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Zombie debt never dies

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“My credit card was stolen a few years back. Now I am being harassed for debts not incurred by me.” ” What do I do? I have never incurred such debts, why am I being troubled to pay something I have not spent.” “I paid this debt off long ago, why is this being collected again.” If you feel one with any of the above comments and feel a sense of deja vu, you should read on.

 

Debt collection is a multi million dollar industry in America that has toppled many lives upside down. It is a thriving industry in our country that is built on unethical business laws. Zombie debts collected by debt collectors may include past debts that you owe, charged-off debt, debt included in bankruptcy, debt you may have never owed and even debts incurred due to identity theft.

 

Any amount of caution as a debtor is less compared to its pay offs. When you clear all payments on debts you should settle for nothing less than “paid in full”letter. Its a nightmare when you pay the bills, clear debts but be harassed later for the same debts. Zombie debts or junk debts are sold again and again and before you breathe a sigh of relief of having paid one debt, it pops into life again.

 

Few tips to keep away from zombie debts:

Never accept a debt to be yours or even a portion of a debt as yours because once you accept, you acknowledge the debt

If you acknowledge a debt it would be on your credit report for seven years

Do not take the phone calls or you can even hang up on the callers because they may talk you into accepting a debt or may open up statute of limitations that is already over

Send a cease and desist letter to debt collection agency to stop the calls by certified mail with return receipt requested

Ensure your credit report is not tampered with as debt collectors may try to re-age the old debt on your credit reports

Debt collectors validating your debt is mandatory upon a request from you. Debt validation forces a debt collector to produce a copy of the original signed contract such as the credit card agreement and the account history of the debt

Request for a proof that the debt collectors are licensed in your state to perform debt collection. If the collection agency cannot produce proof that you owe the debt, they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and can be sued

If you have decided to pay, exercise extreme care to get everything in writing. Debt collectors often offer to settle for a smaller amount as settlement but cheat by selling the remaining debt to another agency

Debt collectors may make false promises to remove negative items from your credit report but may eventually sell the unpaid portion to another agency


About the Author:
Our FDCPA Attorney protects consumers from abusive and deceptive debt collectors, and their unfair debt collection practices.
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