Do we still owefor a debt that is debt is over20 years old?

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Do we still owefor a debt that is debt is over20 years old?

We got a letter from a lawyer regrading an old credit card debt. We are on an fixed income; not much money to live on. About 5 years ago we went to court on this matter. All we did is to sign our name showing we appeared at court that day. The judge gave no verdict. What can they do to us? Do we have to pay? Can the lawyer touch our Social Security money?

Asked on November 15, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you can, please find the paperwork on the credit card debt from court 5 years ago and the original debt information as well.  You need to determine what exactly you signed in Court and what happened after that. It is likely that they entered a judgement against you but you need to figure out how the statute of limitations plays in to this matter (that is what you are referring to as the "old" debt).  Ask the lawyer for all the information he has on the debt including his right to collect it on behalf of the original card holder (it is known as debt validation: proof or ownership or assignment, complete debt history and a copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit card application). Then advise him that the only source of income you have is Social Security which can not be attached.  Go and speak with your bank about filing something that advises them that the funds in the account are exempt from garnishment.  Then get help.  Good luck.  


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