Originally posted 2010-03-27 23:47:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You’ve probably been told that a debt discharged in bankruptcy is not collectable. But that won’t stop some shady debt collectors from trying.

In some cases, they try many years later – long after the 4 year statute of limitations has run out. You may become a target because they’re working old files in hopes of making a few dollars, or because they’ve seen your credit report and know that you have now rebuilt your credit and are paying all your accounts as agreed. That’s a sign that you probably have the money and can pay them if they can convince you that you must.

Here’s how they do it: They file a lawsuit against you to gain a judgment. Then, instead of actually having you served with the lawsuit, they use what is commonly referred to as "gutter service." This means that the process server literally throws the lawsuit papers into the gutter, so you never see them. Thus, with no answer from you, the judgment is granted.

But you don’t have to pay it.

Not only are you not obligated to pay a debt discharged under a bankruptcy proceeding, you aren’t obligated to pay a debt if it has gone uncollected for 4 years since your last charge or payment.

If this happens to you, simply tell the collector that you have no obligation to pay. Fax and mail a certified letter to the collection agency telling them WHY you are not obligated to pay. Include proof that the debt was discharged in your bankruptcy, or that the debt is so old that it is no longer collectable.

Some collectors will try to scare you into sending a payment – and that is the worst thing you could do. Just one dollar paid on that debt will re-set the statute of limitations, and they can legally hound you for another 4 years.

Other debt collectors will cite your moral obligation to pay the debt. Perhaps you agree that you have a moral obligation – but not to the collection agency. If you have an obligation to anyone, it would be the person or company that extended credit to you all those years ago.

The problem for you, right now, is that this shady debt collector will have placed a notice on your credit bureau file – and it will affect your credit scores. In this case, your next move is to dispute the claim.

You’ll need to file a dispute report with each of the three credit bureaus. They will then have 30 days in which to investigate and when they find that it is, indeed, a debt that was discharged years ago, they will remove the information from your credit report.

All negative information remains on your credit report for 7 years, so if your debt is only 5 or 6 years old, don’t expect it to be removed just yet. The bankruptcy itself will remain for 10 years.

http://www.creditscorecowboy.com is the #1 source on the planet for a free credit report, identity theft software and a blog with a wealth of information writtten by lending professionals that know about credit and what determines ones creditworthiness.

Article Source: ArticleSpan

Filed under: Debt Collection Articles

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!