Scenario: You had a rough patch of time and unfortunately, were not able to make good on several debts accumulated.
After some time, you defaulted on the payments and allowed them to fall off your credit report.
Now, one of those companies has contacted you and you are unsure if you are still liable for this debt or not.
In the UK, bad debt is allowed to stay on your credit report for six years, sometimes longer, depending upon the type of debt that it is.
If there has been no interaction between you and the creditor after that period, the debt will fall off your credit report.
This does not necessarily mean you are no longer responsible for it, but that is no longer visible to anyone making an inquiry.
Creditors will often sell off bad debt for pennies. The new company will then attempt to contact the debtor regarding payment.
If the debtor acknowledges this debt, they are once again responsible for the debt and will have to either pay it off, or go through the waiting period of having it fall of their credit report once again.
It is the worst-case scenario for anyone who has managed to keep their credit report clean after going through a rough patch where they defaulted on one or more forms of credit.
If you find yourself in this situation, you are best served to ignore the company. Under no circumstances should you acknowledge the debt, as you are liable to once again see a black mark on your credit report.
In all likelihood, the original creditor has already written this debt off, and you are now dealing with some secondary collection agency that is literally hunting debtors in an effort to make a profit off the bad debt they have purchased.