What is Zombie Debt?
Zombie debt is old debt (past the statute of limitations, or already settled) that has come back to haunt you. And sometimes, that resurrected debt the collector is trying to pin on you isn’t even yours!
How do you know if you have it and how do you get ride of it?
First you need to understand what type of zombie debt you are dealing with.
There are two statutes of limitation on your credit report.
- There’s a statute of how long things can report to the credit bureaus. Spoiler: it is seven years for collections.
- Then each State has its own statute of limitations of how long a collection agency or creditor has. They have to sue within that statute time frame, in order to take you to court garnish your wages.
In most states it’s four years but you can just Google it and find out what the statute of limitations is on debt collection in your state.
After You Know the Statute of Limitations for Your Zombie Debt
Let’s say it’s four years and you’re being contacted by a collection agency even though the debt is older than four years.
*Tip – that date is from the date of your last payment or the date of first delinquency.
That’s where the date comes from. So, four years starts at the date of first delinquency or your last payment.
Warning! The first thing for that you need to do is send a debt verification or validation letter. You can find if for free on this site in order to make a copy of a debt validation letter.
The first thing you need to do is get a validation of the debt. This letter is written very specifically, because you don’t want to confirm that the debt is yours by anything you write in your debt verification letter.
The burden of proof is on them to prove that you owe it. So, you never want to confirm it and you never want to make a payment on a zombie debt.
A payment resets the clock. New payment activity will give them four more years to collect and sue you.
So, that’s what you need to do with zombie debt.
- You need to validate it.
- Dispute it.
- Work to remove zombie debt by making the collection agency prove that you owe them money.
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