If I have been sued for an old debt, would be better to resolve this before the court date or wait for a judge to decide?

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If I have been sued for an old debt, would be better to resolve this before the court date or wait for a judge to decide?

A collection agency has summoned me for a charged off credit debt. I contacted them prior to receiving this and offered a payment plan that I could do and they refused it at that time. Would like to get this taken care of the best way possible for me. The statute of limitations have expired on the original debt, don’t know if that makes any difference.

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney, if you haven't done so already. If indeed the statute of limitations has expired, you can no longer be sued on the debt, so that's clearly something to discuss with a lawyer. Note two things, though:

1) A lawsuit only needs to be started before the statute is done; it doesn't need to conclude before then.

2) The statute runs from the default, or when you stopped or failed to pay; not from when the debt was first incurred.

Also, if the debt was truly charged off, you can't be sued for it--when a debt is charged off, the creditor gets a tax advantage and moves the debts off its books by declaring it uncollectible. This is something else to discuss with a lawyer, since if the debt was properly charged off, a collection agency should not be trying to  collect it from you.


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