What Should I Know About Zombie Debt?

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For most people, the idea of zombies can be a little spooky despite the far-fetched, fictitious nature. However, what’s more scary is the real prospect of zombie debt, which can be a real-life horror movie. If you’re the victim of a “back-from-the-dead” debt, understanding how to proceed is critical. The following blog explores what you should know about this and why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced Los Angeles, California debt defense lawyer to help you through these complex matters.

What Is a Zombie Debt?

When you have an old debt that you thought was paid off, is no longer on your credit report, or has been discharged that is being collected, this is a zombie debt.  Additionally, they may be trying to resolve a debt that is the result of identity theft, meaning you are not legally obligated to repay the debt. Generally, if a debt is older than four years, it is considered a zombie debt. This is because the statute of limitations in California for debt collection is four years. Often, debt collectors sell debt they believe they will not resolve to collection agencies.

If a collection agency purchases the debt, they will often do everything in their power to make the effort to receive the funds, even if they are not entitled to the money because the debt has been settled, paid in full, or discharged.

Does This Violate the FDCPA?

If the debt is past the statute of limitations, the debt collector legally cannot pursue the debt. As such, this is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

In the event you are contacted about an old or previously forgiven debt, you should first ask for a debt validation notice. The debt collector must send you a letter that provides information about the debt, such as how much you owe and who the original creditor was. You can use this to cross-reference with your records to see if the debt is still valid.

If the debt has been previously paid off or is past the statute of limitations, you can send a letter to the agency with proof and ask them to stop contacting you.

What Should I Do if I Need Assistance?

It’s imperative to understand that if you are contacted by a debt collector about a zombie debt, it’s essential to understand that if you make a payment toward the debt or if you make a promise to pay the debt, the statute of limitations on the debt can reset, meaning they can file a lawsuit against you for the entire debt you owe.

If you are being harassed over a zombie debt, understanding your rights is critical. You should know you are within your rights to connect with an experienced attorney to pursue legal action against a collector.

At Los Angeles Legal Solutions, our dedicated team will do everything possible to help you through these complex matters. We know how frustrating it can be to discover you are being held responsible for a debt that should have been settled. As such, we will do everything possible to fight for your rights during these times. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.

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