written Contract - 6 years
  • on debt based on the Judgment against you - 10 years

Even the statute of limitation expired - it doesn't matter that the debtor may not try to collect the debt - the debt is still your legal obligation.

First of all you should not confirm your debt obligation and inform the collectors in writing via certified mail and keep a receipt that you disagree with the debt assessment.

They still may sue you - do not fail to show up in the court - if you do so they may obtain a default judgment. In the court - you may use the statute of limitation for your defense and ask to dismiss the claim.

If you manage to win and if that is a valid claim - the creditor may forgive the debt - in that case they will issue the form 1099-C for that amount - be careful - that amount will be taxable income for you. So - if the debt is not valid (or part of the debt is not valid) - you need to be sure that will be mentioned in the judgment.

LEV and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to LEV's Post: I live in Washington State and the Debt is from Oregon. Does this make a difference?
Expert:  LEV replied 9 years ago.

It might be a difference if you lived in the Oregon at the time the debt was initiated.

In Oregon the statute of limitation on all types of obligations including debts on the Open-end Account is 6 years.

As your debt is old enough - that might be no difference for your situation.