One of the first thing you’ll want to check when you get a debt collection notice is the expiration date. No, it won’t be written on the top like a milk carton. But you can check to see when the debt is from. If it’s longer than your state’s statue of limitations on debt collections, they’re unlikely to successfully sue you. Those dates vary by state, so here’s a handy list that gets routinely updated.
Since your debt is probably credit card, you’ll want to look down the “open-ended account” column, as that’s what credit cards are classified as.
And just because the statute of limitations has passed, that doesn’t mean they can’t keep hounding you for the money. It just means they probably won’t win if they take you to court (provided you 1) show up for court and 2) use statute of limitations as your defense). However, there’s no charts that tell you whether dodging the debt is ethical.
Statute of Limitations on Debts [Credit Infocenter]