You need to have a look at the relevant legislation in your state to ascertain where you stand. I would suggest that you contact a financial counsellor who would be familiar with laws in your state to discuss your options. In Victoria, Australia, debts are statute barred after 7 years - UNLESS one makes a payment on demand thereafter, in which case one is again legally liable for the debt that was incurred.
No. A collection agency has no legal authority. They can refer the account to a collections attorney who can then file a lawsuit for the debt owed. Yes! A collection agency has the right to file a lawsuit as the assigned creditor under the agreement that you signed when applying for the credit card.
Yes, definitely. Although, it will only show up on your credit report after the hospital has proceeded to turn the debt over to a collection company and the collection company obtains a default judgment against you. At that point, it will show up on your credit as a derogatory public record/lien/judgment.
If the collection agency works in tandem with a law firm (which is the case most of the time) then the answer is yes. What does this mean? If a judgment is granted by a judge, then it is the age old saying, pay me now or pay me later. Anytime your credit is ran (over the next 20 years) then it will show and credit will not be granted until the judgment is satisfied. Keep in mind if a judgment is granted interest probably continues to accrue until satisfied. If at all possible, it is best to inter into a stipulation agreement with the firm and work it out.
No credit agency will sue you. I believe you mean collection agency. Send the collection people a Cease and Desist letter (google "fair credit act cease desist). Then get a free credit report (your right!!)(the score doesn't matter so don't pay to get it). Then dispute the debt w/ the credit bureaus (the dispute letter will be found w/ the Cease and desist letter).
Only the credit bureaus the collection agency can remove a collection from your credit report. The collection agency won't do it now since it is paid and they have no reason to. You can dispute it to the credit bureaus and ask for verification on the account. They will have 30 days to verify the items or it must be removed from your credit report.
It depends on the judgment. If it is a Motor Vehicle Judgment it is not a secured claim which makes sense since they went after your license and not your assets. Sometimes these Motor Vehicle Judgments show up on your credit report and the only way to get it off is to settle the judgment or file bankruptcy. If it is not a Motor Vehicle Judgment it is most likely a secured claim.
They may have a host of legal remedies available to them. First the account may be transferred to a collection agency which will report your collection and damage your credit. That agency or the original creditor may decide that the debt is worth persuing legally. They may take you to court to obtain a judgment against you. From that point you may end up with wage garnishments or other consequences.
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