That’s Not My Debt!

How can you be sued for someone else’s debt? SnAKE

By a company you never heard of?

And that company bought the debt from another

company that you never dealt with.

Many of my bankruptcy clients have debts like this, they have no idea

who it is or what it is about, but, if you are filing bankruptcy anyway,

there is nothing to be gained by taking additional action against the snake company.

Unless there was a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation.

Zombie debt is one term out there.  Most debts are bought and sold, like mortgages.

Original creditors, like banks, would rather bundle up their bad debts, and auction them off for pennies on the dollar, than chase people themselves.

The problem is, they sell piles of computer records, which may or may not be accurate, seldom if ever include things like original contracts or monthly statements.

And the debt buyers don’t care.  They just take what they get, and harass and sue.

Slightly more scrupulous debt collectors file actual legal cases in bulk, seeking judgments like the one obtained against Amrit Singh, so they can have local authorities use wage garnishment or other options to collect payment. Debt collectors often don’t inform the debtor about these cases, and even if they do, the case is in the debt collector’s name, which confuses consumers who have never heard of these companies to whom they allegedly owe money. Ninety-eight percent of the time, the defendant in the case is either absent, or has no legal representation.  (David Dayen, “Someone Else’s Debt Could Ruin Your Credit Rating

Some debt collectors don’t bother with the cost of filing suit, they just throw something on your credit report.

(Another reason to monitor those)

Then, when you go for a mortgage refinance, or for that new car, you are told this blot on your credit either disqualifies you altogether from financing, or sticks you with a higher interest rate.

Then you pay it off in a hurry, because  you have no time to sue them for messing up your credit.

And you do not need to file bankruptcy.

IF you fight these suits in court, your odds of success are high.

Of course, lawyers cost money.  Unless there is an FDCPA violation that can result in getting your lawyer paid.

Either way, best to have an experienced consumer lawyer check things out if you get sued by some company you never heard of.


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