Have you ever received a phone call or letter about a debt that you aren’t sure you owe? This is called zombie debt, and these back-from-the-dead debts are lurching your way.

What is zombie debt? Well, it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to sell their old debt to third-party debt collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. This old debt is so cheap that the zombie collectors will stand to make a substantial profit if they can convince you to start paying on the debt.

Debt collectors go after people in an attempt to get them to pay debt that may have already been paid, may be past the statute of limitations, or may have been discharged through bankruptcy. They also use unfair tactics, such as getting you to acknowledge the debt in order to restart the statute of limitations. Here are three tips to use if you have to deal with these collectors:

  1. Get it in writing. If you receive phone calls from collectors, they are required to show you proof that you owe the debt. If they are unwilling to show you an account history or prove that you owe the debt, then they don’t have the right to take legal action against you.

  2. Don’t admit to the debt over the phone. Engaging with these debt collectors over the phone can have unexpected consequences. Some collectors will harass you and lie about the status of the debt. State that you want them to send you a bill and get off the phone.

  3. Know your rights. If you have been through a bankruptcy with Castle Law Office, you should know which debts have been discharged. Additionally, you should know your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These laws have been put in place to protect you.


You should always consult a knowledgeable Kansas City bankruptcy attorney if you have questions about bankruptcy or debt. Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.


Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City