Zombie credit card debts

Fri, Aug 17, 2012

Bankruptcy, Debt Mitigation

There is another type of debt in town—the zombie debt. It keeps running after you, long after you thought you escaped it. SmithLaw sees many cases where zombie debt collectors start hounding clients for money they do not really owe.

So, just what is zombie credit card debt? Zombie debt is old debt that has gotten new life. It could be debt that you actually paid off, debt you partially paid off, debt that is beyond the statute of limitations, debt that was already discharged in bankruptcy, debt that was never yours to begin with, etc.

Debt is often sold to other agencies to collect. Sometimes this debt is sold really cheap, so the buyers will be happy with any amount they make. They could legitimately think you owe them money, or they could be hoping you will pay them some just to get them to go away.

Therefore, if you have some old credit card debt floating around it might just show up again in the form of a zombie debt collector or two. (Yes–you could have several companies going after you for that debt.) Perhaps they even wear you down and you pay one of them some money.

And that might be a mistake. Florida’s statute of limitations on credit card debt is 5 years. Once you start paying the debt again, the debt can re-invigorate itself and the clock might start ticking again. So, be sure that you truly owe this debt and that you are still on the hook for paying for it.

Let the company know in writing that you are disputing it and then check your records to see if you still owe it before paying anything. Gather the proof that you no longer owe it. If they insist you do, make them show you the exact details of the debt. Know the facts and do not pay until you know you owe it.

Image: Some rights reserved by jerekeys


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