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In order for debt to be managed legally, there are obligations on the creditor as well as the debtor. These laws were created in order to achieve fairness in these types of transactions.
Both sides must live up to their obligation. In most cases the consumer is unaware of the laws and protection afforded them to remedy what can be a traumatic impediment on their lives.
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 about you owing money.
There are defensive methods that can be applied that are best implemented by a reputable company with a full understanding of the law. This may include notification letters sent to the collection company or response to a legal threat against you.
If you find yourself in these circumstances, there are reputable programs designed to help the consumer navigate through the process and have their debt eliminated. This will help you obtain a much needed fresh start and provide you with an understanding and a clear path forward.
As a point of note, let me remind you that the debt collector has limited number of 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 prove 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 certified 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 process is on-going, so, be sure to monitor any calls you receive and log them. Since collection contact during this period is illegal, violations may be accrued under violation of the FDCPA.
If you enjoyed this article, please visit our blog to read more articles on similar topics. Also, if you need more information, then please get in touch with our team. Please note that we are not attorneys, and this article is not intended to be legal advice, but rather legal information.
Usually, a debt collector will take around 1–30 days to respond to your request for debt validation service. However, debt collectors don’t have a deadline to respond to a debt validation letter, and they may take days, weeks, or even months before getting back to you. Until they do, though, you’re free to not pay the debt.
There are defensive methods that can be applied that are best implemented by a reputable company with a full understanding of the law. This may include notification letters sent to the collection company or a response to a legal threat against you. If they ignore you, you can sue them in small claims court for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.