How Much Does Big W Pay A 14 Year Old Is Zombie Debt Coming Back to Haunt You? Tips On How To Deal With Debt Scavengers

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Is Zombie Debt Coming Back to Haunt You? Tips On How To Deal With Debt Scavengers

Just when you thought it was safe… here comes Zombie Debt!!!

I recently had a client call me in a panic. He said a lawyer from a debt collection agency just called him and said they would file a lawsuit against him within 30 days if he didn’t pay $3,000 he owed on an old credit card. However, they were willing to negotiate a deal if I could make the full payment by the end of the week. How beautiful of them.

They had quite a story. They said that if I didn’t settle the debt, it would be transferred to the original creditor who would file a lawsuit. And that my friend would be subject to more interest and penalties and attorney fees and his wages could be garnished. Creepy.

“What do I do?!?!?! Can they really garnish my pay?!?!?! How much do I have to settle for?!?!?! Are you going to negotiate this for me?!?!?!” he said

I told him to take a breath and asked him a few questions. I was able to discern that the last payment he made was in July 2006. It is quite an old debt. Sounds like zombie debt to me.

Who Are Zombie Debt Collectors?

It is important to know who these companies are and how they operate. In general, zombie debt collectors (also known as debt scavengers or junk debt collectors) buy very old debts for pennies on the dollar from original creditors who have long since collected that debt. So all the money they raise is worth it. By many definitions, the statute of limitations (that is, the time by which a lawsuit MUST be filed) has already expired. If the statute of limitations has expired, debt collectors have no legal right to any of the consumer’s money. So it’s called zombie debt because it’s “dead” debt brought back to life by these debt scavengers. Unfortunately, zombie debt collection is big business because many consumers are unaware of their rights and want to protect their credit.

How do zombie debt collectors try to collect?

Having bought that debt, these companies try to raise as much money as they can by targeting consumers who they believe are likely to pay them any amount of money. So how do they do it? First they scare you. They will make you believe they are lawyers even though they are not, they will threaten to file a lawsuit, ruin your credit, seize your assets, garnish your wages and put a lien on your home. Then they’ll act like they’re doing you a favor by accepting far less than they claim you owe, make harassing phone calls, give you short deadlines to pressure you into settling before you can even consult a lawyer or do it. any research, and they will lie. Does it sound gross? Is.

The desire to solve the problem and avoid further headaches is so strong that many consumers end up paying off the debt even after learning about their zombie debt. Just the threat of a lawsuit or wage garnishment is enough to force consumers to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to settle debt and protect their credit. This is what these debt scavengers are based on.

What do you do if you get a call from a zombie debt collector?

First of all, don’t panic! Take the time to research and understand your rights. Read on for tips and guidelines to follow when it comes to these “debt busters.”

Do not assume they are who they say they are and do not verify ANY information!

Who are these people? How do you know this is legit? Have you done business with them? How do you know it’s not a scam? How is it not the result of identity theft? Ask them who they are and for contact information. And talk to them like you have no idea who they are or what they’re talking about. They will try to get you to verify the information. Don’t give them any information and don’t verify anything! And I mean anything! Remember, you have no idea who they are and they are calling you about a debt you already know you owe. (See the “Don’t Acknowledge the Debt!” section below). Just get information from them, upload, and then do some research first. They will try to use any information you give them against you. Tell other family members or roommates not to give them any information.

Don’t assume you owe this debt (or that they can prove it).

Just because a zombie debt collector calls you doesn’t mean you owe the debt. Don’t believe for a second that the original bank or debt eliminator has all their paperwork and evidence together. In addition to the statute of limitations, the debt could have been discharged in bankruptcy or settled by agreement with the bank.

Remember the Robo-Signing scandal where bank employees signed affidavits without verifying any information? Financial institutions, including zombie debt collectors, can be sloppy and may never verify the information they hold. After all, their goal is to get you to pay them nothing, and they have no intention of ever filing a lawsuit. They expect consumers to be unaware of their rights and expect no one to call them.

