Don’t Pay that Old Debt!

The debt collectors have a new trick up their sleeves:  trying to get YOU to revive an otherwise dead debt.

For example, let’s say that you charged up your credit card back in your college days 10 years (well, maybe 20 or 30 for some of us) ago.  You were paying it off for awhile, and then due to circumstances beyond your control (illness, loss of job, etc. – it happens to ALL of us), you were unable to maintain payments and your account went into default 5 or so years ago.  Unbeknownst to you (because debt buyers don’t always send the legal notices that they are supposed to), your account is charged off and sold for pennies on the dollar to NaaaaastyDebtBuyer, Inc.  (make sure you pronounce the “aaaaaa” part of NaaaaastyDebtBuyer with a little ‘tude).

Now, Naaaaaaasty DB (we’ll call them NDB from here on out) wants to make their money back.  And then some.  And then some more.  And how are they going to make their millions and millions of dollars?  (think cliche photo of Dr. Evil)  By collecting those dollars from YOU, of course!  Silly.

So they send you a letter asking that you pay them.  And offering you a “great deal” to settle your account for 30% of the balance (which, by the way, is likely still more than your original principal balance).  And then they put in this really small line in there along the lines of the debt being too old to take legal action, but that its best to make payments.  They think they are so slick.  Why are they so slick?  Because they are trying to TRICK you into making a payment on an old debt for which the statute of limitations (a legal barrier for filing a lawsuit to collect an old debt) has expired.  And this is likely a violation of federal and Florida laws.

What happens when you make that payment out of the goodness of your heart?  You restart the statute of limitations.  Now NDB has four more years to file a lawsuit against you.  And add on more fees.  And costs.  And interest.  And make their millions and millions of dollars.

But, now that you’ve read my article, you aren’t going to revive that old debt.  No.  You are going to #slay (a technical term for when a person “Litigates Like a GIRL,” usually followed by a “#yaaas”).  And you are going to protect your rights by sending a cease and desist letter or speaking to a licensed attorney.  Like me (shameless plug).  But in all seriousness, think about what you are paying and read the documents that debt collectors send you.  If you have any questions or concerns about what you are reading or receiving, or what the consequences of paying a debt buyer may be, please PLEASE contact a licensed attorney to help you out.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor does this article purport to give legal advice.  Everyone’s situation is different.  If you have legal questions, you should contact a licensed attorney.  Written by Shera E. Anderson, Esq. in Sunrise, Florida.

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One thought on “Don’t Pay that Old Debt!

  1. Pingback: Consumer Law Lingo: What is a Debt Buyer? | Litigate Like a girl

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