Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Pennsylvania
My wife just got 3 letters from a local collection agency regarding three separate libary fines of about $26 each. She had never heard from the libary about this. She hasn't been to the libary in over 8 years. Does she have to pay if the debts are that old? Is there a statute of limitations for libary fines in Pennsylvania?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes, PA has a statute of limitations. Its 4 years for most debts. What i would do is write a letter to the collection agency and dispute the debt. Did your wife ever take out books from the library? Could it be that your wife has a common name and this is really someone else's debt? If so, deny that this is your wife's debt. Also, tell them that that collection of the debt is barred by the statute of limitations and ask for proof that your wife owes the fines and the date the fines were assessed. See what they say.
If the proof comes back that the fines were over 7 years ago, then this debt should not even be on your wife's credit report.
However, if this really was your wife's responsibility I don't think that I would let your wife's credit be screwed up for a $78 oversight. Be careful about this but IF you wish to pay because it really is your wife's debt, get any agreement in writing before you pay the collection agency. Advise that your wife will pay in full provided that all negative references to this are removed from her credit (if the debt is on there). Make this a requirement especially as your wife had no notice about this.