Monthly Archives: August 2019

Creditor Hounding You for Zombie Debt? Don’t be part of the Walking Debt Dead!

Sometimes folks get a bill from a debt collector for a debt that is years and years old – so old it is considered Zombie debt! In fact, you may not even remember incurring the debt.

If you have old debts, collectors may not be able to sue you to collect on them. This is because debt collectors have a limited number of years – known as the statute of limitations – to sue you to collect. After that, unpaid debts are considered “time barred.”

The limitations varies from state to state, but in Virginia it is usually 3 years for an oral contract and 5 years for a written contract. But beware, the statute of limitations is an “affirmative defense” if a creditor sues you in court. This means if a lawsuit is filed on old debt, you must show up and raise the defense that the debt is too old. The judge will not do that for you if you fail to show up to court.

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act bars creditors from collecting on debts that are beyond the statute of limitations. But many tricky collectors are trying to get around that law by reviving old debt and tricking you into waving the statute of limitations. If you voluntarily make a payment on a debt, then the 3-5 year limitation period starts ALL OVER AGAIN. As such, if you think a debt collector is trying to collect on an old debt – DO NOT SEND THEM MONEY. Consult with an attorney on whether the statute of limitations applies to your particular debt and situation.

The article linked discusses the tricky ways some debt collector are trying to revive old debts.…/zombie-debt-how-collecto…/…

Here at Giles & Lambert, we would encourage you to contact us for a free bankruptcy consultation if you are struggling with debt, new or old. In the event most or all of your debt is old, sometimes filing bankruptcy makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t. Call today to meet with one of our attorneys for a free bankruptcy consultation or advice about whether a debt collector is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

New Virginia Law Provides Drivers License Reinstatement for Some

On July 1, 2019, one of the many new laws that went into effect concerns the reinstatement of drivers licenses for drivers owing court debt.

Prior to July 1, 2019, for individuals with past due and unpaid court fines or costs, the individual could have been subject to suspension of their drivers license until the outstanding court fine or cost was paid. According to the WSLS news article shown below, prior to the July 1 change in Virginia law, over 600,000 Virginians had their drivers licenses suspended due to unpaid court fines and costs.

Under the new rule effective July 1, those whose drivers licenses had been suspended due to unpaid court fines and costs will be reinstated without the requirement that a reinstatement fee be paid.  The new law also outlaws future drivers licenses suspensions for a person’s failure to pay his or her court fines or costs. 

While the new law removes the concern a person may have about having his or her drivers license suspended due to having unpaid court fines or costs, the new law does not mean a person is no longer liable for or obligated to the pay the underlying court cost or fine.  According to the Code of Virginia, each court to whom a person owes an unpaid court fine or cost can attempt to collect to recover.  If you are struggling with debt, including court fines, contact Giles & Lambert for a bankruptcy consultation to discuss whether bankruptcy can provide the debt relief you need. 


Suspense was the name of the game for the #21 Outrun Your Debt car during Saturday night’s twin super street races! Driver Wayne Corprew brought home a sixth-place finish in the first race and a fifth place finish in the second race of the evening. Wayne says he and the rest of the #21 racing team plan to make the most of the next two races with the hope of getting the #21 Giles & Lambert car to victory lane

In addition to other race fans, several Giles & Lambert team members came out to cheer on the #21 car. If you need help to outrun YOUR debt, these are some of the faces you may see in our offices if you visit.

Giles & Lambert, P.C. offers free bankruptcy consultations at each of our three offices (Roanoke, Blacksburg, and Martinsville). Racing fan or not, we are eager to meet with you about the possibility of helping you outrun your debt

Roanoke: 540-981-9000
Blacksburg: 540-961-2000
Martinsville: 276-632-7000



Participating in the super street division, the #21 Outrun Your Debt car will race in the Pepsi twin race night on Saturday at the Motor Mile Speedway!  Last Saturday was a rough night for the #21 racing team, but the team has spent the week working on car repairs and enhancements for this coming week’s race. Several members of the Giles & Lambert team are coming to cheer on the #21 car.

This coming Saturday is also military appreciation night at the Motor Mile Speedway, and active duty and veterans are eligible for free admission. Even if you do not qualify for free admission, ticket are $10 for adults with children age 12 and under getting in for free, making this a fun and affordable evening for parents and kids alike! For details about racing times, ticket information, and more, be sure to check out the Motor Mile Speedway’s webpage at