Old debt – How Long can a company chase you for a old personal debt?

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      18 years (1988) ago my ex partner and I took out a mortage and at the time we need a little extra and took a top up mortage as well. Unfortanatley we did not last the course of time and split up. The mortage company repossed the house and I believe sold it. All my old debts I thought had been cleared and I have manage over the last 15 years to build up a good credit rating and my life has changed now by having a new partner and two children. But now in the last few weeks a company has writtern to me saying that they have purchased an old debt, the top up mortage and are requesting me to pay it off. A couple of things, can they still chase me for a old debt after all this time (18 years) without any contact, do I have to pay them, is my ex partner liable for this debt as it was in joint names and what happens if I cannot afford to pay them off. To me, my children and new partner come first, would I have to declare myself bankruprt and I so what would happen to my debt and credit rating.

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