Past Debt Should Not Come Back to Haunt You

Our suffering economy has made many people desperate, even debt collectors.  Some debt collection agencies have resorted to trying to collect debt dismissed in a bankruptcy filing. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect citizens from harassment or lawsuits regarding debts previously dismissed.

The Fair Debts Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law protecting persons against abusive collection activity. If you inform the collection agency that your past debt is covered in a bankruptcy filing, under the FDCPA, the agency must halt collection efforts. It is best to notify the collector by certified mail with a written documentation. If the harassment continues, the agency is subject to damages and penalties, attorney fees included.

Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) protects the debtor by establishing the reporting time period for a debt as seven years plus 180 days after the original delinquency date. After that period has expired, any delinquent payment information must be removed from your credit report. If the creditor fails to remove the past debt, the credit bureau can remove that information from your credit report for you.

There are collection agencies whose sole focus is collecting old debt by relying on you not knowing your rights . These agencies are legally allowed to ask once, but not harass continuously after you inform them of your previous bankruptcy.

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