Dirty Tricks in Debt Collection

What if you had financial troubles 15 or 20 years ago and finally took bankruptcy in order to get a fresh start? You were no doubt told that the debts discharged in that bankruptcy were gone forever – not collectable.

And even if you didn’t file bankruptcy, but merely quit paying a credit card - after 4 years the statute of limitations runs out and they can no longer legally collect from you.

That’s the truth, but the truth doesn’t stop some debt collectors from interfering in your life.

You see, those old files are hanging around in debt collectors’ offices. And every once in a while they look at them, and check your current credit report. If you’ve gotten back on your feet and your credit is looking pretty good, you become their target.

Why? Because they can see that you have money again. All they have to do is convince you that you must pay that old bill.

So how can they do that? First they file a lawsuit against you. Then, they hire a person to serve you who provides what is commonly known as “gutter service.” That means instead of actually serving you with the notice of suit, they toss the papers in the gutter. I don’t know how they get around the fact that you’re supposed to sign for receipt, but when did crooks worry about the legalities?

Now that you’ve “been served” with notice of the lawsuit, you have a set number of days in which to reply. When you don’t do that, the court will rule against you by default. So now there’s a judgment against you – and that shows up on your credit report. Then they either begin hounding you for it, or sit back and wait for you to rush to payment in order to get it off your credit report.

Pretty slick – and pretty crooked. But you still don’t have to pay it.

Should this happen to you, simply Fax and mail a certified letter to the collection agency letting them know that you aren’t going to pay, and don’t have to pay, and WHY you are not obligated to pay. Include proof that the debt was discharged in your bankruptcy, or that you have no made no payment or charges on the account for at least 4 years.

Whatever you do, don’t let them scare you into giving them any money. Even a single dollar paid on that debt will re-set the statute of limitations, and they can legally hound you for another 4 years.

Next, you need to dispute the claim with each of the credit bureaus – and they have forms for that. Once you file a dispute, they’ll investigate – and they’ll find that the debt is not owed. Then it will come off your credit report – as long as the proper time has passed. A bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years, while other information remains for 7 years.

Author: Mike Clover

CreditScoreQuick.com your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and ground breaking credit news.

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