What do I do next?

by Monique
(New York, New York)

In 2009 I received a letter from a collection agency trying to settle an outstanding credit card debt, which I ignored because I had no idea what it was about. Later my bank account was issued a lien, I called the collection agency and had the lien removed by explaining my situation. However, they then proceeded to garnish my wages.

Apparently there was a default judgment for this outstanding debt in my name under my SS#, but at a different address, which was done in 1997. I went to court and had the default judgment vacated, I answered the judgment and the case was dismissed in 2009 by default because the collection agency did not appear in court.

When I left the court the clerk told me everything was settled, however the collection agency had 1 year to sue me again for this debt.

Now it's 2012 and a different collection agency has contacted me for this outstanding debt claiming to be a representative of the old company.

They have since made a hard inquiry on my credit report. What actions can I take against this collection agency? Can the new and/or old collection agency sue me again at this point? What should I do now?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:

Monique -

First of all, congratulations for standing up for yourself and getting the first judgment vacated!

It sounds like this debt is outside the statute of limitations so there may not be a whole lot they can do. Given your history with them, though, it's wise of you to be wary.

You could approach this a couple of ways. One would be to simply send them a cease contact letter instructing them not to contact you again, and warning them that if you do, you will be consulting a consumer law attorney.

The other would simply be to go ahead and get a free consultation with a consumer law attorney to find out if the collection agency is breaking the law by attempting to collect this debt at this point.

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