Should You Pay Off Your 7+-Year-Old Credit Card Debt?

What happens when you stop making payments on your credit cards?

Well, if you do so, its effects will become more adverse day by day! Once you are 30 days late, your creditors will contact you via email, phone, letters, to make the payments!

You will be charged with hefty late fees, increased interest rates, etc. Besides, your delinquencies are reported after 30, 60, 90, 120, 180 days of your continuous non-payment!

After a continuous non-payment of 180 days, most likely, the creditors will charge-off your credit card debt! The credit company will write off your debt as a business loss!

At this point, if you are thinking that you won’t have to pay off your debt anymore, you are wrong, buddy!

Your creditors will sell your debts to a debt collection agency! And trust me, the number of collection calls and letters is gonna increase!

And the worst part is, these delinquencies will stay on your credit report for almost 7 years! Eventually, it will hurt your credit score too!

Well, in this context, let me tell you one thing! Many people have a misconception that they don’t need to pay off their unpaid credit card debts after 7 years. But, it’s completely wrong!

You will still owe the debt even after 7 years! And eventually, you might get collection calls too for your old unpaid debts!

But you know what?

Most of the negative items might fall off from your credit report within 7 years from your original delinquency date. But the harsh truth is, you will still owe that credit card debt, buddy!

However, there is only one exception! You won’t owe the credit card debt after the statute of limitations (SOL) period is over! SOL is a limited time window wherein creditors can sue you for your unpaid debts. And this time window varies from state to state. To know the SOL of your state, contact a legal aid lawyer or your State Attorney General’s office!

At times, you might get collection calls even after the SOL is over. But as I said, you won’t be legally bound to pay off your debts!

Over the years, your unpaid debts transfer from one debt collection agency to the other. During this account transfer process, you might stop getting collection calls and letters temporarily!

And one fine day, what if you receive collection calls for a 7+-year-old credit card debt!

Well, first of all, just relax! You need to handle the situation efficiently!

As I said earlier, most of the negative items on your credit report are likely to be removed from your credit report. So, you might think that you don’t owe any credit debt now!

Otherwise, you might also plan to pay off your credit card debt in a rush as soon as you receive collection calls!

So, whenever you receive collection calls for a 7+-year-old debt, make sure to:

  1. Ask the debt collector to send a debt validation letter
  2. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to ask for the debt validation letter. Often, the debt scammers call people asking for their bank details and other personal information to con them.

    If the debt collector is legitimate, most likely, you will receive the debt validation letter within 10 days!

  3. Validate the debt
  4. Once you receive the debt validation letter, you will have 30 days to dispute the debt. If you have already paid off the credit card debt, dispute it with supporting documents asap!

    And if the unpaid debt has crossed the SOL period, you aren’t legally bound to pay it off. In that case, send a letter stating that your credit card debt has crossed SOL. And ask them not to contact you again.

    However, due to moral obligations, you can pay off the debt (at least the principal amount). Because repaying the debt can have a positive effect on your credit report. You can repay in full or set up a payment plan with your creditors.

    But if the unpaid debt has not crossed the SOL period, you still owe it. In that case, you can try to settle your credit card debt with the collectors. And once you pay as per the settled amount, keep a record of your payment for the future!

Can you be sued for not paying off your 7+-year-old credit card debt?

Well, if your credit card debt is time-barred, then you are not legally entitled to pay it off. Still, the debt collectors might sue you in court!

In that case, you can file a complaint against the collector with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and your state Attorney General.

Secondly, talk to an attorney and make sure to respond to the credit card debt lawsuit. If you fail to appear in court, the judgment might go against you.

Show the proofs to the judge about your last payment and other necessary documents. It will help you to prove that your credit card debt is time-barred.

The bottom line is, it depends on the situation whether or not you should pay off your 7+-year-old credit card debt.

So, assess your situation first if you are legally entitled to pay off the credit card debt and act accordingly!

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