When it come to recovering zombie debt, debt collection agencies will go to great lengths to try and pressure you into paying back the debt even when you are no longer legally responsible to do so. In fact, it seems that they are now teaming up with credit card companies to try and trick people into paying debts that they don’t legally have to pay and tinapbeana is reporting in the forums:
Background: apparently I have a debt with Wachovia from 2001. Long story short, I was much younger, naive, and trusting and found out about the debt after the fact. The debt is old enough that at this point the 3 year time period specified by my state has expired and I’m pretty sure I can have the item removed and all collections stopped via a ‘cease and desist’
Anyways, I get a letter in the mail this week marked ‘Visa’. I always open these so I know if I need to shred or burn it. Turns out this letter marked ‘Visa’ is from Resurgent Capital and they have an “amazing offer” just for me.
They’ve partnered with Wachovia, and the deal they’re offering me is this:
- I owe Wachovia $553
- Resurgent is offering me a ‘Visa’ with a $490 limit. This card will be instantly maxed out with my Wachovia debt
- Resurgent will kindly ‘forgive’ me the remaining $63 in debt to Wachovia
- All I have to do is make minimum monthly payments like on any credit card
Here are the catches:
- Accepting this offer resets the collections and reporting clock
- Accepting this offer allows them to collect a debt which, according to legislation in my state, is no longer collectible
- The ‘new’ balance on my credit card would be subject to an 18.99% interest rate
- Defaulting on the card would reinstate my balance with Wachovia under the new ‘clock’ and leave me owing fees and interest to Resurgent
It’s obvious that they are trying to collect on this old debt that they have no legal right to by making it sound like they are giving her a “deal” on a credit card – and luckily she was smart enough to spot that the only ones that would benefit from this would be the companies.
If you do have old debts that were never paid, but have exceeded the time limitation in the state you live on repayment, be very wary of any third parties coming back and trying to get you to pay these old debts. There are a lot of them out there and they are getting more aggressive and using misleading tactics (as this example shows) to try to get you to make the debt active again.