George Simons | September 19, 2019
Yes. Zombies never die.
One of my favorite writers on debt is Sean Pyles at NerdWallet. He just wrote an article on zombie debt 6 days ago.
This is how he suggested getting rid of it.
If you already paid the debt: Write a letter to the collections agency demanding that it cease contact. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act requires it to do so.
If it's not your debt or is otherwise invalid: Write a letter challenging the debt within 30 days of first contact.
If you do owe the debt and can pay: Resolving an unpaid account can get it out of your life and perhaps help your credit score. Get any payment agreement in writing before sending money.
If you do owe it and can't pay: Pursue debt relief through credit counseling or bankruptcy.
Sending a debt validation letter is a good move in nearly every situation. Use one of these great templates from the CFPB.
If you're actually being sued for a debt, make sure you respond within 21–30 days depending on where you live. Here's a list of Answer document templates for each state: How to answer a summons for debt collection.
Slay that zombie debt!