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Old 12-15-2013, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,514 posts, read 14,875,565 times
Reputation: 2844

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My boyfriend (we consider ourselves married, just not legally) had a credit card account that had a balance of around $4,000. Due to extensive non-payment the account was closed. This was from before we met and moved in together. From what I can tell the account went through a collections process but eventually was written off. (Not totally sure how all this works - maybe it is still considered an "active collection"?) The entry on his credit report is about 4 years old.

How long does it take for something like this to fall off your credit history? We are repaying student loans, another credit card with around $1,000, and a third card with around $200. We haven't used credit cards in a long time, in an effort to become absolutely fiscally responsible and slim down the amount of money leaving our accounts each month.

We are looking at buying a house in 3-4 years. Should we negotiate with the CC company (or whomever holds the debt now) and look at repaying this monster bill? I understand fulfilling obligations, but I am also trying to be as pragmatic as possible. Together we are repaying approximately $40k in student loans, which is my priority (after the two smaller credit card bills).
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:28 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,612,073 times
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I'd get attorney's advice because it sounds like your not sure if it was just dropped and written off or a judgment was gotten which your boyfriend ignored.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Inland Empire, Calif
2,885 posts, read 5,136,459 times
Reputation: 2792
It should drop off in seven years. If you contact them and make a payment, the seven years starts all over again.. Keep your fingers off the phone, unless you plan to pay off the entire amount..
Good idea to get good advice from a credit counselor, but don't talk to the lien holder. Pretty good bet the papers were sold to a collection agency years ago, so it would be a waste of time to contact the original debt holder anyway...
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:59 AM
 
12,588 posts, read 14,717,519 times
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According to this list: Complete State List of Statute of Limitations on Debt
Tennessee has a 6 year statue of limitations on collection of debts (though many states are 3-4 years) so if it has been 6+ years since his last payment/charge/activity on the account you may have to repay a token amount or even nothing. However I would contact a debt lawyer and make sure you don't restart the 6 year collection window again.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:48 AM
 
Location: 60630
13,154 posts, read 19,491,067 times
Reputation: 12820
So sad
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: American Expat
2,189 posts, read 4,971,708 times
Reputation: 1891
The Statue of Limitations on this for Tennessee is 6 years. After that, they have no right to collect it anymore. However, if you make one single payment, you reset it and the 6 years start again. Might be morally wrong..but I would not pay a dime. Sounds like it just went into collection and they didn't sue. If they, for some reason, decide to sue you in the next 2 years, then I would act. Other than that, I would stay away from it and not touch it.
If there's a judgement against you, then you can find it in the credit report.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Florida -
9,858 posts, read 12,388,160 times
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Everyone here seems to think that the line between right and wrong, when it comes to taking responsibility for paying one's bills .... is whether or not one can 'get away' with not paying them!

What a revealing commentary on the sad state of values and morality -- some even seem to exhibit a sense of pride in being 'deadbeats.'
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,229 posts, read 18,544,453 times
Reputation: 10200
One thing to keep in mind, The $4000 if you 'restart' it will be in $10,000+ range when they tack on 4 year of interest, around $13.5K when you tack on there late fees etc.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 7,267,315 times
Reputation: 4802
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Everyone here seems to think that the line between right and wrong, when it comes to taking responsibility for paying one's bills .... is whether or not one can 'get away' with not paying them!

What a revealing commentary on the sad state of values and morality -- some even seem to exhibit a sense of pride in being 'deadbeats.'
I do see your point but why reopen something after 4 years? Interesting they haven't heard as I am sure some collection agency would have bought the debt. Unless of course they can not find him.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,550,415 times
Reputation: 36332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Everyone here seems to think that the line between right and wrong, when it comes to taking responsibility for paying one's bills .... is whether or not one can 'get away' with not paying them!

What a revealing commentary on the sad state of values and morality -- some even seem to exhibit a sense of pride in being 'deadbeats.'
This is a legal issue, not a moral one. Do you think the original creditor loses any sleep after morally revisiting the circumstances of the debt?

This is the United States of America. The line between Right and Wrong, particularly on financial matters, is decided by courts and attorneys and judges on the basis of settled law, and are iron-clad.

Do you think maybe payday loan offices "exhibit a sense of pride" in raking in their 350% interest, which they can "get away with"?

My neighbor once filed for bankruptcy, owing about $20K in credit card debts. She told her attrrney she felt bad about not paying off a debt that he had incured. He told her "Don't worry, before you even came in here, you had already paid back every cent you ever borrowed, and now you only owe late fees, penalties, and exorbitant usurious interest, which they knew along that you could never pay."

Last edited by jtur88; 12-18-2013 at 11:30 AM..
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