Being pursued by debt collectors can be scary, but it does not have to be if you understand your rights as a consumer and limitations collection agencies have to adhere to.
If -for example- your last payment in respect of a debt was made more than 3 years ago and you have not acknowledged that debt in any way during that time, and no one has summoned you in respect of that debt, it has prescribed and you are no longer liable to pay it.
In the debt collection game, knowledge is truly power. The Prescription Act only protects those consumers who are knowledgeable of its existence. Not all debts can prescribe after 3 years, e.g.: mortgage loan, municipal rates, TV licenses and traffic fines. However, this does not mean you do not have to pay your current legitimate debt.