Your getting calls from a debt collector, but you do not believe you owe the debt.
Learn how to stop debt collectors with debt validation.
First, you need to understand a little about debt collection and the process a creditor may use (and many time abuses) to collect that debt.
You have a credit card with a balance of $5000, but you have been unable to pay the minimum payments because you lost your job or have some other financial hardship.
- The creditor sends your account to their internal collections or recovery department.
- You start getting calls and letters trying to get you to pay up!
- If they are unsuccessful, they will most likely “assign” or “sell” the debt to a collection agency.
- Now the collection agency starts to call and call and call (HOW TO STOP COLLECTION CALLS) and send letters demanding immediate payment.
Since you know that you owe the debt, this is not the time to use DEBT VALIDATION in order to stop the collection efforts.
You only have a few options at this point:
- Agree to a repayment program (HARDSHIP PLAN)
- Enroll in a Debt Management Program (used to be referred to as Credit Counseling)
- Enroll in a Debt Settlement Program
- Seek Bankruptcy Protection
But, for the purpose of this article, let’s say that you believe one or more of the following:
- Do not believe that you owe the debt the debt collector claims.
- Believe the statue of limitations has run out on this debt
- Not sure if you owe the debt and want to make sure it is valid
- Think you paid this debt off a long time ago and don’t owe anything now
- Ran a credit report and saw this debt listed and you think it should not be as you paid it in a settlement.
Here’s what you can do to Validate your Debt:
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives us the legal authority to request a validation of a debt claimed by a collection agency.
Send a certified letter (so you have proof of receipt) demanding validation of the debt to the collection agency within in 30 days of receiving the letter from the collector.
Reference your name, address, etc. and the name of the collection agency, address, etc. at the top.
Reference your account and account number. If the collection agency has assigned as special account number, reference that as well.
To whom it may concern:
I received a letter dated (date on the letter) from you demanding payment of the above debt.
I do not believe I owe this debt and pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, 15 USC 169g Sec. 809 (b), I am requesting a validation of this debt.
Please provide the following:
- Produce copies of any papers that show that I agreed to pay what you say I owe as well as a copy of my signature and date on those documents.
- Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if this applies to this alleged debt.
- Provide proof that your agency is registered in my state.
If you can provide the above documentation, I will need at least 30 days to determine if this information is correct and again, according to the FDCPA, all collection activity must cease.
Looking forward to clearing this matter,
Print your name
There are several other demands that can be made, but at this time, your goal is to verify the debt. If you do not get a receipt of delivery of your registered letter, call the collection agency to verify the address and send again.
- It will most likely take the collection agency 30 days or so to get back to you.
- If they do not get back to you, then this most likely will be the end of it.
- You should wait a couple of months and then check your credit report to see if this debt is listed (or still listed).
If the calls and letters have stopped and it is still listed, you can request the credit bureaus to remove the listing by providing copies of your letters, no response, etc.
I’ll write more about the debt validation process and more options in later blogs, but in the meantime, if you need help, let us know. (1-877-492-4109)