Your Validation Of Debts Plan:
Collection Agency Validation Of Debts
Here is your strategy laid out step by step on what to do if you receive a collection notice.
NOTE: To protect your rights and to prevent the debt collector from getting a judgment against you, you must answer every letter and follow-up letter from the debt collector.
You receive a collection notice from a collection agency saying you have a debt due. You're not sure it's yours or that the amount due is correct.
As soon as you receive it, send a Validation of Debt request to the collection agency, certified mail (keep your receipt) asking them to send proof to you of the debt. Use the address on the letter.
Be sure their letter also contains the Mini_Miranda warning. All collection letters must contain this notice and if it doesn't you can cite that in your complaint letter too. The Mini_Miranda is that little tag line that says "this is an attempt to collect a debt, etc." At the same time dispute the collection account with the credit bureaus (only the credit bureau that is currently reporting it!) otherwise you risk inserting it.
Wait for the collection agency to respond, about 30 days or so. Normally you will receive nothing more than a printout from the collection agency which is not adequate proof. Some will argue that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is not specific in what is considered adequate proof and believe me, collection agencies fully believe this. I say, no! The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is specific in that, if the debtor requests a "Validation of debt" from a collection agency, they must obtain verification from the original creditor. Period!
If The Debt Collector Does Not Respond:
If the debt collector has not supplied the demanded proof of the alleged debt within 30 days you may presume, under the doctrine of estoppel by silence, that no proof of the alleged debt, nor therefore any such debt, in fact exists.
See: Engelhardt v. Gravens (MO) 281 SW 715, 719, I
Related Articles or Links
Cease and Desist Letter
Sue Debt Collector
Your Right to Validation of Debts to Collection Agencies
Dealing With Debt Collection
Dealing With Debt Collectors
Get Debt Collectors Out of Your Life
Federal Trade Commission Opinion Letter on Validation
Federal Trade Commission Publications
Statute of Limitations
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
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