If you think old debts can't come back to haunt you, think again. The collection of zombie debts (very old debts) is becoming more and more common as third-party collection agencies attempt to collect debts that you may or may not be responsible for.
If you get a call from a debt collector about a debt you are unaware of or unsure if you owe, don't panic -- knowing what to do in the event a zombie debt surfaces can help protect your credit and save you money.
Quite simply, zombie debts are old, previously uncollected debts that the original creditor has stopped trying to collect. Zombie debt collectors are third-party collection companies that purchase unpaid debts for pennies on the dollar. Once purchased, they completely own the debt and any money collected is kept solely by them for their own profit.
Zombie debts are usually years old and many have surpassed the statute of limitations. This type of debt collector rarely check the validity of the debt, and many practice unscrupulous and even illegal debt collection practices by calling at all hours and demanding money. Often, these calls will come from blocked or "unknown" numbers, making them difficult to trace.
Zombie debt collectors will almost always try and settle the debt with you by offering a "limited time deal" to pay less than the original amount of the debt. If you receive a phone call about a debt you are not sure you owe, follow these tips:
Knowing your rights is the best defense against zombie debts that can rise from the dead and haunt you and your credit score. If a zombie debt collector contacts you, follow the procedures outlined above to ensure your credit rating stays safe.