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Old credit card debt


Siamese9
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I'm trying to figure out the steps I should take.

In 1995 I had some credit card that I did have money to pay back. I looked today at my files at the card statements and saw that in 1997 and 1998 the cArd debt was in collections.

I just received a letter from a collection agency stating they want to settle this debt.

I am preparing a letter to write to them but before I send it I want to make sure I don't get myself in a bad situation.

I have read many posts here on this site and I saw that I have to be careful in stating anything that the debt was mine.

Do I first write a letter to ask them to show all the regular stuff... Like proof they are collections and when the last payment was... Etc.

On the letter it left last payment section blank. I know that in NY the statute of limitations is definately past so what do I send.

I also have been looking at my credit report for years now and I looked again and saw NOTHING to do with this card at all. Nothing on public records or court stuff.

If a collection agency sells it to another agency and then another and another does that keep the statute of limitations off the table for me. Or is it really start from the time of last payment!!!

Mind u I'm in my forties now and I didn't claim to be a very smart 20 year old!!! Ugh!!!

Can u tell I'm confused!!

Thank u

Chemene

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Sounds like your past the SOL from what BV is saying. If so, just send a regular DV letter CMRRR telling them that you dispute this bill and that you request validation as well as telling them that all phone calls are inconvient at any time to any numbers. After that and you know for a fact that it's past SOL send them a C&D or FOAD letter. DO NOT pay a dime or you will RESTART the SOL.

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@Siamese9

 

You could send a debt validation request.  I think that simple is best.  They are not required to provide proof that they can collect or the date of last payment.  All they have to do is pretty much state the name of the OC and the amount of the debt.  The purpose of validation is to make sure that the wrong person is not being contacted.

 

Date

 

Your name

Address

 

Debt Collector's name

Address

 

RE:  Debt Collector's Account Number

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I dispute the above referenced account and request validation. 

 

Your name

 

I always included a copy of their dunning letter with my DV letter.  Be sure to send it by certified mail, return receipt requested.

 

They cannot attempt to collect again until they validate.   However, before validating, they can send a letter stating their intentions such as closing their files.  They just can't request payment.

 

OR, if you want to nip this in the bud, you can send a cease and desist.  No explanations.  Just tell them to never contact you again.

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after reading all your ideas - i decided to just write the C&D letter.  The debt is not on my credt report and the SOL is definately over 14 years old. 

 

I am wondering if there is any thig else that could happen to me if i write this to nip it in the butt.

 

 I dont understand the idea of a CA being sold the debt.  I highly doubt after 19 years the original creditor sold this to them.

 

Am i wrong???

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First, CAs don't buy debts...junk debt buyers (JDBs) buy debts...CAs just do the hassling. 

 

Second, its quite likely that a debt this old has been sold multiple times.  You're right that the OC probably didn't hold onto it for so long.  Chances are, the current JDB just got you name and account number on a list from the previous owner...no real proof you ever owed anybody money, let alone the current JDB.

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I read an interview with a JDB, a few months ago, where they were asked why they tried to collect on out of statute debt, even out of statute debt of dead people, by contacting their living relatives.

 

They gave this sincere sounding answer about how they knew that people had guilt over unpaid debts, and they wanted to help them clean up their consciences.

 

Since the OP's debt is so old, it's likely that the current JDB (and the one who was interviewed, by extension) paid less that half of a penny per dollar on the debt.

 

Helping people clean their consciences is lucrative, I'd say. 

 

The real answer for why they contact you is that they know that they'll convince enough people to pay to make it profitable. Sounds like the OP isn't one of them.

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If you are sure that this debt is as old as you claim, then yes, a C&D is a better idea. With something this old, they probably will not respond to a DV.
 

I also have to agree that the reason the JDBs purchase these debts is because even if they can get 5% - 10% of them collected, that is a huge profit for them. I am doubting most people pay absent of the JDB breaking the law however.

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If you are sure that this debt is as old as you claim, then yes, a C&D is a better idea. With something this old, they probably will not respond to a DV.

 

I also have to agree that the reason the JDBs purchase these debts is because even if they can get 5% - 10% of them collected, that is a huge profit for them. I am doubting most people pay absent of the JDB breaking the law however.

 

5-10% is a huge profit when you consider their biggest expense is one guy who mails out the letter and the stamp to send it.  If 10% of the accounts they buy pay something they make money.

 

I am sure that some people pay even if the JDB doesn't break the law.  There is a reason these bottom feeders subscribe to certain CRA "lists" so that they know who is potentially collectible and who is not.  It is most likely the primary reason that when someone who has had credit problems in the past apps for a mortgage these old debts crop up.  The consumer might pay out of fear it will delay their desired purchase or damage their credit if they do have to fight it.  There is probably a really small percentage that pays out of true guilt despite what the JDB asserts.

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