Can a 3rd party creditor sue for a “charge off’ after 15 years?

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2012

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Can a 3rd party creditor sue for a “charge off’ after 15 years?

Today I received a settlement offer for a debt that I’m not even certain is bona fide. The letter was sent to a name that I have not been for 15 years. The settlement is around $5,500 and the account balance is in excess of $36,000. I could never had credit in this amount. I have lived at this address for 8 years and now I am getting correspondence. At the bottom of the letter it gives options to pay online, pay by phone or pay by mail. Should I write for verification? Should I send a cease and desist?

Asked on February 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is wise for you to question the settlement offer that you recently received in that there are many "scams" out there preying on people such as yourself. I suggest that you give no personal information about yourself to whomever wrote you.

I suggest that you write whomever wrote you asking for the basis for such alleged debt owed by you and what case number, county and state any lawsuit was filed as to you regarding it. Keep a copy of this letter for future use. If you do not get specific answers, you should consult with your county district attorney's office as a possible "scam" in progress. I would hold off on any cease and desist application.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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