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Paying Off a Debt in Collections

I received the following email the other day and, having no advice to give, I received permission to post this on my blog in hopes that someone who reads will have some sort of advice. Essentially B. had a little credit card debt that she was a little irresponsible about and now she wants to pay that debt off except it’s already gone to a collection company and now jam packed with fees and penalties.

Dear Jim,

I had a credit card about 10 years ago that I had forgotten about. I feel on some very hard times and had quit paying on it. They had turned it over for collections. A $300 credit bill went to over $1000. At that point I just didn’t respond to the collection company. I never heard anything else from them. All these years have gone past and now a different collection company is trying to sue me for it. Can they still sue me for this?

I know you must be thinking I am such a dead beat but I really am not. I would gladly go back and pay the credit card company for the money but I don’t think I should have to pay the amount they are asking. Could you please give me some advice? I really am a good person just trying to make it week to week.

Sincerely,
B.

I just ask that if you do leave a comment, please let it be constructive and helpful, not chastising and rude. I won’t censor anyone but I like to keep things positive and I don’t like mean spiritedness.