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Time-Barred Debts

Many consumers are unaware that they have the right to not be sued when it comes to old debt.  Debt collectors have a limited number of years to sue you and collect their money; this is known as the statute of limitation. The statute of limitation varies by state and circumstance but after that time has passed, your unpaid debt is classified as "time-barred" and is no longer collectible. Visit The People's Law Library of Maryland or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more information.   

Debt collectors may still try to collect on a time-barred debt; however, the decision to pay is yours. You can choose to not pay anything, make a partial payment or pay off the debt completely.  Each option has its consequences and you may want to talk to a lawyer before you make a decision. 

Note, debt collectors may try to get you to say that "maybe" you could pay even $1 a month on time-barred debt.  Saying anything that might be construed as a reaffirmation of the expired debt could be used to revive the statute of limitation in court.  The FTC has more information on the questions to ask a debt collector if you suspect the debt is stale.

  
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