Zombie Debt Letters - End Collection Attempts for Old Debts
How to get rid of debt collectors who go after charged off debts
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) you have rights if debt collectors go after zombie debts that don't appear on your credit report or may have been forgotten. For example, old debts that were charged off can fall off your credit report, and may be outside the legal statute of limitations for lawsuits, but may still be called by shady collectors who will try to convince you that your credit rating will be harmed by an unpaid debt. In some cases these debts consist of old parking fines, charged off credit cards, video rental fees, or unpaid loans
As a consumer, you have the right to send a letter asking that the agency cease and desist contact with you unless they can validate the debt. In many cases, this works because the original documentation of the debt has been lost over time, or may not be worth recovering unless the debt is substantial. This does not stop unscrupulous collectors from going after small charges (like $47) and threatening to damage credit ratings or take people to court. There are even cases where debt collectors call people with the same name, even though they know that the people are not the actual debtors, because they can threaten to damage a credit rating and may get a payment.
Notes and Special Information
Special note: Note that if the collector is able to validate the debt, and is no outside the statute of limitations in your state, and if the debt is sizable, then you may be sued to recover debt, though this is not common.