1. Dealing with old debt
"Be careful what you say if an old debt comes back from the grave. It could cost you."
2. Debt collectors calling? Know your rights
"Debt collectors have to mind their p's and q's; it's the law. You may owe, but you still have rights, so use them!"
"The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive debt collectors. Here's a closer look at the rules a third-party debt collector must follow when collecting a debt."
3. State statutes of limitations for old debts
"When dealing with an old debt, it's important to know your limits."
"Once a debt passes beyond the statute of limitation in your state, a debt collector no longer has the right to sue you for payment. You may still have a moral obligation to pay back an old, forgotten debt, but you can't be sued over it."
4. How to strike a deal with a debt collector
"Ready to pony up that money you owe? You could get a break if you play your cards right."
"Debt collector is calling and you finally have a little money to offer."
"Before you pay a cent, why not try negotiating a better deal? By offering a lump-sum payment, you could easily cut your debt in half."
5. Taken to court for credit card debt
"Dear Bankruptcy Adviser: I just received a summons to go to court on an old credit card bill asking for judgment. What does this mean?"
"...This is no time to fool around. At the point that the courts become involved it is a very serious matter."