I don’t know what to do. I answered my mom's phone and it was from a collection agency.

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He told me most of the account is from interest and if she could pay it by the 20th he would write her interest off so a $3,900 balance would only be $1,460. At first I thought it was a scam because he wanted me to pay it by check so he then asked me for my email so he could send the information. Well it was legitimate and it’s from a credit card from before 2005. Well my mom got in trouble with credit cards back then and she had to sell some of the farm because there was a lien on it over 20,000. I didn’t know anything about it but my brother told me and as I have been trying to get things paid I came across all the documentation. I told her that he called but she said she doesn’t know anything about it yet he told me she talked to another manager with a name he gave me. I didn’t tell her that but here she goes again lying to me. He knew all about her poor health she uses that as an excuse all the time. She doesn’t know I know all this. It was my understanding that all her debt from the credit cards was taken care of especially since this one has all this interest. It obviously wasn’t what do I do We are going to end up paying it when she passes, why does she have to lie about everything? any suggestions

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Usually credit card debt is written off by original lender seven years after last action on the account. That's not to say the debt wasn't sold to a collection agency -- it probably was. But it's not a part of your mother's credit anymore. I don't know all that much about it but it doesn't make any sense to me that your mother would pay this old debt, much less you pay it.
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Reply to AliBoBali
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Here is the limitations by state.

creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-state-statute-limitations-1282.php

But I would follow up with a credit counselor. If you find that the credit card company is at fault I would report them to the FTC. Also, run a credit report on Mom and see if this debt is still listed.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Tell the collection company not to call Mom again and keep telling them that. Like said this is an old debt. See if you can find paperwork who she paid. She may have paid this to the credit card people and the collection company was not informed. Call your Office of Aging and ask if they have someone who can tell you mom's rights. Hiring a lawyer will cost u more than the balance due.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Call was probably from a secondary debt collector.
If the debt before 2005, then the “OC” aka the original creditor (like the bank who issued the MasterCard, Visa) has written it off or done a settlement back before 2005/2006. Your mom would know the details but that’s not feasible to ask her now.....

What has likely happened is debt was sold (for nickels on the $) to a first secondary debt collection group years ago.This first group would churn the account for a while trying to get mom to pay and if nothing was profitable, they in turn sell it (for pennies on the $) to a another collections group. Pattern continues and each time it goes to an even lower bottom feeder debt collections outfit.

Pre2005 debt is really old & outside Statute of Limitations probably for all states. I’m guessing that somewhere in last dz years mom said something OR collections claimed that mom acknowledged the debt so it reset and is viewed as fresh. It’s cycling through bottom tier collections companies again. Ruthless & beyond pesky but nothing they can do actually do. But they will imply all sorts actions can happen to her or whomever they can get to take responsibility. Only OC can issue a IRS reported 1099-C on the debt.

If they start to hound you and imply it’s your debt, that you assumed responsibility, yada yada that’s a big steaming pile. My suggestion if that happens is to send a certified letter with a RRR/return registered receipt (USPO & like $8.00) to them. If there seems to be 2 addresses- like office address & payment address - send to each. 1page Letter states the debt info & that its not your debt, not responsible & any future contact from receipt of letter will be considered harrasment. Save letter to a file as when it gets sold again, you can update & mail it out again.

My late MIL was a real financial terrorist. Lots of debt both personal & small business. My hubs is a Jr, so in theory her & I were both Mrs. John Smith. So I got quite a few “you owe” letters. Took about 5 years to cycle out & stop. Fun times. Some states allow you to seek redre$$ for harassment. That’s when the certified/RRR comes in as the RRS has a signature on it & the certified has verified delivery. So a fine can be placed.
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Reply to igloo572
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Staffbull, I've read your post a few times; there are some definite actions that you can take but there are also a lot more actions that you should avoid. I'd need a good block of time to address everything you raised, but I do want to just quickly offer one suggestion.

DON'T talk to anyone with an unrecognizable number. Let the call go to voice mail; it if's important or friendly, a message will be left. But never answer the phone if you don't recognize the number.

There are a lot of reasons for this, one of which is scams, and the second of which is that calls are recorded and edited, and by saying ANYTHING, you could be allowing the caller to manipulate any kind of situation.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Just tell them to stop the calls, you will consider it harassment, and if it continues you will report them.

I was getting calls from FirstAlert for return of equipment or payment for it after stepdad passed. I was not his executor and had no idea of the location of the equipment. They called, emailed a few times. Each time I gave them info on how to contact his daughter, executor. Finally I told them any further contact to me would be harassment. No more calls.

Your situation I would simply tell them that the bill was addressed twenty years ago.
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Reply to gladimhere
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We had a hospital here try to collect the portion of bill the insurance did not pay and that the patient was not responsible for. The story made the news and all were warned not to pay anything. It was a fishing expedition to find money to avoid bankruptcy.
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Reply to OldSailor
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Staffbull - doesn't seem like you screwed up at all. Here is a helpful link to an article listing 10 things to do to stop debt collectors from harassing you.

abcnews.go.com/Business/10-tactics-stop-rogue-debt-collectors-tracks/story?id=16220825#
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Reply to polarbear
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These debts are often sold to unscrupulous collection agencies that try to bully people into paying up, even though YOU owe nothing unfortunately giving them your email address may leave you open to a lot of unwarranted harassment.
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Reply to cwillie
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Did I screw up
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Reply to Staffbull18
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