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Creditors and Bankruptcy/statute of limitations for debt collection


Not sure you can answer this but will try anyway.  I live in Iowa.  My daughter had a repossession over 10 years ago.  She keeps getting collections notices - each time from a different lawyer.  They are trying to collect about $2700 she doesn't have.  She has never responded to any of the notices.   Can they keep asking for money forever??

Leon Bayer in his office
Leon Bayer in his offi  
Dear Claudia,

Being hounded on a debt for more than 10 years old makes for an excellent question.

Assuming your daughter has been a resident of Iowa for the whole time, the creditor has missed the boat. I looked up the rules in your state. Iowa requires that a lawsuit to collect a debt such as this must be filed within 10 years. After 10 years, it's too late to sue.

Here's what this means in practical terms. Without the aid of the courts, the creditor has no way to FORCE your daughter to pay them. However, the creditor does not break any rules by ASKING in a nice way that she pay it. But your daughter is entitled to ASK in a nice way that they go pound sand.

One more thing. Federal law requires that the debt must be removed from your daughter's credit report as soon as it was 7 years old. Transferring the debt from one collector to another does not revive the statute of limitations, and it does not restart the time clock for being listed on her credit report.

I hope this information helps you.

Your daughter and other readers might find further answers to their debt questions at my bankruptcy law blog, and my free bankruptcy book for consumers at  

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Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney Leon Bayer


I can answer all questions relating to debt collection, credit reporting problems, credit scores, bankruptcy, debt settlements, debt settlement scams, and dealing with debt collectors. For many years I have been one of your volunteer experts for the topic "Bankruptcy Law". I would like to receive more questions. I'm thinking that many relevant questions get asked under this catagory as well as my own. See my stats, below: Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer Leon D. Bayer U.S. Available View Profile Ask A Question View Past Answers Knowledgeability9.96 Clarity of Response9.93 Politeness9.97 Response Time(hr)14.6 --Last 90 Days(hr)7.6 Total Questions1119


34 years as a practicing bankruptcy attorney, published book author on topics of bankruptcy and foreclosure. See,


BA degree, J.D., admitted to California Bar in 1979.

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President, 1995-1996-Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum; Member - Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Commercial Law & Bankruptcy, 1988. Law Advisory Commission-Personal & Small Business Bankruptcy Law of the State Bar of California, 1996-2000

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Over 15,000 bankruptcy cases.

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