Bryan P. Keenan & Associates, P.C.
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Bryan P. Keenan

Night of the living debt collectors

After getting their start in low-budget, black-and-white horror movies, zombies have gained prominence in many genres. While the “walking dead” enjoy their share of fans, many enthusiasts become fanatics, creating doomsday scenarios of a real-life zombie apocalypse.

Those fears of attacks are no longer fantasy. Different kinds of zombies have ambled and stumbled into reality. They have found new ways to “make contact” with their victims.

Terror has taken a new form as people throughout the country are discovering that financial liabilities long considered “dead” are rising from the grave. Debts from long ago were charged off, taken off the lender’s books because the debtor was unable to pay or could not be located.

A new type of collector is finding value in these deceased debts by buying them for pennies on the dollar. Paying so little usually means that the past-due amounts are likely invalid. Regardless, the reanimated delinquencies are still returning in the form of creditor harassment via threats of wage garnishment and lawsuits.

When confronted by these zombie collectors, debtors may not remember it because it is no longer on their credit report. Others forgot to include it on bankruptcy petitions. With many states having statutes of limitations on collection actions, the debtor may not be legally required to settle it.

Some “do’s and don’ts” in handling zombie debt collectors include:

  • Do not acknowledge that the debt is yours, because it may not be
  • Do not contact or talk to a collector until you receive proof
  • Do ask for an address and send them a certified letter, asking them for evidence
  • Do save any written correspondence sent to you
  • Do not pay any amount of unverified debt as it will restart the statute of limitations

In the end, common sense should prevail if you use what movie and television zombies yearn for the most: your brain.

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Bryan P. Keenan & Associates, P.C.

993 Greentree Road
Suite 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Phone: 412-923-4941
Fax: 412-444-0158
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