Debt Collection - How Much Time Do Collection Agencies Have To Collect?

By Mallory McGuinness-Hickey

Most people are becoming increaslingly aware that they owe a debt that is being pursued by a debt collections agency, yet few know exactly how much time has passed before creditors can go after that debt. Debt Collectors are guided by what is called the Statute of Limitations.

What this means is that after a certain length of time agencies can no longer collect from debtors. Factors include the amount of time, which can vary from state to state, the type of debt, and if there is a signed contract or not.

One example is the state of New Hampshire, where the time alloted to collect a debt is 3 years. If it was a foreign judgement, the Statute of Limitations is as high as 20 years; on a domestic one it is also 20 years. For goods the Statute of Limitations is four years but with a written and signed contract is is three years.

Debtors that do not believe that they owe the money, they can fight the creditors claim may actually withold information regarding invoices or balances due and request proof demonstrating the validity of the debt.At this point, collection agencies must present backup documentation to support their claim.

For more information regarding the Statute of Limitations, it is wise to speak to a legal advisor in your own state. While there are many collections agencies out there that use unreputable practices, there is also a number of legitimate agencies who are willing to help out. Agencies such as Rapid Recovery Solution are always willing to help out. For more information, consult In this trying time of economic hardship don't be bullied by illegal tactics by illegitimate collection agencies. There are laws out there to protect debtors and everyone should know their rights. - 31970

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