State statute of limitation laws on debt collection limit the length of time a creditor has to bring legal proceedings against a debtor for an unpaid debt. Often, creditors will threaten legal action to persuade a debtor to repay a debt in the shortest period of time possible. The clock starts ticking from the date of the last payment received regardless of how many times the debt is sold to third-party collection agencies. There are a number of ways to prove that debt has expired.
Research the law. If the statute of limitation on debt collection is seven years or less in your state of residence, bring your consumer credit reports to court as supporting documentation that the debt is expired.
Argue that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, payment history remains on a consumer credit file for up to seven years. The absence of the account from your consumer credit file proves that at least seven years have passed since the documentation of new payment information.
Bring old credit card statements or bank statements that show proof of your final payment if available. The burden of proof always lies with the party that brings charges. Such documentation shows proof of payment and establishes whether debt is expired or not.
File a motion to compel discovery by requesting copies of your payment history and previous billing statements if you do not have them already. The court will order your creditor to comply with the discovery request and hand over all documents pertaining to your account, including the date of the last payment received.