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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Did Someone Contact You About A Debt That You Don’t Recognize?

  • You don’t remember the debt?

Before you pay it you should confirm that it is actually your debt.

The best way to confirm that this debt belongs to you is to get “validation information.” By law, debt collectors are required to give you information — either over the phone or in writing — that includes:

● the amount of the debt

● the name of the current creditor

● how to get the name of the original creditor

It is important to validate this information because a collector could contact you about a debt you have never heard of and do not recall ever owing. In this case, you don’t want to blindly pay the debt or even promise to pay the debt. The collector may simply have gotten the wrong information or you might be being targeted by a fake collection scam. Verifying the debt will ensure that you do not pay money to a scammer and can clarify the origin of the debt. Perhaps you were a co-signer and simply forgot about taking responsibility to cover the debt, or there could be a genuine error.

Old Debt?

If the debt is very old it may be considered “zombie debt.” Debt of a certain age passes the statute of limitations (which varies by state law). This means that the collector cannot legally sue you.

However, if you make a payment, the statute of limitations could reset, which would refresh the collector’s right to sue you. Collectors who go after zombie debt are known for using especially deceitful tactics.

Verifying the debt can ensure that you do not fall for one of their tricks and restart the statute of limitations.

Here are a few more things to do if you get a call about a debt you don’t recognize.

1. Find out who’s calling. Get the name of the collector and the collection company, its address, and phone number.

2. Do your own detective work. Check with the original creditor. Is the debt yours? Did the creditor sell the debt or hire a company to collect it? If so, is the caller their collector?

3. Dispute the debt. If you think you don’t owe some — or all — of the debt, dispute it with the collector by mail or online. Even if you have already received validation information.

As you are checking out a debt collection call, remember: don’t respond to threats. When scammers threaten to arrest you, suspend your driver’s license, or call your employer if you don’t pay immediately, hang up and report the collector!

Has anyone harassed you or threatened you over an alleged debt?


CALL US TODAY 718-674-1245 or message us here.



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