Spam callers cause many people to discredit some legit calls from debt collectors regarding their accounts. If these people move to a new address and no longer use the account the debt is tied to, it can cause the debt collector to take some time to find them again. By the time they do and the individual realizes the debt collection attempt is legitimate, they may be surprised that a company would try to pursue a debt from so long ago. 

So, is there a statute of limitations on debt? Bankrate states that this depends on the state. When people move states, they may wonder which state law applies. Sometimes it is neither. A lender may argue for their home state laws to take precedence over the state an individual lived in when the debt was created or the state the person currently lives in if they are not the same. 

Ohio has one of the most generous statutes of limitations of any U.S. state at 8 years for written contracts. Most formal debts involve written contracts, such as credit cards, store cards and auto loans. Lenders may still pursue debts for up to six years. Even so, debt collection efforts may continue well beyond this point in any state. One company set a record of trying to collect on an old debt after 21 years. People often successfully fight these attempts because of the statute of limitations. 

Experian adds that there are also federal laws governing how long a debtor may continue to attempt to collect on money owed. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act governs this. Experian also advises consumers to pay the debt whenever possible as it may affect credit scores negatively. The delinquency may remain on the credit report for seven years.