I need advice on how to deal with an old debt I had from many years ago. Was contacted by a debt collection agency saying they now have the debt and want me to pay. This account is from 20 years ago. It is a few thousand pounds and it was silly of me to not pay it and let it go, but I had some drug and alcohol issues and just let things go. I am unsure what to do?
I understand your concern and question. And many people when not in a good frame of mind just let things go, including paying bills. The fact you are mush better now is the main thing.
If this debt, and any others are from 20 years ago, they could be Statute Barred, meaning you no longer owe them. If you had no contact from a creditor for over six (6) years, then the account or debt can be no longer enforceable.
However, here is the rub, if you engage and begin to make payments on the account again with this new collection agency, you are then acknowledging the debt. Which starts the time clock clicking again.
I cannot advise you to not pay the account/debt, but be aware that account may be, in all probability, is Statute Barred, and no longer owed.