As you know, debt is a stressful burden, and dealing with collectors can be overwhelming. But what if the debt an agency is trying to collect is actually time-barred?
In Minnesota, like many other states, there are laws in place to protect you from being sued for debts from too far in the past. Below, we will break down some facts about time-barred debt and what you can do about collection attempts.
What is time-barred debt?
It is debt that a creditor or debt collector can no longer sue you to collect. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for collecting most debts, like credit cards and medical bills, is six years. Once that time elapses, the creditor cannot force you to pay.
Three fast facts for consumers:
- The statute of limitations clock starts from the date of your last payment or account activity.
- Debt collectors can still try to collect time-barred debt and may contact you about it.
- Making even one payment before the six-year statute of limitations ends could restart the clock.
Although creditors may contact you about time-barred debt, they still have rules to follow.
What are the rules?
Those inquiring about a debt that has passed the statute of limitations can speak with you if you are willing, but they cannot file a lawsuit against you to collect the old debt. They also cannot threaten you with litigation over time-barred debt
Debt collectors must also follow other rules that apply to all collection attempts. For example, they may not verbally abuse you or call you excessively. If they break the rules while attempting to collect time-barred (or any debt), getting legal guidance can help you find possible solutions.