If a debt collector, who is not the original creditor, contacts a consumer about an unpaid debt, the best option for the consumer is to send a debt validation letter to the debt collector. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a consumer has the right to question the validity of the debt as well as the right of the debt collector to collect the debt.
Some people think sending a debt validation letter is a trick to avoid paying legitimate debts. However, if a debt is legitimate, the debt collector will not have not any trouble proving it as well as proving that they are authorized to collect the debt.
This letter is the first line of defense for consumers to protect themselves against false debt. The fault may not be the debt collectors. Banks and other lenders have been known to make mistakes and try to collect debt from the wrong person.
There are fees and charges for unpaid debt as well as for debt collectors. This letter will force the lender to account for all the money they are demanding. Consumer debt often changes hands, and the person who holds the debt may not have all the necessary paperwork.
In some cases, lawyers try to get this information by filing a lawsuit against the debtor. However, this is not usually upheld in court, and the lender must respond to the debt validation letter before they can get a legal judgment.
The letter is a bit complicated and needs to cover many aspects. Here is a sample letter. Always enclose copies of any documents required. Never send original documents. The letter should be sent by certified mail, so the consumer has proof of when it was sent and received.
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Collection Agency
Address of Collection Agency
City, State, Zip Code
Re: Give Account Number Here
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is in response to a notice of debt I received from you on DATE.
It is not a refusal to pay the debt, but a notice that I am disputing it and requesting validation.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), I have the right to ask for a validation of the debt you claim I owe. This is not a request to verify my mailing address, it is a request for proof according to 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) of the FDCPA. Kindly provide me with valid evidence that I need to pay you for this debt.
Please provide the following information:
• Your license numbers and Registered Agent
• Proof that you are licensed to collect in my state
• What the money you say I owe is for
• How you calculated what you say I owe
• A verification or copy of any judgment if applicable
• Copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe
• Proof that the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account
• Identify the original creditor
• The name and address of the bonding agent for your collection agency in the event legal action becomes necessary
If any invalidated information has been reported to any of the three major Credit Bureaus, it might be considered fraud under both state and federal law. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent, I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:
• Defamation of Character
• Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
• Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
If you provide the requested documentation, I will need 30 days or more to investigate the debt. During that time, all collection activity must stop. Also, during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel. This includes any information given to a credit reporting bureau that is invalid and inaccurate.
If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days after receiving this letter, all of the information that is related to this account must be completely removed from my credit report, and a copy of my new, accurate credit report should be sent to me immediately.
All future communications with me should be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter.
This is an attempt to correct your records, any information obtained shall be used for that purpose.
Consumer’s printed name
List of enclosures