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I Just Got a Call From a Debt Collector On a Eight Year Old Debt. – Destiny

“Dear Steve,

I got a phone call from a collection agency the other day. They told me I owed over $300 on a phone bill from over 8 years ago in Kansas. My husband and I used cash to pay all of our bill back then and I know we paid our phone bill. I never got any kind of bill from the company after we moved. I have also never gotten anything from the collection agency calling me. This bill does not show up on my credit.

Is this a legit collection? How do I handle this collection?


Dear Destiny,

Is it legit? Who knows. But this would not be the first time I’ve seen collectors appear over a zombie debt, one you thought was dead long ago.

The path to tackle this is fairly straightforward. First, I would send a letter by some traceable means to the collection company stating you don’t believe you owe this debt and ask them to show you proof of the debt. I doubt they will be able to since you feel this bill was paid.

You need to do this by mail and traceable means so you have proof of the day you notified them. Keep track of that proof.

While you are waiting for the collector to respond to your letter, call the old phone company and ask them if you had an old debt left behind.

Now the reason it is important to tackle this is that even if the statute of limitations has expired on this old debt that just means you can’t be sued over it anymore but the debt can still be attempted to be collected. Let’s just get to the bottom of this now and be done with it once and for all.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

1 Comment

  • Its as simple as going to Annual credit report and looking at your credit report and seeing if its on their still. If it is than dispute the account once you are in the dispute window type in the box “Please validate or remove” they than have 30 days to get the dispute over to the collector and they have the same 30 days to validate. Alot of times if something is 8 yrs old it has switched so many hands and been sold off so many times they dont know what its about or any details nor do they even have ligit paperwork on the debt.I know some guys that tend to keep their credit pretty clean doing this every year.

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