Old Credit Card Debt

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2011
Old Credit Card Debt
8
Thu, 05-05-2011 - 11:09pm

So when I was in my early twenties, my ex boyfriend messed up my credit by opening accounts without my consent. Since I loved him, I didn't want to get him in trouble. For many years my credit was messed up but now I have rebuilt my credit and it is now stellar. However I have noticed since my credit is good and I am being given more credit, collection agencies are calling me to try to collect on my old fifteen year old debts. Do you think debt collectors ramp up their collection efforts when they notice new credit being extended to people?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 11:18am
That's always a possibility. What also might be true is that credit card companies in general are trying to collect old debts, or get them off their books, so they begin to sell off their accounts to other debt collection agencies who will in turn begin trying to collect on these debts again. These debt collectors figure that if they pester you enough they will get you to at least pay them a little to get them off your back. And the fact that they bought these accounts for pennies on the dollar means that any type of settlement they get out of you, or anyone else, it mostly profit for them.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2011
Tue, 06-07-2011 - 12:33pm
Pinknightgown, I'm currently in somewhat of the same situation. I'm 23 and back in October my boyfriend completely ran up four of my credit cards and left me thousands and thousands of dollars in CC debt. Of course, he ditches me afterwards and I've been nearly harassing him as if I'm a collections agency for repayment. No luck. I had okay credit before hand but now it's rapidly declining and one of the credit cards have gone to collections. I've been making regular payments on the other tree each month, on time, but it's getting overwhelming and I'm not making enough money to afford these high balances, interest rates, and monthly payments. One card is in collections, one is closed by the company, the other is suspended until paid in full because a payment was sent back and the other is current and open. I'm almost ready to just file bankrupt but it sounds so depressing because I'm only 23. How did you rebuild your credit and gt t to where you are now? Seeing how you had all of those bad account. I dont know if I'll be able to do the same or if I should just file bankrupt and get a fresh start.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Thu, 06-09-2011 - 10:57am
Hi histepper & welcome to the board. Have you talked to the credit card companies about your situation and the fact that you do want to pay this money back?

I know it's disappointing to file bankruptcy, especially when it wasn't you who ran up the debt. I guess your answer may depend on how much you owe exactly?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2005
Wed, 06-15-2011 - 1:03pm

That is definitely a possibility.

Wedding
Community Leader
Registered: 03-17-2003
Wed, 07-20-2011 - 7:21pm

Hi pinknightgown,

These sort of very old debts (15 years old) are called Zombie Debts and you have Zombie Debt Collectors after you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 2:54pm
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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-28-2011 - 12:55pm
Hi Pink, I would be very careful and do some homework. I don't know if your good credit has waved a green flag, or it if is something else, but I think this is one of those things that "we know enough to know we don't know" and it would really be a bummer if you accidently tried to do the "right" thing and ended up shooting yourself in the foot.

If I owed someone money, even if it was from a long time ago, I would want to make it right. However, I would also want to be smart and make sensible decisions, not emotional ones.

If it bothers you from a moral standpoint that you legally don't HAVE to pay it back, you could always find a way to donate time or money to charity.
Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 07-29-2011 - 4:13pm
Serenity, while I agree with you that if you owe someone money, even if from a long time again, morally wanting to make it right is wonderful, my only caution here would be that she specifically said "my ex boyfriend messed up my credit by opening accounts without my consent. " That sounds to me like 15 year later, with the drudging up of these old accounts, ones she didn't even apply for or use for her benefit, she is all over again having to pay the price of this. I am not saying she should try and make it right if possible, but if it wasn't technically ever her that did the damage in the first place, I'd not blink an eye personally about fighting it out with them and never paying them one penny. But that's just IMO.
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