Time-barred debt is debt where your alleged non-payment occurred beyond six years ago (in NY). Debt collectors or debt buyers are prohibited from suing on that old debt but they may still be permitted to attempt collection without suing on it. But, says debt buying consultant, John Pratt, time-barred debt is where the worst abuse occurred towards the debtor.
A common strategy for debt buyers is to induce the debtor to make some minimal payment towards the old debt which effectively re-starts the statute of limitations. Lesson: never pay towards a debt that you suspect may be older than six years old!
Old debt is sold dirt cheap. The expected asking price for $8 million of Bank of America's old debt is $16,000 or two-tenths of a cent for every dollar owed.
The New York Times featured an article about this problem this morning. See the Business Section.