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Could you actually get away with not paying your debts?

It's a hypothetical situation that almost everyone dreams about but very few actually act on: could I simply not pay my debts? What's the worst that could happen if I ignore all of the collection attempts, phone calls and letters?

The sad fact of the matter is that many people bury their head in the sand when it comes to their debts anyways. They get a letter from their credit card company or a debt collector, and after reading it, they just throw it on a table and forget about it. Ignoring the problem isn't going to fix your debt problem -- although, there are limitations to how long debt collection agencies can come after you.

For example, there is a statute of limitations to collecting debts from an individual. If efforts are made beyond this statute, then the collectors could be violating the law, and you could have the ability to sue them. In the end, they could end up owing you money.

Of course, this is the exception and not the rule. Usually debt collection agencies are adept at making sure they sell off their debt to other agencies to ensure the debt doesn't reach the point of expiration.

The lesson here is that while you may actually be able to slip through the debt collecting cracks, it is very rare for this to come to fruition. If you have past debts, it is best to pay them off in a timely fashion, or to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss alternative plans for dealing with your debt.

Source: FOX Business, "What Happens If I Never Pay an Old Debt?," Credit.com, June 2, 2014

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