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Make Collectors Prove You Owe

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The Debt Validation Period

Within five days of its first communication to you, the debt collector is responsible for sending you a debt validation notice. This notice should be in writing letter letting you know you have the right to dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days. The FDCPA allows the collector to include the debt validation notice in the initial communication.
So, if the debt collector’s first communication with you is by phone, you should receive a debt validation letter from them within five days. If the first communication is by letter, that letter might already include the debt validation notice; otherwise, you should soon get another letter including the notice.
If you don’t dispute the debt in writing within 30 days, the debt collector has the right to assume the debt is valid. During the 30 day period, the collector can continue attempts to collect the debt from you until it receives your validation request.
Submitting a Validation Request

To be valid, your request for debt validation must be submitted in writing. You can dispute the entire debt, part of the debt, or request the name of the original creditor. After receiving your dispute, the debt collector cannot contact you until it has provided you with the requested information.
Your debt validation letter should be sent in writing. It’s best to send the letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. This way, you have proof of the letter’s mailing and receipt by the debt collector. If you have to file a lawsuit against the debt collector, the certified and return receipts will help strengthen your case.
Sample Debt Validation Letter
The Collector's Response

After receiving your dispute, the collection agency must send you proof that it owns or has been assigned the debt by the original creditor. Verification that you owe the debt and the amount of the debt needs to include documentation from original creditor (however, it is the debt collector who sends it to you). It is not enough for the collection agency to simply send you a printout of the amount owed.
If the debt collector does not verify the debt within 30 days, it is not allowed to continue collecting the debt from you nor can it list the debt on your credit report . Should the debt collector list the debt on your credit report, you can dispute the debt with the credit bureau. Sending the credit bureau a copy of your debt validation letter along with the certified and return receipts will help get the account removed from your credit report.
11 years 5 months ago #16

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