Ohio consumers who owe past due debt balances may be contacted by a debt collector. However, this doesn’t mean that an individual will be required to make a payment. Furthermore, it is also possible that a person is contacted about a debt that he or she doesn’t actually owe. If a debt collector does call, an individual has the opportunity to verify that the balance owed is correct and that it can still be collected.
Typically, state law imposes a statute of limitations on debt collectors, and that statute of limitations is generally four or six years. However, the clock begins the moment that a person makes a payment on that debt balance. Therefore, if a person makes a partial payment on an old debt, it may give debt collectors or other parties more time to take that person to court.
When a debt collector calls, an individual can decide to pay the balance in full, make a partial payment or tell that person to go away. In most cases, a past due debt balance will remain on a credit report for seven years from the date that a payment was missed. If an account goes to collections, information about that account may remain on a credit report for seven years plus 180 days after the first missed payment.
In a Chapter 13 proceeding, an individual may be entitled to reorganize existing debt balances and repay them over a period of several years. During a repayment period, an individual may be able to sell an item in an effort to pay off a balance. Individuals may also be able to renegotiate the terms of a mortgage, auto loan or other secured loan during a bankruptcy proceeding. Legal counsel may assist those who are seeking protection from creditors.