Are you haunted by zombie debt? Zombie debt is your old debt that has already been settled through payment or bankruptcy. If you have already paid it, you have all the rights to dispute it.
Zombie debt is common in bankruptcy in which you are no longer legally obligated to pay. However, the original lenders will sell this debt to collection agencies on a commission basis. What collection agencies will do is to force the debtors to pay the unpaid amount by instilling guilt or fear.
Most of the time, debt collectors use different tactics and traps to get your attention and commitment. The most vulnerable of such tactics are those who are ignorant about the legality of this action. This is not only annoying but also disturbing. You might consider to consolidate debt to get rid of it, but you don’t have to.
Nevertheless, today we’ll go through steps to deal with your zombie debt once and for all.
1. Never Acknowledge the Debt
Not acknowledging a debt doesn’t mean you completely forget or ignore the remaining amount. The law has given you a legal right to pay it in the future or dispute a debt you don’t own. If you are willing to pay it, contact the original lender to talk about settlement.
If you pay it through collection agencies, you are acknowledging the debt, and this will be recorded on your credit report. As a result, your credit score will become lower, so the best solution is not to acknowledge it.
2. Don’t Yield to Their Traps
This means they will promise that they will report your debt to the credit bureaus as new debt provided that you pay it. Never forget that it’s the opposite that will actually happen.
3. Request for the Original Document
This step is not only for people who can’t remember they owe some money from a particular lender. You can also use this step even if you have an old debt that has already been dispatched for bankruptcy. Ask for the proof like the complete transaction record, and make sure the original record and not a copy.
4. Check the Statute of Limitations
Checking the statute of limitations will tell you whether or not the period prescribed by the court to let collection agencies collect the unpaid amount. If the debt has already been dispatched for bankruptcy, collection agencies don’t have any legal right to collect such debt.
The same applies if the debt is over the period of the statute of limitation for collection. However, every state is different when it comes to the specific time period.
5. Take Legal Action
If the period prescribed by the court or statute of limitation to allow for collection of debt has already been expired, but the collection agency continues to contact you, then you can take legal action to stop the harassment.
To stop the harassment, get the proof in writing. Send a letter to the collection agency to stop disturbing you. Otherwise, ask your lawyer for legal action.
Collection agencies are in the business of collecting unpaid money. Keep in mind they are not the police department nor a prosecutor to force you to pay a certain amount. Whether or not you still have unpaid debt, the powers of collection agencies are limited only to fear tactics and psychological warfare.