Have you been notified that your account is going to be charged off? You may not be sure what to do next. Here is what you need to know:

What is a Charged Off Debt?

According to Experian, a charge-off is a negative item that can appear on your credit report. It indicates that “a creditor, after trying and failing to get you to make good on a debt, has given up hope of getting payment and closed your account.” Once charged off, the creditor will typically sell off the debt to a collection agency. This is where you will begin to receive consistent letters and phone calls.

Also, creditors can still send you collection letters even after the statute of limitations has passed. So, you will want to find the statute of limitations for the alleged debt. Remember, there are laws in place to protect you from being sued over an expired debt.  However, they do not prevent collectors from contacting you after the statute of limitations has expired.

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

In California, the statute of limitations is four years. Meaning, a creditor cannot sue you for a delinquent debt after the four years.  However, a statute of limitations does not prevent a lawsuit from being filed in most states, determine how long a debt can appear on your credit report, or permit you to ignore a court summons.

So, What Can I Do?

You can dispute the charge-off by contacting the credit bureaus. You are able to remove inaccurate information from your credit report. Click here for more information: Removing Inaccuracies

If the debt is expired, you can send a letter to collectors to let them know that you do not want to be contacted further due to the debt’s statute of limitations having already passed. Do not make promises to pay anything back. Also, do not acknowledge the debt at all. If you do, this can start the statute of limitations over again. Click here for a link with a suggested letter template.


If you are being contacted for debts and are looking for other options to get a financial fresh start, contact a qualified bankruptcy professional. Filing for bankruptcy can eliminate or greatly reduce your debt, giving you a chance to start fresh and rebuild your credit!

Need More Information?

At the Law Office of Daniela Romero, we believe in relationships that are based on trust. Before we work together, we would like you to get to know us. We want you to be sure that we are the perfect fit for you. This will allow you to be completely comfortable sharing intimate and difficult details of your case, so we can offer you representation to the fullest extent of the law. Call us today to set up a free consultation.