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Putting It All Together

When Will Your Debts Be Eliminated?

A question I'm frequently asked is, "When will my debts be eliminated?" The answer is a bit involved.

I would first like to answer the question with another question: "If a debt collector cannot collect on an account, and that account no longer appears on your credit report, has it been eliminated?" The answer effectively is, "Yes!" Though the account may exist somewhere out there in the ether, it has no real relevance to your life.

The second part of the answer has to do with your state's statute of limitations on collecting unsecured debt. If you can remain judgment free until the statute of limitations has expired on your debt, then the debt is uncollectable, and, again, has effectively been eliminated.

The third part of the answer is that if you have documented violations of the FDCPA by a debt collector, you can go on the offensive and force them to zero out your accounts and update your credit report as already described. Result: debt eliminated.

The fourth part of the answer depends on if you settle the account. To maximize debt relief, I don't recommend settling unless you are sued and can't have the case dismissed. However, some of you might choose this route if you have the money for the "sleep-at-night" factor it affords. Either way, the debt (or a portion thereof) is effectively eliminated.

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