The Attack of The Zombie Theft
It happened years ago…so far ago that you erased it out of your mind. Your wallet was taken off the movie counter when you were buying popcorn, your number was lifted off of a gas station receipt, or your credit card was taken out of your purse when it was hanging over your chair at the local diner. You didn’t know the credit card was gone immediately; it wasn’t until you saw that $1500 credit card bill for clothing you didn’t purchase that you realized you were robbed.
At that point, you immediately contact the credit card company to report the card stolen. They understand and tell you that you will not be responsible for the charges. Thank goodness, you say with a sigh of relief. Life goes on.
Then, one day out of the blue, you get a call from a collection agency that claims that you not only still owe the original $1500, but also owe thousands of dollars in interest. According to the collection agency, there is no record of the theft and they warn you that if you do not pay back the debt ASAP, your credit will be permanently ruined, and even worse, they will look into legal action to recover the monies. How can this be? What is going on?
The debt lives and even though the company did write it off, a collection agency purchased it and is trying to wring the money out of you with the threat of knocking down the credit rating you have worked so hard to build and achieve. These debts, and all the personal information that accompany the debts, are purchased for anywhere from a fraction of a penny to twelve cents on the dollar. The collection agencies will then do anything they can to get as much of this money, including making empty threats and at times harassing consumers into paying just to be left alone.
So what do you do?
Keep records–if you are the victim of identity or credit card theft and you find that there are charges attributed to your name, you need to keep track of the crime. Police reports, written letters to the credit card company with a certified receipt attached, phone logs of credit card employees…all of these items could be very helpful.
See if you can get a written letter from the creditor releasing you from your debt.
Lastly, keep these records in your file cabinet in case the debt ever comes back to haunt you.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, and you are receiving countless calls from collectors trying to make you pay this debt, fight for your rights and call 1-800 NOT FAIR or drop us a line. We would be glad to discuss the situation with you to see how we can help. Our service is 100% cost-free.