Did you know that under the FDCPA or the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act you have the right to “debt validation"? What does that mean you ask? What this means is that you demand proof from the collection agency and the original creditor that the debt is really your responsibility and that the balances, terms of the loan and any other pertinent information is correct and accurate. Also know that if it is a collection agency they must also provide proof that they have the legal right to collect the debt from you.
What you need to do now is provide a written request and always make sure that you keep a copy and mail it via certified mail return receipt requested after you do this the collection agency must stop all collection activity until they have supplied the appropriate validation.
Sometimes but not always a collection agency might stop all collection activities and give the account back to the original creditor for collection rather than provide validation.
Remember that a collection agency is not required by law to supply the validation, nonetheless, they must supply it if they are going to continue to try to collect the debt. Also remember that you have the right to dispute the debt directly with the original creditor.
If you have demanded validation from a creditor who has already listed a negative on your credit report, they are required to note that the account is “disputed by consumer". They cannot make a new listing or change or verify a current listing until they have provided you with the validation that you requested.
The 3 steps on how to seek validation of debt and deal with debt collectors.
1. Request a validation of debt – Send a request letter to the collection agency asking them to validate your debt. Just check out a sample debt validation letter so that you’ll know how to format the letter. The letter should be sent via certified mail with a return receipt request.
2. If the Collection Agency Doesn’t Validate Debt – If the collection agency doesn’t send you a satisfactory proof, then you need to send them the three documents below:
A. A copy of your validation letter
B. Copy of the return receipt
C. A statement that the collection agency has violated the FDCPA
As per FDCPA, if the collection agency doesn’t validate your debt, then they can no longer collect the payments and they shouldn’t contact you anymore.
3. Remove collection listing – Under the FCRA, collection agencies should not report a negative entry if they don’t validate your debt. You need to send a letter asking them to remove the collection listing.
You should also inform them that if they don’t remove the collection, you might sue them on account of violation of the FDCPA. Wait 15-20 days for a reply from the debt collectors. They’ll either remove the negative listing or else they won’t respond at all.
I hope these steps have helped you. Good luck on pursuing the best credit you can have!