Whether the debt appears on your credit report is irrelevant. The only issue is what the statute of limitations is on this debt under the laws of your state (you can find this out by a search of the laws on the state website), when you last paid this debt, and most important, whether the creditor has sued you & obtained a court judgment. Hope this perspective helps!
I agree with Dorothy. The only thing I'd like to add is that it is up to you to raise a defense like the statute of limitations; they can still sue!
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.
Ms. Bunce is correct. In addition, you need to talk to an attorney in your state about what your obligations may or may not be at this time. Don't let the collection agency "bully" you in to paying something that you may not have a legal obligation to pay.