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What Happens When A Collector Fails To Answer a Debt Validation Letter?
In a previous article, we covered the benefits of using A DEBT VALIDATION LETTER when you receive a notification from a debt collector. By law the collector has to notify you that you are entitled to ask for a validation of the debt within 5 days of contacting you that you owe the money.
As a point of note, let me remind you that the debt collector has 30 days to respond to the debt validation. What the response should contain is proof that you actually owe the debt. As well as proof that they have the legal right to collect the debt, remember they are collectors, and you never borrowed anything from them. They must also proove that they are licensed to collect debts in your state. Also, they need to provide the original contract you signed with the original creditor, or at least credit card receipts that you signed.
If the collector completely fails to respond to the validation letter, again they have 30 days to do so, then legally they must cease collection efforts, and remove negative items placed by them on your credit report. If they have not responded, you need to send them a certifi9ed letter stating that they have failed to respond and to cease all collection efforts and remove any negative items they have placed on your credit report, or supply you with a letter stating that the negative items were placed on your report in error. That way, you can have the items removed by contacting the credit bureaus.
If they ignore you, you can sue them in small claims court for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Sometimes, after you have sent a validation request, the collector will send you back a “verification of the debt”. This is not a validation. In a verification the creditor will simply send you the name and address of the original creditor along with the amount owed. This is not what you want from them. You are entitles to a validation if that is what you requested.
As a final note, the collector cannot contact you to collect the debt while the validation is in the 30 day period, so, be sure to monitor any calls you receive and log them. Since collection contact during this period is another violation of the FDCPA.
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