Zombie debt….it just won’t die…
I confess…I loooove Zombie movies. George Romero is one of my all time favorite directors. He produced Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Living Dead and other classic brain eating films. Its great to see it on the silver screen. Its horrible when a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy or had been previously paid, re-appears on your credit report. This kind of reappearing debt is now called “Zombie Debt.” The culprits behind this voodoo are credit card companies that sell off this debt and collection agencies that love to re-age the debt. Bad debts must be removed from your credit bureau after seven years. Collection agencies re-age the debt so that, like a social disease, it always stays with you for life or until you pay it. Take heart (and don’t let the mad scientist at the banks and collection agencies rip it out of you) and know that you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA“) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA“).
If a little zombie re-appears on your credit report, file an online dispute with the credit reporting agency such as Experian, Equifax or Transunion (“credit reporting agencies).. Its very easy to do and its far less painful than having your credit rating affected by the little creature. The credit reporting agency then has 30 days to verify the zombie with the credit furnisher (e.g. the creditor). If the debt is not verified within that time period, the CRA has to remove the zombie from your credit report. “BUT WHAT IF THE DEBT IS VERIFIED AND IS NOT REMOVED?” you might ask. Hire a law firm to file a lawsuit under the FDCPA and the FCRA as the debt is not yours. When you prevail on your claim or settle it, the zombie debt can actually make you some money and it will cause the credit reporting agencies and/or the credit furnisher to pay your attorneys fees.
Don’t let Zombie debt devour your credit rating. Instead, use it to your advantage.