The “statute of limitations” is a time period set by state law after which one can no longer bring a claim against another person — it is a “time limit” in essence. If your state’s statute of limitations on a contract or an account with the credit card company is, for example, ten years, the attorney attempting to collect the debt can no longer pursue your mother for this debt (or cannot, at least, file a lawsuit against her to collect the money).
Check your state’s statute of limitations to determine the appropriate length of time an agency can pursue this debt.
Finally, be aware that some collection agencies will attempt to “bully” debtors into paying past due amounts by using threats of litigation, even if such claims are not within the statute of limitations or otherwise valid. For that reason, persons with any questions should seek the advice of a qualified attorney to address specific issues. You can find a qualified local attorney for FREE at our Attorney Find page.