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For many, zombies are fictional, back-from-the-dead beings that chase victims. For others, zombie-chasing is all too real. Unfortunately, zombie debt can be a real-life horror movie for many. If you are being contacted by collectors for debts you thought were long gone, you may not know how to proceed. The following blog explores your rights regarding these debts and why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced San Diego County debt collection harassment lawyer to help you navigate these overwhelming matters.

What Is Zombie Debt?

Zombie debt is any debt that you thought had been paid off or settled, is past the statute of limitations, or has been discharged during bankruptcy that someone is making an effort to collect on.

Essentially, a collector is trying to collect a debt they have no legal right to pursue. In some instances, the debt may not even be in your name or was the result of identity theft. Regardless, they will still try to collect the funds by any means necessary, including relying on FDCPA violations.

Do Collection Efforts Violate the FDCPA?

If you are being contacted about a debt that has fallen off your credit report or that you remember paying, it’s imperative to proceed carefully. First and foremost, you should never make a payment toward the debt or promise to submit a payment. This is because if the debt in question is past the statute of limitations, meaning the collector is not legally entitled to the funds, it can reset the clock on the debt. As such, you can be held liable for the entire amount owed, plus interest.

If you are pursued for a zombie debt, it is likely a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This is because the debt is likely so old, or you are no longer legally responsible for paying the debt. As such, collectors have no legal right to the funds they are pursuing.

If contacted about a zombie debt, the first thing you should do is ask for a debt validation letter. This requires the collector to prove the debt is yours by providing a written letter about the balance of the debt, who the original lender was, and the date you signed for the debt. When you receive the letter, you should check it against your records to determine whether or not the debt is yours, if it has been paid off, or whether it’s past the statute of limitations for collection.

Can a Sacramento Lawyer Help if I’m Being Chased by Zombie Debt?

When zombie debt impacts your life, it’s imperative to understand that a debt collection harassment lawyer from Barthel Legal can help you navigate these complex times. Not only can our firm help you prove the debt is not valid, but we may also be able to fight for statutory damages for FDCPA violations. Contact our dedicated team today to learn how we can help you.