I have just been hit by an aggressive collection agency for a $191.00 utility bill from 2002 (last activity). I am trying to figure out the SOL for utility bills in Missouri (although I now live in Oregon). What I need to know is if this is considered a written or open contract? The truth is, I don't even remember this account so I am so confused! Either way, if it is an open account I am sure the statute of limitations would prevent further collection. Thank you for your time.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Missouri contract SOLs are ten years for the collection of money.
However, a credit agency cannot report accounts placed for collection seven years prior. If the account wasn't placed into collection until 2004, then it may be proper to have it on the credit report.
You should send a letter to the creditor requesting the original account information and documentation, which they probably won't be able to provide. Tell them that they were required to contact you within seven years. Because they didn't contact you, tell them you will take action under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. If they don't respond kindly, at least the next part will help you some.
At the same time, send a letter to all three reporting agencies disputing the account. Because the last activity was in 2002, the agencies will likely delete it from your report.
Even if you don't pay the debt, the account won't show on your report. Even so, I advise that it is always better to pay the debt if you can.
Hope this helps!