What if a debt collection agency fails to provide proof of the debt. Can the debt still be valid even after 8 year?

Asked over 1 year ago - Milwaukee, WI

Eight years ago I sent a certified letter to a debt collection agency disputing a debt and asking for verification of the debt. ( i.e an itemized statement). I never heard anything back. Just the signature card from the certified letter. I was specific and to the point in my letter.

I am now attempting to get a transcript from the original entity. But they still allege I have a balance. To my knowledge all of my balances were zero when I left. I do not have financial records back that far.

Thank You

Additional information

This was for courses I took while I was in the military. They were covered under tuition assistance. I did not keep good records back then, I actually took the courses over 14 years ago. The last contact I had was 8 years ago and only came up when I was applying for my morgtage, hence the letter. Now I am applying to a program and need the transcript.

I am fearful of contacting them and resetting the statute of limitations, and having to go through a protracted battle for something that I do not owe.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Young Walgenkim

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Please provide more information. Depending on what kind of debt this is, it may be past the statute of limitations. Statute of limitations for debts in general (and not falling into special exceptions like student loans) are usually not longer than 7 years.

    Talk to a consumer lawyer in your area to make sure your rights are protected. A good list of consumer lawyers in your area is the NACA website:


    This answer is intended for general informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client... more
  2. Matthew Scott Berkus

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Strictly speaking, debts don't cease to exist; debts just become noncollectable at some point.

    Schools can withhold transcripts if there is an unpaid balance. However, given the age of this debt, I am honestly at a loss as to how you could resolve the situation. As stated, request a validation of the debt (keeping in mind that if you are requesting from the original creditor, the school, FDCPA does not apply).

  3. Mikalah Liviakis


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Ive seen this a lot, where the debt collector does not have updated information concerning the debt. I have my clients request account records in writing and then write a demand letter asking that the account be closed.

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