Posts Tagged: ‘zombie debt’

Florida Ranks in the Top 5 States for Invalid and Illegal Debt Collection

April 3, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Invalid and illegal debt collection practices are at an all-time high across the country, and Florida is no exception.  Data was analyzed from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) to identify the states that engaged in these deceptive and illegal practices.  ‘Zombie’ debt collections are rampant in South Florida and involve attempts to collect debts not owed, those that were already paid or discharged in bankruptcy, debts owed by someone else, or are a result of identity theft. Typically, this debt collection practice is done by third-parties, who have collected these debts written off by the original creditor.

The five states in which zombie debt collection is most prevalent are:

  1. Delaware– Delaware leads the nation when it comes to the likelihood of having to deal with a collection agency trying to collect a debt you do not owe.  With a total of 422 complaints in the Consumer Complaint Database, Delaware has a per-capita rate of 44.72 complaints per 100,000 residents.
  2. Florida– Florida comes in at number two with 42.43 complaints per 100,000 residents (a total of 8,314 complaints in all).
  3. Georgia– Georgia trails Florida by two hundredths in its per capita incidence rate of reports of zombie debt collection attempts, with 4,258 complaints registered and a population of almost exactly 10 million residents.
  4. Nevada– Like Florida, Nevada has incidence rates of illegal debt collection attempts well above the national average of 25.84 per 100,000.
  5. Maryland– Maryland has 38.65 complaints per 100,000 residents. The affluent and suburban Prince George’s County has an incidence rate of 66.6 per 100,000 residents.

Knowing which debt collection agencies have a history of practicing zombie debt collection in your state can help you avoid being a victim.  The three debt collection agencies most likely to engage in invalid and illegal debt collection practices in the country are:

  1. Encore Capital Group
  2. Enhanced Recovery Company (ERC)
  3. Portfolio Recovery Associates

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

‘Zombie’ Debt Collections Plague South Florida

March 28, 2018 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent study, invalid and illegal debt collections are at a record high in the Sunshine State.  The practice also referred to as ‘zombie debt collections’ is defined as attempts to collect debts not owed, those that were already paid or discharged in bankruptcy, debts owed by someone else, or are a result of identity theft. Typically, this debt collection practice is done by third-parties, who have collected these debts written off by the original creditor.

If you feel you have been a victim of zombie debt collection, first request that the debt collector provide you written documentation verifying the debt and check for any discrepancies. It is important that you respond to all court summonses to ensure that a debt collector does not win a court case by default.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission declared in a new report that Florida is the scam capital of the nation, with nearly 2.7 million consumer complaints made to the agency in 2017. The top categories included: debt collection, impostor scams, identity theft, phone and mobile, and banks and lenders.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are struggling with out of control credit card debt, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

One Wrong Move Can Bring your ‘Zombie’ Debt Back to Life

October 31, 2016 Posted by kingcade

In the spirit of Halloween, we want to warn you about zombie debt.  As the name suggests, zombie debt is a debt that you thought was dead but has come back to life.  This could be a debt you already paid off, a debt you settled with a creditor, a debt where the statute of limitations has expired, a debt that was wiped out in bankruptcy, or a debt that was never yours to begin with.

Zombie debts are old debts.  That in itself is what makes them so dangerous to consumers, especially when debt collectors apply high-pressure tactics to have you pay up.

Another downside, these debts are oftentimes hard to verify. As debts are sold and resold, information can vanish, leading collectors to seek payment on erroneous debt.  Making even a single payment on an old debt can reset the statute of limitations, leaving you vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Debt collection is the largest source of consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with more than 85,000 complaints filed in 2015.  The leading complaint: Consumers being harassed for debts they did not owe.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim and put zombie debt to rest for good:

  • Request a validation letter.  This will outline details, including the original creditor, the amount of the debt and how you can challenge it. This will help you verify that it is your debt and has not already been paid.
  • If you already paid the debt: Write a letter to the collections agency demanding that it cease contact. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act requires them to do so. Remember: You cannot legally be sued for a debt that is past the statute of limitations, even though collectors may still try.
  • Pull your credit report to determine whether it is being reported to the credit bureau.  You can do so for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Know your rights. Do not let a debt collector bully you.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you against abusive collection tactics.
  • If the debt is not yours, it is otherwise invalid: Write a letter challenging the debt within 30 days of the initial contact.
  • If you do owe the debt and can pay, resolving an unpaid account can end the collection calls and improve your credit score. Get any payment agreement in writing before sending money.
  • If you do owe the debt and cannot pay: Tell the creditor you cannot afford to pay. Never give your credit card information or bank account information to a creditor.  Instead, pursue debt relief through credit counseling or bankruptcy.

No matter what, be proactive. Do not ignore anything you receive in the mail from a debt collector and make sure and keep all of your correspondence in writing.

At the law firm of Kingcade & Garcia we want you to have a safe and Happy Halloween this year!   If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/10/31/debt-collectors-zombie-debt-payment/92666504/

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/10/31/dont-get-bit-by-zombie-debt-this-halloween/

 

State of Oklahoma takes steps to Prevent the Collection of “Zombie Debt”

March 12, 2012 Posted by kingcade

Senator Gary Stanislawski introduced a bill to the Oklahoma state legislature, which would make it illegal for debt collection companies to try and collect on debt that has exceeded its statute of limitations, otherwise known as, “zombie debt.” The purpose of the bill is to make it illegal for collection companies to collect this type of debt. The bill would also require collection companies to present proof that they own the debt and can legally collect on it. Another term of the bill would create a requirement that debtor’s information be passed to the entity that purchased it.

The debt collection companies who purchase “zombie debt” from credit companies tend to pay very little for this type of debt. For this reason, even if the collection companies are only able to receive a small payment amount from the debtor, they are still making a substantial profit from this practice. If passed, the bill will help those individuals being harassed for debt that they legally no longer owe.

To read more on this story visit: http://www.chapter7.com/ok-bill-would-ban-collection-of-zombie-credit-debt/

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.