Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 809
Validation of debts 15 USC 1692g


15 USC 1692g


(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.


Debt Validation, or "debt verification", refers to a consumer's right to challenge a debt and/or receive written verification of a debt from a debt collector. The right to dispute the debt and receive validation are part of the consumer's rights under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and are set out in §809 [15 U.S.C. § 1692g] of that act. However according to case law the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act does not define what constitutes proper debt validation, and different courts have reached different conclusions as to what is required from a debt collector. In the case of Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo, 174 F.3d 394 (4th Cir. 1999), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals adopts a relatively low standard: "Verification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt." The Court further stated that a request for validation of the debt is primarily intended to eliminate such problems as collectors contacting the wrong person or attempting to collect debts which have already been paid. In 2006, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the "reasonable standard" articulated in Chaudhry.


The Federal Trade Commission has attempted to define validation where an attorney debt collector institutes legal proceedings against a debtor but has no prior communications with the debtor, are the requirements for the validation of debts set forth in Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act supreme to state law or state court rules that otherwise prohibit the inclusion of the validation notice on court documents? In responding to this issue, the Commission notes first that Section 809(a) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a), provides... See: Federal Trade Commission Opinion Letter on Validation


What constitutes debt validation?


From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In contrast, consumer advocates have criticized the Chaudhry case as allowing debt collectors to justify providing little information in response to a dispute.


Thus, what exactly constitutes proper validation of a debt depends on the specific nature of the dispute. At a minimum, the debt collector is required to confirm with the creditor the amount being claimed is correct and that the person from whom they are attempting to collect the debt is the person who owes it.


When can a consumer dispute a debt or request validation?

A consumer can dispute a debt at any time, but only a written request sent within thirty days of the first written notice of the debt triggers validation rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. The Act spells out specific language which must be included in the first written notice to the consumer, most notably that the consumer has 30 days to dispute the debt and request validation. However, failure by the consumer to dispute the debt during this thirty day period does not constitute a legal admission of the debt.


What if the debt collector does not respond?

There is no deadline for the debt collector to provide a response to the request for validation. However, a debt collector must cease all attempts to collect the debt until they have sent a sufficient response.


If a consumer makes a timely request for debt validation and a debt collector fails to provide proper validation or does not respond at all, the debt collector may not legally continue to pursue the debt. If collection activity continues, the consumer may file a law suit in state or federal court for violation of the  (see Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for discussion of Fair Debt Collections Practices Act law suits).


Any dispute of the debt must also be reported by the creditor on the consumer's credit report pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).


Who is considered a debt collector?


Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, any person or entity, including lawyers, who regularly attempts to collect consumer debts is considered a debt collector.[1] The original creditor and its employees are generally not subject to the FDCPA, though they may be regulated by other state and federal laws; including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


See also:


Debtors Rights

Cease and Desist Letter

Sue Debt Collector

Your Right to Validation of Debts to Collection Agencies

Dealing With Debt Collections

Dealing With Debt Collectors

Get Debt Collectors Out of Your Life

Federal Trade Commission Publications

Statute of Limitations

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act



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