How to Stop Stale Debt Collection Calls
Collection Calls are always a nuisance, but they are even more annoying when they involve a debt that is too old to be collected through a lawsuit. These old debts are the ones where the statute of limitations has long since passed, making them “stale debts” as the biz refers to them. Such debt is big business for the debt collectors however, as they are purchased for pennies on the dollar from the creditor who has already written the off the debt. And it is sold super cheap because the party buying the debt knows that collecting it must be done by means other than filing suit, usually involving some type of harassment or deception towards the consumer. These debts are in large part virtually worthless but the prospect of receiving payment can mean huge returns for the collector. Greater risk means greater returns. For example, if the account totals $5,000, the collector may buy a stale debt for $20 and if it collects even a part of the total owed, can make extreme profits.
Once the collector purchases a debt, it will proceed to contact the debtor – even though that person can no longer be legally forced to pay if the statute of limitations has passed and it is raised as ad defense.. Collection calls and emails then come pouring in as the collector tries anything that will work ,to get the consumer to agree to pay something, then ratchet up the demands to push for as much as can be obtained. If the consumer makes payments, whatever is received is found money because there is no way, other than empty threats and harassment, to force payment. Even the smallest payment results in substantial profit for the debt collector when the debt is stale.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers who have been harassed or deceived into paying stale debts. An important thing to remember however is that the consumer must not give in to threats and must know how to assert the statute of limitations as a defense. The best way to start is with a cease and desist letter sent to the collector by certified mail, retaining copies for record-keeping purposes. Such a letter forces the collector to quit harassing you and if they fail to do so, a violation of the FDCPA results.
Want to know more? Call us today for advice on how to deal with collection agencies that won’t play by the rules regarding your debts.