Dear Acclaim Agenda Adviser,I accept been accepting belletrist from a debt beneficiary for about 20 years adage I owe a antithesis of $18,000 on a acclaim card. I accept never responded to them and there is annihilation on my acclaim report. In the 20 years they accept been afterwards me, I accept confused four times and anniversary time they acquisition me. What is this, and what can I do to stop them?– Ginny
Dear Ginny,Unfortunately, creditors and debt collectors can attack to aggregate an old debt ad infinitum. What they can’t do is sue you for the debt afterwards your state’s statute of limitations has passed, which has apparently happened in your case. The debt beneficiary — which apparently bought your debt from the acclaim agenda issuer for pennies on the dollar — is acquisitive you don’t apperceive that or that you will amuse an old debt out of some abiding moral obligation.
Here’s the thing: This debt can’t aching you. It’s too old. The beneficiary can’t get a acumen adjoin you from the courts, and the bad history of that debt is too old to be begin on your acclaim report. Negative items abatement off your acclaim address afterwards seven years from the date of the aboriginal crime (bankruptcies booty 10 years from the cloister filing), beneath the Fair Acclaim Reporting Act. So, the debt beneficiary can’t say the debt will aching your credit, because that is a lie and a abuse of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.
Now, this is how you can get the belletrist to stop. Address a letter of your own, adage to stop contacting you. Copy the letter and accelerate the aboriginal by certified mail to the debt collector. Get a acknowledgment cancellation for the letter to almanac that the beneficiary accustomed the letter. The U.S. Postal Service accuse $2.55 for a mail cancellation and $1.25 for an email receipt.
The beneficiary cannot acquaintance you afresh already they accept your letter beneath the FDCPA. There are two exceptions. A debt beneficiary can acquaintance you to affirm there will be no added acquaintance or to acquaint you of a specific action, such as filing a lawsuit. In your case, the debt beneficiary can’t do the latter.
If for some acumen you adjudge to pay the debt, accomplish abiding you pay it in abounding or achieve the debt for an agreed amount. If you accelerate a small, good-faith acquittal that doesn’t amuse the debt, you restart the statute of limitations on the debt’s activity span. That agency the debt beneficiary again has the adeptness to sue you for the debt.
If the debt beneficiary gets a acumen for the debt, that acumen can appearance up on your acclaim address because, as a accessible record, it’s counted as a abstracted annual from the aboriginal delinquency, charge-off and collections annual of the debt.
So, address the letter, and either pay all or nothing. The best is yours.
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To ask a catechism of the Acclaim Agenda Adviser, go to the “Ask the Experts” folio and baddest “Credit Cards.” Read added columns by the Acclaim Agenda Adviser. Follow Janna Herron on Twitter.
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