The SOL (Statute of Limitations) starts from the date you made last payment on the debt. If the SOL has expired, in some states, the debt collectors can’t try to collect as it’s against the law; but, in some states, they can collect, but if it’s proved that the debt is too old, they will lose the case.
If a debt collector contacts you, first research on the SOL on the type of debt based in the state you live, and if it has expired, send a certified letter to the CA (Collection Agency) stating that the debt is too old and not to contact you again.
Under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), collection accounts can be reported for 71/2 years from the day the debtor first fell behind with the original creditor. After that it should be removed from the report, regardless of whether it’s paid it or not.