My mom lost everything around 1993. She had a debt with Sears for approx. $3700 she could not pay. Living only on SS she was not able to meet her needs much less make a CC payment. She explained to Sears at that time the situation. They turned it over to an attorney who harassed her. WE sent them a letter but they put a lien on her burial insurance at the courthouse. My mom is 78 years old. She drives a car that is over 16 years old. She only has SS and it does not meet her needs. She rents. There is no money to pay the debt. This $3700 debt has not become $19K plus and has been turned over a Centralized Collections Co. They continually call her at least twice a day. They called her at 3:00 am waking her out of her sleep. She will not answer the phone. They leave messages. It is causing great stress. She had major surgery in Feb and will have to again later this year. What can we do? Does she have an rights? Do we have a leg to stand on? If we contact the Collection Agency does the clock start again? Is there a statute of limitations on debt? They say if we contact them before June 20 they will settle for less. We have nothing to give. My Mom hates it but it's a fact. They have been hounding her for years.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Old Debt
It seems likely that the statute of limitations has run on the debt (or is about to) and that the collections agency may be violating the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
She should keep a pad and pen by the phone and log all their calls (and what messages they leave). Include the name any collector uses and the number they call from (if she has caller ID). After a couple of weeks of records have been collected, she should contact a consumer lawyer for a consultation. She may have grounds to sue the collection agency ... and shut them up in the process.