Can I be sent to a collection agency if I was 17 at the time of the purchase?

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Can I be sent to a collection agency if I was 17 at the time of the purchase?

Back in 2003 I apperantly ordered music from BMG. In 2004 my mom and I paid this debt off to BMG however two years ago a collection agency called about it and I disputed it but never heard back from them and nothing went on my credit. A collection agency is now calling my husbands cell phone (without written permssion) about this matter. I have never received any written notice of this debt and after talking to them (which did not go well) they kept giving both my husband and me different information. My main concern is that I was 16 or 17 at the time this all started can they do this?

Asked on June 30, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

One of the symptoms of the hard economic times seems to have been a big increase in collections agencies dredging up old accounts and trying to collect after years of inactivity.

Before you pay an old debt like this, when a collector calls, you need to consider the statute of limitations in your state, the deadline for someone to sue you if they claim you owe them money.  I'm not an Arizona attorney, but my research suggests that if you had a written contract, it's six years from when they could have first sued you, and only three years if it's an oral contract or open account.  So you might want to talk to a lawyer in your area about this, because there might be nothing the creditor can do about it if they're too late.  One place to find an attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

The fact that you were a minor at the time might also help, although I wouldn't count on that alone;  your lawyer can explain how that works in your state, as well.

 


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