Beware of Zombie Debt
It is bad enough when debt collectors keep sending you notices in the mail every month, when it is obvious to everyone that you cannot pay. It is even worse when a debt collector pops up out of the blue and starts bugging you about a debt that you barely remember that you owed. Perhaps you thought that the statute of limitations had passed, or maybe you thought that you had already settled the debt or paid it off. Creditors have figured out all the legal loopholes to keep debtors on the hook for old debts that they will probably never be able to afford. Business to consumer lawsuits are bad enough when the creditor has been threatening to sue you all along, but it is even worse when a process server surprises you with papers about a lawsuit related to a “zombie debt” that you thought belonged to your distant past. Many of these debts relate to second mortgages on houses you have long since moved out of. If a notice about a zombie debt on an old mortgage has taken you by surprise, contact a Boca Raton foreclosure defense lawyer.
What Is Zombie Debt, and Are You Really Responsible for Paying It?
Sometimes mortgage debt nightmares do not end after the foreclosure process is complete. In 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided that lenders can sue borrowers for unpaid mortgage debt until five years after the last payment was due under the original terms of the mortgage. With such a long statute of limitations, many consumers who have been on the receiving end of lawsuits over old mortgages have been in for a big surprise.
Mortgage debt is not the only kind of zombie debt that can take you by surprise in a business to consumer lawsuit. The amount for which the plaintiff is suing tends to be even larger than the amounts in lawsuits about medical bills and credit card debt. Now that most consumers are living paycheck to paycheck, even the ones who are gainfully employed, most defendants in zombie debt lawsuits about mortgages cannot come up with enough money even to settle the debt for a lesser amount than the plaintiff is requesting.
Zombie Debt Collection Attempts Are a Legal Emergency
If you get a notice about a zombie debt lawsuit about a second mortgage, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Florida’s laws are sufficiently consumer unfriendly that, as unfair as it is, the lender probably does have the right to sue you. It does not mean that the lender automatically wins the case. A foreclosure defense lawyer can help you exercise your rights and not be responsible for paying a years-old debt that you have long since established that you cannot pay.
Work With a Debt Lawyer About Defending Yourself Against Zombie Debt Lawsuits
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you stand up to creditors who try to sue you about an old debt after lurking in the shadows for years. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.