Can they prove they bought that debt? They must prove that you owe that debt legally, that they bought it legally, and that the debt was legally transferred to them. They would have to prove this to the court if they filed a lawsuit, unless you ignore it and get a default judgment against you.

Don’t assume they have the right person.

Most of the time, debt eliminators do not have current contact information. They have all the information that was in the account years ago. They will then try to locate the right person. As you can guess, they often don’t have the right person and are just fishing. So even if you had a credit card from the bank they’re asking for, it doesn’t mean they have the right person. This is another reason not to talk to them or give them any information.

Determine if the statute of limitations has expired.

I called the debt collector again on behalf of my friend and they tried to tell me that the statute of limitations starts from the date of the last activity on the account, which was when the original creditor charged the debt. Statutes of limitations are laws that set the time within which a legal action must be brought, after which no legal action can be brought regardless of whether a cause of action existed. That is, if you do not file a lawsuit within the time limit set by the statute of limitations, the court will not allow you to file an action.

First of all, this makes no sense, because the creditor would control the statute of limitations pending collection of the debt. Can you imagine a creditor filing a lawsuit 40 years later because he still hadn’t decided to pay the debt? In California, the statute of limitations begins to run on the date of default, which is the date the consumer should have made a payment, but did not. This puts the creditor on notice that he must take action to collect the debt. The limitation period is two years if there is no written agreement between you and your creditor. If there is a written agreement, the limitation period is four years. If the creditor obtained a judgment against you in court, the statute of limitations is 10 years, but it can be renewed. Statutes of limitations vary greatly from state to state, so you should check your state’s laws to determine the time limits that apply to your situation.

Although it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the most unsavory companies file lawsuits anyway in the hopes that the consumer will not respond to the demand and the collection agency ends. obtain a default judgment against the consumer. This will turn previously uncollectible debt into highly collectable debt. It’s also important to note that while the statute of limitations prevents debt collectors from filing a lawsuit, they are still allowed to try to collect on the debt. However, many of their tactics violate a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If you’ve determined that the statute of limitations has expired, it’s clear that it’s zombie debt. If you have determined that the statute of limitations has not expired, this article is not for you. In any case, you may want to contact an attorney for further consultation and legal advice. Many lawyers offer a free consultation, so you should take advantage of it. Find an attorney who practices consumer rights, consumer debt, debt collection, debt relief, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or even bankruptcy in your area.

Don’t make any payments!

One of the favorite tricks of debt collectors is to chase you into agreeing to a payment plan and immediately making a “good faith” payment of $10 or some other small amount. They will try to get your bank account number and routing information. This is a mistake! Do not make any payment no matter how small the amount or what you are promised. Don’t negotiate. Don’t make a deal. Do not accept a payment plan. I think you get the idea.

Doing so will revive the debt, which is called acknowledging or reaffirming the debt. Even admitting you owe the debt could be used against you. Often, it can be difficult for most people to say “no”. Most people don’t want to be “dead beats”. So it’s important to remember that you’re not being a deadbeat because you don’t have that debt.

So I called these debt scavengers again. They were very nice on the phone. I asked them for specific information about the debt they were calling about. Without admitting anything, I asked about recent transactions and transaction dates on the account they claim my client owes. No wonder the statute of limitations has expired. I advised them that it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to file a lawsuit or even threaten to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired.

He said the statute of limitations starts from the date of the last activity on the account and that was when the debt was sold to the collection agency! They have a little nerve!

I asked them to send me a letter verifying this debt and stating when the statute of limitations expires. She said “sure” and wrote down my address and phone number. We haven’t heard from her since, and probably never will.

If they think charging you is more trouble than it’s worth, they’ll move on to the next poor victim who doesn’t know their rights.

final thought

I have heard banks talk about a moral obligation to repay the debt. Maybe to the original creditor (and maybe it’s strong), but certainly not to the junk debt buyer. If the original creditor or debt collection agency owed you money, but the statute of limitations had run out, do you think they would pay you? It’s not about morality, it’s about law.

As consumers, the best thing you can do is know your rights. Please feel free to share this article with your family and friends so they can protect themselves and eventually put these zombie debt collectors out of business.

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