Zombie Debt collectors is a phrase that describes collection agencies that are trying to collect old debt that is past the statue of limitation. There are some things that you need to know about them. Saying the wrong thing will open the debt time frame back open, and go back on your credit history. These collectors specialize in collection old debt and will use a lot of tactics to get you to pay a debt that you are no longer legally responsible for.
Old debt that has been written off by the company can sell to these debt collectors for mere pennies on the dollars, or maybe even less then a penny per dollar. This makes it highly profitable for the collectors to get you to pay even part of the debt.
The zombie debt collectors are more aggressive, they know once you agree to make a payment, or worse make a small payment this will void the statute of limitation in some states, and make this debt current. A debt that has been off of your credit report can suddenly appear again if you agree to pay them. The best thing to do with these collectors is to hang up. Don’t give them any information don’t even acknowledge that the debt is yours.
Many times the debt they are trying to collect has been paid or discharged in bankruptcy. The collector doesn’t take no for an answer, and the original company that you had the debt with no longer has the records of you paying off the debt because of the time limit they keep old records. Again the best thing to do is to hang up, do not talk to the collector.
You can protect yourself by learning the statute of limitation in your state to see when they can no longer legally collect old debts. Once you have made it to the statute do not give the collector any information or make any promises to pay the debt.
Check your credit report to make sure that they haven’t reactivated the old debt again. You can get a free credit report once a year by law. Some places will send false information to the credit bureau giving wrong dates of when the debt was opened.
Don’t make a settlement payment this can activate the entire debt again.
What you can do is ask them for proof of the debt. By law they have to give you the original debt agreement from the company. Many times they will not have this information due to the original company destroying the records. This should put a stop to them calling and harassing you.
By all means if you are threaten by a debt collector report it to your state’s Attorney General Office. They are not permitted to call before 8am or after 9pm they are not allowed to contact you at work if you tell them not to.
Still the best way to deal with these aggressive zombie collection agencies is not to talk to them, just hang up the phone.