Skip to main content

How far back can a collection agency go back to collect a debt.

Philadelphia, PA |

I received a notice from a collection agency that I owe $1600.00 They are asking me to $50.00 per month for 6 months and they would then discuss the next step.My credit report shows nothing negative for the last 20years. I always pay my bills in full and have never paid a late fee. I spoke with them and and they claim it is a debt from Mellon Bank that Citi Financial purchared they would give me no furthur information except to tell me this came into their hands in 2000. I told them I have never received any late notices etc. - They said that is because the notices were sent to an address that I lived in 25 years ago. They told me to put something in writing contesting it.. Please advise. Thanks

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


Yes, send them a letter requesting proof of such debt, otherwise it may be just a mistake. Many times the collection companies have no supporting documentation of the debt and just make these demands in hopes of getting something from the debtor. Usually, they can only collect on a debt that is 4 years old, or 4 years from the last time you made a payment to them. Good luck.


A collection agency can go back as far as the statute of limitations allows. In Texas, this would be 4 years from the last payment for a credit card debt. A debt that only came to the collection agency in 2000 is very likely too old to collect. If you don't think you owe it, and they won't prove it to you, don't pay them anything.

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Recommended articles about Bankruptcy and debt

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer