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What is the time limit on paying a debt?

Missouri City, TX |

I received a bill from a debt collector that I can not remember obtaining, and if I did have this debt the amount is far above what the limit was. At the bottom of the bill it says "The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of the debt, we will not sue you for it, we will not report it to any credit reporting agency, and payment or non-payment of this debt will not affect your credit score". What does that mean? If it does not effect me in any way why should I pay this request?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Are you sure it isn't just a scam?

    The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs. www.figgardenlaw.com


  2. It could just be a scam, but I have seen that same language on some billing statements from legitimate debt collectors. What I would suggest is that you send a letter back to them stating that you do not remember this debt at all, that you dispute that you owe it, and that you request that they cease all attempts to collect it from you. Send it certified and keep a copy of everything. That should make them go away.

    I am licensed only in Texas. Offering information of a general nature in response to a question is not intended to be legal advice in your state.


  3. The statute of limitations on a debt in TX is 4 years. So after 4 years you have a defense to a lawsuit if they file it that would bar recover. A creditor can report on your credit report all activity for 7 years. If they give a negative report that will hurt your credit score. These are the time frames often associated with collections. If someone is contacting you about a debt but says its to old its most likely a scam because it is an very unusual statement and is ignoring a lot of deadlines.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided in this post is not legal advice but is general information. If you have questions concerning your specific situation, you should consult with an attorney in your area


  4. 4 years for the the payments of charge on the account, in Texas. This is Zombie debt with its teeth pulled. Harmless, I would not pay


  5. I would send them a cease and desist letter pursuant to the FDCPA.

    My comments are not legal advice and are for informational purposes only.