Stop debt collector calls and put an end to the nightmare of zombie debt. A zombie debt is a debt that has expired or fallen off your credit report, but a debt collector has revived it and is asking you to pay.
This can be a scary situation for anyone, but with a little knowledge and effort, you can bury your zombie debt, as well as stop debt collector calls.
Know The Law
The first step in dealing with a zombie debt is to understand your rights. Debt collectors are required by law to follow certain rules when attempting to collect a debt. They cannot harass you, threaten you, or mislead you in any way. If a debt collector violates your rights, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
It is also important to be aware of the statute of limitations for debt collection in your state. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that a creditor has to sue you for an unpaid debt.
Once the statute of limitations has expired, the debt is considered time-barred and the creditor cannot sue you for it. However, debt collectors may still try to collect on a time-barred debt, so it is important to know your rights and to be cautious.
Review Your Credit Report
It is important to monitor your credit report and to dispute any errors that you find. Zombie debt can sometimes show up on your credit report even if it has expired or been paid.
If you see a debt on your credit report that you do not recognize, you should dispute it with the credit bureau and provide any evidence that you have that the debt is not valid.
Is The Debt Valid?
Once you know your rights, you should also verify the debt. Debt collectors are required to provide you with certain information about the debt they are trying to collect. This includes the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt, and the date it became delinquent. You have the right to ask for this information in writing, and the debt collector must provide it to you within five days of your request.
If So, Talk Settlement
If the debt is legitimate, the next step is to negotiate a settlement. Debt collectors are often willing to settle for less than the full amount owed, especially if the debt is old or if they have purchased it for a fraction of the original amount. Be sure to get any settlement agreement in writing and make sure that it specifies that the debt will be considered paid in full.
Stopping Collector Calls
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, you can also take steps to stop the calls. You can send a letter to the debt collector asking them to stop contacting you, or you can tell them over the phone that you do not wish to be contacted again. If the debt collector continues to call you after you have asked them to stop, you can file a complaint with the CFPB.
Dealing with zombie debt can be a stressful and intimidating experience. However, by knowing your rights, verifying the debt, negotiating a settlement, being aware of the statute of limitations, stopping debt collector calls, and monitoring your credit report, you can bury your zombie debt once and for all.
Remember, debt collectors are required to follow the law, and you have the right to protect yourself from harassment and intimidation. With a little knowledge and effort, you can take control of your financial situation and put an end to the nightmare of zombie debt.