Pre-2000 credit card debts

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I will provide the summerized version of my historic debt with the collection efforts, all aided with my procrastination.


On some 8 different bank cards used by me through the 1990's. My usage of these cards stopped early 2000. The combined outstanding debt with accumulated late fees and interest I estimate to be approximately $70,000. 


At one point around year 2000 I signed with a firm with the intent of seeking to have the debt discharged through bankruptcy filings.  I notified the card holders of my pending intended course of action.  I failed to complete the filing process and these cards went into assignment with various agencys for collection. 


My employment status since this time has be, well none to speak of in my field of training. I have no assets, funds, insurance or property of any value. Until today my living situation was covered by a friend, now that too is ending.


Annually I have received letters from various companies seeking collection arrangements. I have never responded to these letters.  My credit report only shows activity when these correspondance letters are mailed to me.


The debt is over 12 years old, I have no means of fullfilling my obligations in regards to this matter, as I have hoped over the recent years that I would be reemployed and would be able to make payment arrangements.


Questions are two to start.  Bankruptcy, is that still an obtion for me.  Secondly how should I handle these collection agencys?


All guidance will be greatly appreciated.



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The statute of limitations (SOL) for credit card debt in CA is 4 years from the date of last payment.   If the last time you paid on any of the accounts was more than 4 years ago, the statute of limitations has expired and the accounts are outside of the SOL (time-barred).  They cannot sue you for the credit card debt.


Are any of the account outside of the SOL?

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I am going to assume based on your original post that these were all credit cards and that you estimate the $70K as what you owe today. The only question I have to ask is if any of these creditors have ever filed for judgements. You will need to check for this in the courthouse for every county you have lived in between 1999 and now.

If there are not any judgements, then these debts are out of statute for both reporting on your CR and for suing you (unless Ohio SOL can be used). They creditors therefore can only ask that you pay on the debt but at this point you are not obligated to do so. Not only that but they also should not be reporting the debt as more than 7 years has passed. If this is the case for all of the debts, then you should be able to get them removed from your CR and/or make some money if they refuse.

If any are judgements, then you need to find out how much is owed and whether the banks have allowed the judgements to expire or not. Those can remain on your credit report for 7 years after satisfaction or they have expired. In this case, you might either want to settle or BK might be an option if the judgement amount is high enough to warrant it.

So, to answer your questions:

1) If the debts are all SOL, then BK should not be considered because there is nothing to BK


2) The best way to handle these agencies is to simply send them a letter saying you will not pay the debt. Again, if the debts are SOL, there is nothing they can do.

So your first course of action is to find out if there are any judgements against you.

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And, one final warning...they can still sue you.  If they take you to court, and you don't show up, or the judge doesn't agree that the SOL applies, they could still get a judgement against you.


Unless you live in WI or MO, you still owe the money...

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