If you have an old debt, you may wonder if you still have to pay it? Can your creditors really take you to court after this long? English law says a creditor only has a limited amount of time - typically six years - to take you to court. The term for a debt that is so old that it can't be enforced in court is "statute barred". (You may have heard the phrase being time-barred, that means the … [Read more...]
Articles about old debts
People have two types of questions about old debts.
do you have to pay a debt because it's very old? Your situation will be very different depending on when you last paid anything to the debt. This isn't something you want to get wrong! In some circumstances you could be taken to court for a CCJ if you just stop paying a debt ... but equally you don't want to be pressured by a debt collector into paying a debt which isn't legally enforceable.
should an old debt be appearing on your credit record? You need to know how debts should be shown and also how to challenge it if there is an error.
The articles here will help you work out what applies to your particular case.
The Consumer Credit Act (CCA) gives you the right to be sent a copy of your credit agreement and a statement of your account for most loans, credit cards, catalogues, store cards and Hire Purchase agreements. CCA agreements are important! If a creditor can't find it then: you can't get a CCJ for the debt; and you may decide to stop paying the debt. This doesn't apply to all debts. … [Read more...]
Two Debt Camel readers have asked questions about old-style student loans. These were loans taken out between 1990 and 1998, where the payments can't be taken directly from your wages. They are also called mortgage-style or fixed-term loans. When will the debt be written off? These old student loans will be written off when the last year's loan is 25 years old, or a bit earlier for older … [Read more...]
A default badly damages your credit score, so how long will it be there? In Britain, the credit record rules say: the debt, including the default, is deleted from your credit record six years later after the first default. An example: a debt with a default date in May 2014 will drop off your record in May 2020. There are no exceptions to this rule. A debt which is marked as defaulted will … [Read more...]
Mr N has asked: On checking my credit score I have two defaults on my account both with the same creditor. First default was on 11/11 and the second 08/13 for a total of £1,750. I am now able to get back on track and get a loan to pay this in full. If I write to the debt collector and say I can pay this off and they give me their guarantee to put fully settled on my credit record, is this the … [Read more...]
A reader asked if he has to pay a debt that he can't see on his credit record. Many people think that checking their credit record is a good way to get a complete list of their debts. And they look forward to a defaulted debt disappearing from their credit record after 6 years because then they don't owe the money anymore. Unfortunately neither of these myths is true! What debts show on … [Read more...]
If its been four or five years since you stopped making payments to a debt and you haven't had any phone calls or letters for a long while, you may be hoping your debt has got lost or the debt collector has forgotten about it. This article looks at what is likely to happen as in 2018 debt collectors are taking more people to court for CCJs than they used to. If you have been making payments, … [Read more...]
People often ask if they have to carry on making payments to an old debt. This can happen as it's too easy to get stuck in a long-term Debt Management Plan (DMP), paying little each month so the debts will take forever to repay. This article looks at questions about debts in long-term debt management. Do I have to pay a debt that has dropped off my credit file? A debt drops off your … [Read more...]
If you get a letter saying you owe money on a debt you don’t recognise, or which you thought you had paid off, you need to challenge the creditor to prove that you do owe the money. Sometimes debt collectors have simply got the wrong person. This is sometimes called a mis-trace. This is what the Financial Ombudsman says about mis-traces: We would ask a debt collector to provide evidence to … [Read more...]