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nriw

how do debt collectors resurface new opportunities to pursue old debts?

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I am outside of the US and also changed my CC accounts to my address in Asia. This means debt collection is hard to start let alone enforce. But it also pauses the statute of limitations.

 

So say I come back to the US in 10 years and my debt falls within the statutue of limitations due to the pause. An aware debt collector could easily find out about my move through various means (online activity, local registrations).

 

As a practical matter, how likely is this? I imagine CC companies and collections agencies have stacks of accounts they try to "work" to get money from. A 10 year old debt can't be high on the priority list. That is unless some computer software does the brunt of the opportunity resurfacing work

 

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I'd say the odds of it happening are pretty high.  There are number of things that could trigger it: any changes at all to your credit files, such as applying for an apartment lease or a new credit card, motor vehicle and driver's license registrations, voter registrations, etc.

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The odds are high they'd know you have returned.  The million dollar question is what are the odds they'd sue you.

 

Even if you hadn't left the country, not all creditors end up suing.  Many just swallow their losses and ride off into the sunset.  I'm not sure what the odds would be right now, but let's say it's 50%.  Returning to the US after a 10-year period and finding yourself still within the SOL, your odds of getting sued are < 50%.  Just because they can legally sue you doesn't mean they still have the documentation needed to win a lawsuit after all this time.  

 

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