Tips that can help you stop old debts from getting a new life
Do you know that there is a similarity between medicines and debt? The similarity lies in their expiration date. While you may have lamented when your medicines have crossed the expiration date, chances are less that you have felt feel equally bad when your debts crossed the Statute Of Limitations (SOL) period.
It is true that you can't reuse your medicines. However, the same thing can't be told about the debts. Your old debts can revive again because of some costly mistakes. Once the SOL clock on the debt restarts, you become legally liable for the debt again. This means that the collectors/creditors can legally enforce you to pay off the debts. Read along to get acquainted with some tips that can help you prevent old debts from getting a fresh lease of life.
Abstain from reviving your old debts
Here are the 4 tips that can help refrain from giving a new lease of life to the old debts:
1. Be careful when you talk about your debt with the collector
If you get a call from a debt collector on a Monday morning, talk carefully. Don't reveal any debt or financial details to the collector beforehand. If the collector is talking about a debt which has crossed the SOL period, it is advisable to not acknowledge the debt. Once you admit that the debt is yours, the SOL clock will restate again. The collector will ask you several questions regarding debt. Give a negative answer to most of them. Tell him that you are hearing about the debt for the first time. It is not your debt. Ask several questions on the debt and collection agency to the collector instead. Try to make the collector confused.
2. Remember the default date on the debt correctly
Negative items such as delinquent debts can appear on your credit report for only 7 years. Very few people are aware of this fact. The creditors/collectors are required to wipe out the items after the expiration of 7 years. Under federal laws, the creditors/debt collectors are forbidden from manipulating the account numbers. Neither can they re-age the account. However, the creditors/collectors can refuse to remove judgments from your credit report until it expires.
3. Do not hesitate to forward a cease and desist letter
Are you getting several collection calls in the last few days? Did you not tell the collector to stop calling you simply because you are afraid that it will be regarded as admission of debt? If yes, then you are wrong. Under the FDCPA laws, you can tell the collector to stop communicating with you. All you need to do is ask the collector to validate the debt in writing. If the collector fails to comply with your request, then you can forward a Cease and Desist letter to him. Henceforth, the collectors won't be able to disturb you again.
If the debt collector calls you after receiving the Cease and Desist letter, then you can very well sue him. On the other hand, if the collector sues you, then you can defend yourself against the allegations made by him.
4. Refrain from making a partial payment on the debt
If a debt collector tells you that you can get rid of debt by making a partial payment, don't fall for it. Once you make a partial payment on an old debt, the SOL clock restarts. So, make a detailed research prior to signing a written agreement with the debt collectors. Find out the SOL period in your state from the State Attorney General. You can also browse different websites and check out the SOL period in your state. If you have loads of debts, then you need to check the SOL period in your state. This will help you determine which debts you should pay first. For example, you can work towards eliminating the debts which have not crossed the SOL period.
Last but not the least, if the creditor/debt collector has filed a lawsuit against you in the county court even after expiration of the SOL period in your state, you can take legal action against him. Gather all the relevant documents, and submit them to the court as proof that the debt has crossed the SOL period. If the judge finds that the debt has crossed the SOL period, then the case will go in your favor. Make sure you inform the judge that the debt is over the SOL period. Otherwise, the court may issue judgment on the expired debt and you'll be forced to pay back your creditors/collectors.
It is completely your discretion to go to the court, and inform them that the SOL period on the debt has expired. The court has to deal with hundreds of cases everyday. So, they don't have time find out if the SOL period on the debt has crossed.
If a debt collector has secured judgment on a debt which has crossed the SOL period, then you can appeal to the court for vacating it. The FDCPA Act gives this right to the consumers. So, you can very well take advantage of it.