How long does a collector have to collect a bad debt?

Each state has specific laws that govern how long a creditor has to act to collect a bad debt.  Some states have longer status of limitation than others do; however, the fact remains that the creditor must act within those time frames if it intends to enforce its rights under the law to collect a bad debt.  However, creditors will not tell you that time limits have passed if they believe they can still get you to pay the debt.  And unfortunately, in some states bill collectors and creditors have up to 10 years to try to enforce collection of a bad debt.  If you ignore creditors, they could obtain a judgment that would then stay on your record for even longer.

For more information about how to deal with unpaid bills read, “Statute of Limitations for Debts Can Vary.”