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I have read your comments, but I am not sure what your legal question is?
To be very honest with you, if they filed before the SOL expired, and the debt is yours, and it is unpaid, then your best "bad" option is to try and settle with them prior to going to court. If you go to court, they will eventually end up with a judgment against you and will likely tack on a few thousand in attorney fees on top of what they are trying to get now.
So settling and entering into some type of payment plan is going to be your cheapest way out of this unless you have other unpaid debts and want to consider filing bankruptcy..
You can always threaten to file BK if they won't settle with you by telling them that you may have to file to wipe out this and a few other debts if you can't work it out. If you filed, they get nothing and they know it..