My wife was sent a collection notice from Afni, Inc, saying her account with TDS (phone company) was overdue for around $250.
A few problems with this:
1) The last time she lived in an area TDS served was in the early part of 2001.
2) We received the bill in November, 2009. 8 1/2 years!
3) The bill was in her maiden name, and we have been married for more than 3 years. No prior attempt has ever been made to collect such a debt (I have been with her since 2002, and we've never had TDS-- I make it a point not to!).
4) I researched a little: Statute of limitations to collect debt through courts is 6 years in this case (Wisconsin), and the max usually stated is 8 years. Credit bureaus can't take reports of delinquent accounts after 7 years, so long as you tell them that this account has not been active for more than 7 years (and active includes using the account, calling about it, etc.).