So for a not so dumb reason 5 years ago I decided not to pay a utility bill (charged me $300 for 2.5 days of service when my normal bill was < $100). Fought with them back and forth and told them to take it to collections because I wasn't going to pay it.

And it has sat there a sour spot on my credit report, but I have been waiting for the day when it goes away. Today I got a new credit report and noticed the debt had been sold to another agency, and when it sold, the day of it disappearing went from 2015 to 2020. Is that right, should I dispute it? I was always told that after 7 years a debt is taken off your record, but here it is looking like it will take more than 12 years.

Can one agency sell a debt and mark it as a new collection?

  • 7
    I tagged this as 'united-states' because debt collection laws are country-specific. Jun 5, 2013 at 16:07
  • 1
    Has the new collector contacted you? I am almost positive they are breaking the law. It might be an honest mistake, but it might not.
    – MrChrister
    Jun 5, 2013 at 16:31
  • @MrChrister, they have not. I had no idea about it changing hands until I just did an Experian credit report and saw it went to the new company in March of this year. It is also for $1 less than the original debt. Jun 5, 2013 at 16:34
  • What state are we talking about? It makes a difference.
    – mbhunter
    Jun 6, 2013 at 5:13
  • 3
    $1 less, clock restarted....sounds like maybe they're playing a dirty game and pretended you paid a dollar on the debt to make it look like fresh debt when they sold it. Jun 7, 2013 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


Debt being sold to another third party doesn't restart the collection window. The information being reported on your credit report is incorrect. The statute of limitations begins from the date of last payment. I worked collections for 6 months before I realized it wasn't for me but one of the techniques I learned was getting responsible parties, debt holders, to make a really small "good faith payment" which was really meant to restart the debt collection window. A few links will help with statutes reference and consumer rights when dealing with collection agencies. Good luck.

Statute of Limitations on Outstanding Debt

Consumer Rights and Debt Collection


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