If the statute of limitations (SOL) has expired on a credit card debt that was used primarily for personal, family or household purposes, then it is covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The mere threat of suing a consumer on a consumer debt after the time to sue has expired would be a violation of the FDCPA. Suing is also a violation of the FDCPA, if the consumer debt SOL has expired. You would be able to recover your damages and any attorney's fees, so it would be best for you to retain experienced debt collection DEFENSE counsel, because there are many technical issues that occur in Superior Court that people routinely do not know and are unable to follow, even if they are informed.
In addition, I doubt that an attorney actually called you and threatened to sue you. More likely, a debt collector called you. To misrepresent that a regular collection agent is an attorney is a separate violation of the FDCPA, which again would entitle you to sue for harassment and recover your actual damages and attorney's fees, if this person misrepresented themselves. Contact experienced consumer counsel promptly as there are time limits for the consumer to sue, in particular one year from the date of the harassment.
Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
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Anyone can sue anyone for anything. It is then incumbent upon you to assert the appropriate defenses such as the statute of limitations and defend the case. If they are collecting a time barred debt they are possibly in violation of the FDCPA. Hire a local lawyer for assistance. Good luck.
The Statute of Limitations does not prevent them from filing a lawsuit. The SOL is an affirmative defense that you can allege in your Answer, along with many other defenses.
You really should consult a lawyer now. You do not understand what is going on. I doubt that it is a representative of the credit card company. The account was probably sold to a debt buyer. I also doubt that the caller was a lawyer. You also do not mention the geographic location of the caller.
From what you say, you may very well have a viable lawsuit against the debt collector for several violations of the federal and the Calif. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If so, you can recover a statutory penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, plus damages, plus your attorney's fees.