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View Diary: NYT: Debt Collectors In The E.R. And At Your Bedside During Recovery (168 comments)

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  •  Bill collectors are still after me for (19+ / 0-)

    two visits to an emergency room.  (I couldn't breathe.)  I paid the hospital off entirely when my disability payments came through but too late...they already sent it to the collection agency.  That was something like twelve years ago.

    Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

    by Ice Blue on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:38:47 PM PDT

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    •  If the debt's over 7 years old... (14+ / 0-)

      ...and depending upon a variety of other factors (too many to mention in a blog comment), including where you live, etc., etc., you may be able to discharge the debt with a few letters. Again, there are many aspects to getting this done, and many requirements relating to getting to that result, too; so, I suggest you do some research on your own and see if it's (possible and) worth your time to get this out of your life, and off your credit report, entirely.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:45:23 PM PDT

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      •  It doesn't matter. (11+ / 0-)

        It's a zombie debt and my credit rating is good enough in spite of it.  Besides, I've still got dial up so they're just gonna get a busy signal.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 02:49:10 PM PDT

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      •  No there's not. (3+ / 0-)
        Again, there are many aspects to getting this done, and many requirements relating to getting to that result
        You send a copy of the fucking cancelled check to the debt collector AND the State Attorney General.  Problem solved.

        David Koch is fucking Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

        by PsychoSavannah on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:21:15 PM PDT

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        •  Actually, there are a lot of aspects. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DollyMadison, KenBee

          It really depends on if the debt is out of the statute of limitations or not.  If it is outside the statute of limitations, you can just tell the debt collector to go pound sand.  you don't need to send anything to anyone.  If the debt collector contacts you again, it may be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and those are worth $1,000 per violation to the debtor (i.e., you can sue the debt collector for up to $1,000 for each violation after you've asked them not to contact you again).

          For debts still in the statute of limitations, you can also tell the debt collector to go pound sand and still hit them with FDCPA violations if they continue to harass you after you ask them to stop contacting you.  You should also ask the debt collector for "validation" of the debt--in writing.  A letter to the AG will just go in the circular file--it's not a crime.  If they can't validate the debt (and if, as in bobswern's case, it was paid off, they won't be able to), then you tell them to never contact you again, and you're back to $1,000 a pop if they do after that.

          If they can validate the debt, on the other hand, it's just best to pay it.  The consequences of non-payment, especially if you tell the debt collector to go screw himself, are worse than payment.  They're very likely to sue as soon as you tell them not to contact you and try to get a judgment against you.  From there, they have a variety of options to force payment, depending on state law, ranging from wage garnishments to tax refund seizures.

          •  Can you pay off the original debt, and have that (0+ / 0-)

            "count," if the debt has already been sold?  Companies dont' necessarily do debt collection as agents of the person owed money; they buy debts (at a discounted price, of course).  I thought that even if you want to square things up, once the debt is sold, you have to pay the owner of the debt.  Even if you pay the full amount to the original service-provider, you'd still have to pay the debt owner too.

            --------------- --------------- --------------- "Every part of you belongs to you." -- from a story of Virginia under the Personhood law. Read it here.

            by Fiona West on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:55:16 PM PDT

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            •  From what I've read, some do, some don't. (0+ / 0-)

              It depends on if the debt was actually sold, or if it was farmed out to the collection agency but not actually sold to them.  You're right if it was sold; in those cases, the original creditor should tell you you have to deal with the collection agency.

      •  If there's a judgment, though... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peptabysmal, KenBee

        ...you can't get out from under it for ten years from the date the judgment was entered, with another ten year rider if the plaintiff/creditor chooses.  It's one reason collection agencies will hurry to file close to the time the statute of limitations is about to run out.

        They can also reset the clock if the debtor pays anything--even $0.01--on the zombie debt.  It's a reason not to talk to collection agencies at all if the debt is outside of the statute of limitations and there's no judgment.

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