Almost 2 decades ago I had identity theft and they maxed out my card. I lived with it (and terrible credit) and could not discharge it or pay it off.

Some years ago this all fell off my record and is no longer present on my credit report. I was never sued, and have not been contacted about it.

My concern is what happens if I open a bank account or credit card under the same bank that had that debt. I don't even remember what it was but I remember the name of the card, it is also a bank.

Can they physically take my money if I open an account with them to pay the bad debt? I have avoided them for a long time due to this fear. But there is an appealing travel credit card offer they have which I am interested in, but I don't want to risk my money which would defeat any benefit.

Alternatively, if it's a credit card, can they add your old debt to your balance?

  • what country is that? Am I right to guess US?
    – littleadv
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 22:19
  • Yes, it's the US. For a US citizen.
    – user7211
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 22:20
  • @littleadv ok that was my concern. If that's accurate then it settles my fear. I looked up the statues of limitations and it's LONG past. thebalance.com/…
    – user7211
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 22:27
  • But my concern if if it's with the SAME financial institution. So I would like if someone can provide evidence because I have read some things that the same institution might be able to take the money in some cases.
    – user7211
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 22:29
  • You'll need to talk to a lawyer, if they do something illegal you can sue them. It is very unlikely that they still own that debt, they probably sold it off long long time ago.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


The statute of limitations on collecting debt depends by State in the US. If the statute ran out, the debtor cannot pursue legal action to collect the debt from you. Taking your money from another account to cover the debt without a court order authorizing them is stealing.

They can however refuse to extend any new credit to you and refuse your application for that travel card.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .