Debt collectors are authoritative and intimidating. When they contact you regarding debt, it’s easy to feel guilty and ashamed immediately. It’s important to stand up for yourself and remember that you have rights as a consumer. Under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, you are allowed to request debt validation from any debt collector that may come your way.
There are a few reasons why a debt collector is contacting you. The most obvious reason would be because you have allegedly unpaid bills you need to pay off, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, debt collectors will call you regarding debt that isn’t yours, debt you already paid, or debt that they aren’t authorized to collect.
If this is the case, it’s essential to request debt validation promptly. If you do it correctly, you can stop the frequent calls and potentially lead to dismissal. Here are the five critical steps to requesting debt validation.
When it comes to requesting debt verification, time is of the essence. You must send a debt validation request letter to the collection agency within 30 days of your first point of contact. The debt collection agency must immediately stop contacting you regarding debt until they can prove its validity.
Send your request via certified mail because it gives you a receipt proving the date the collector receives your letter. Keep a copy of the receipt and the message in your possession throughout the process. These items can be used as evidence against the creditor if you need to sue them at a future date.
Once you send the initial letter, wait for a response. If you don’t hear anything back from them, you should send a letter containing the request for validation, the original receipt, and an additional letter stating that under the FDCPA you will not pay the debt. Remember that after you send this request, debt collection agencies cannot continue to contact you, sue you, or list the debt on your credit report without proper validation.
If the debt collecting agency sent a notice of the debt to a consumer reporting agency without providing you with validation, the notice must be removed. Send a notification to each consumer reporting agency detailing the debt collection agency’s failure of validation.
The agency must prove that the debt is yours, they have the right to collect it, and the amount is accurate. In the case that the agency validates your debt, you must decide what to do next.
Check the statute of limitations in your state regarding debt collection practices. If the debt is expired, the collection agency cannot sue you for debt. You should then send them an expired statute of limitations letter to stop them from trying to collect.
If your debt is not expired and it does belong to you, there are other steps you can take to handle it. Pay the amount in full if you can. If not, try to negotiate a payment plan or talk them down to only require you to pay some of the debt.
There are certain formalities regarding debt collection, and the process should be taken seriously. Tackling the problem head-on with confidence is vital. Don’t let debt collectors take advantage of you. If you believe that you or someone you know has experienced a violation of the FDCPA, contact an experienced consumer attorney today.
The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi has helped hundreds of consumers fight illegal debt collection practices to receive financial compensation. With our help, you can earn up to $1,000 for your FDCPA violation case. Contact our office at 1-844-JIBRAEL. We work for free until you get paid.