Forget about missed furniture payment

Posted: April 02, 2013

D EAR HARRY: I bought some very expensive furniture back in 2006. There was a special deal on the sale that allowed me to pay for it over a two-year period. When the time came for the last payment, I raised a question as to the calculation of interest. The issue never got resolved, so I did not make that last payment.

Today, I got a notice from a collection agency with all kinds of threats of action to collect that payment plus a bunch of extra charges. I called them, expecting to get a tough-speaking guy with a booming voice. Instead, I got a soft-speaking lady who asked me to pay about 50 percent of the original debt for a full settlement. I told her that the statute of limitations was long gone, and that I am under no obligation to do anything.

She then said that her offer was withdrawn, and she would go after the whole ball of wax, as specified in the letter. Did I do the right thing?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Most ofcoursely! The statute of limitations on that last payment ran out four years after the due date of the payment. Somebody at the original creditor's office made a mistake in waiting so long. My guess is that the debt was sold after the expiration of the four years, and the new owner was trying to frighten you into paying it, or at least a part of it. Make no payment or promise of payment, or you may restart the statute. Too many debtors get caught by these operators after they buy the debts for minuscule amounts.


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS.

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