The whole thing looks a bit suspicious to me. The paper that you received was not? A court summons, just a communication from a collection agency. Maybe the Sherriff was just trying to make a buck by acting as an intimidating delivery man. Usually, credit card companies will not waste their resources sueing someone for $1500, who may also be uncollectable. They will charge off the debt and sell it to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar. I believe that most bad debts have a finite shelf life. Some weird quirks in the law have the effect of extending this shelf life if the debtor does certain things, such as acknowledging to the collection agency that the debt is their's. There was a great article on the msn.com homepage by their financial lady a couple of months ago detailing these pitfalls. If you are in no position to pay the debt, and the letter you got was not a summons, my advice would be to ignore the collection agency.