One of two things is happening now: I am being scammed, or someone is trying to collect a 15+ year old debt – want to make sure I handle this correctly.

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Don’t answer any of their questions. And sounds like you have the right idea. “Show me the proof.”


You are being scammed. Accept the papers into your hand if offered, but under no circumstances sign for them. Do not sign anything. The way this works is this: Schlub at your door: “You MUST sign this. You NEED to sign it. I CAN’T DELIVER THESE IMPORTANT PAPERS until you sign it.” You: “No, I won’t sign anything. You may deliver the papers or leave, your choice.” If they continue to harass or badger you, just get your phone out and start filming as you dial 911. Don’t bluff; ask dispatch for police to be sent to you to deal with harassment. Whether you end up taking the papers or not, you’re done with the guy at the door. Close your door in his face. Don’t conduct business with him. Conduct all further interaction with these people in writing, and in my opinion that should be limited to a brief signed and dated letter indicating that, one, you do not believe you are responsible for this debt, and two, all further correspondence on this matter should be done via regular mail at such-and-such an address. Send that letter off at your local post-office, as certified mail return receipt requested.


If the SOL is expired, they can’t recover in court. <shrug> Keep an eye on your credit report.


If it makes you feel any better, I have an identical story with a medical debt. It was 10+ years old. They said they were suing me and this was my last chance to pay before I would be forced to pay the full debt plus legal fees. I told them I would pay in full if they can show me proof that I owed the money. They gave me a cheeky answer like “Hey man, I was just trying to do you a favor, we’ll win in court anyway.” They also called my family. This was 2 years ago. No name company. No online presence. Never heard from them again. Don’t pay.


This is called zombie debt. They can harass you, chance you, pressure you. But they cannot make you pay. Zombie debt is becoming very popular, and annoying if the are after you.