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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/you-dont-have-to-prove-anything-it-is-the-debt-31042530.aspx

Subject:  Re: Help with a Credit Collection Agency Date:  12/30/2013  12:05 PM
Author:  Fuskie Number:  307633 of 308881

YOU don't have to prove anything. It is the debt collection agency that is required to prove to you that you owe the debt. If it is from 2005, the statute of limitations may have run out so that you can't be sued for it, so any threats of legal action are probably empty. Have you checked your credit report to see if this debt has been reported? If not, that should be your first step.

You have 2 options - you can pay the money if you feel you may in fact owe it, or you can make the debt collector prove you owe the debt. Without direct evidence, you will have to decide whether their proof is sufficient. And then you will have to decide whether you want to honor it or leave the collector hanging on the statute of limitations.

From ClarkHoward.com:

f you legitimately owe a debt, you have specific rights under federal law. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when dealing with collectors:

- Always record any calls from/to a collector.

- If your debt is outside the statute of limitations, you are not required to pay up. However, you should honor your obligations when you're financially able to do so.

- You have the right to tell a collector never to contact you again. Use a drop dead letter and send it via certified mail. You can still, however, be sued against the debt even after sending this letter.

- If you legitimately owe money and wish to make a deal to pay, never give a collector your checking account number over the phone. Collectors routinely take more money than they say they'll take.

- Never pay one cent until you have an agreement in writing stating your payment(s) will resolve the debt in full.

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/consumer-issues...

Here is an example of a simple drop-dead letter:

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/consumer-issues...

You can look up your state's statute of limitation law here:

http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/SOL-by-State.html

Fuskie
Who notes this may very well be a scavenger debt collection (http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/consumer-issues...) so you should protect yourself accordingly...
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