Contents of a debt validation letter
Based on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors must provide you with a debt validation letter which contains information regarding the debt in question. The debt collector must send a sample debt validation letter five days from the first contact and it must contain the following details:
- The amount that you owe.
- The name of the agency or the creditor seeking payment.
- A statement saying that the debt collector assumes the validity of the debt unless you send a written dispute within 30 days from the first contact.
- A statement saying that if you request for more information about the debt or you dispute it within the appropriate time frame, the debt collector should verify your debt by mail.
- A statement which states that if you ask for information regarding the original creditor within the appropriate time frame, the collector should provide it.
In cases when you don’t receive a DV letter within ten days after the first contact, request the debt collector for one the next time you reach out to him. Also, request for the mailing address of the debt collector should you decide to ask for a debt verification letter.
Some interesting facts about debt validation letters
It should be no surprise that today, everything has become technology-based. All the processes are now digital, from banking and bills to airline and movie tickets, and much more. That mailbox in front of your house has now become relegated as a junk box for financial notices and other kinds of junk mail.
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While many industries now use email and downloads, financial institutions still have to deal with receiving and sending physical letters like the debt validation letter. Although this letter has a similar name and content as a debt verification letter, they have some differences. Here are some facts you need to know about DV letters to help you through the process of debt validation:
- Debt collectors are those who send DV letters
It’s good news that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act exists as this provides many legal protections from the debt collectors which consumers receive. This law lays down what your rights are and governs all of the parameters of collectors, including:
dictating how and when to get in touch with you
what information they must disclose as per the requirements
One important rule set by the FDCPA is that it requires debt collectors to provide you with a debt validation letter template within five days of the first contact. If the debt collector doesn’t do this, you can request one by reaching out to them.
Should you decide to deal with the issue with your debt collector, you must do this within thirty days after receiving the sample debt validation letter. The issues you may dispute can include:
that you actually own the debt
requesting further verification of your alleged debt
requesting the name and business address of the very first collector or creditor who contacted you
- You may write a letter to request for debt verification
Should there be any doubt that you’re responsible for the debt, you may send a debt verification letter to ask for more verification that you had, indeed, incurred the debt.
The law specifies that debt collectors cannot coerce you into paying a debt which you don’t legally owe. At your request, collection agencies should demonstrate that the specific debt is yours before they can collect the debt. Should they fail to legally prove that you incurred such debt, they must stop attempting to collect from you right away.
But as a requirement, you also need to send your debt verification letter within thirty days of receiving the debt validation letter. If you do, the debt collector should send you a written debt verification document like a photocopy of a bill or a photocopy of a judgment.
- You can download a template for the letter or compose one from scratch
Should you get confronted with a very aggressive debt collection company, the best thing to do is hire a legal expert or a lawyer who can help you come up with a draft of the verification letter. Hiring one is your choice but could cost you. If you feel comfortable with it, then, by all means, do so.
Another option is to write your own debt verification letter and if done properly, it can yield the same results. You can find different templates and samples online which you could use as your reference. These free templates may be as impressive as letters laden with legal terms which look almost like they hopped out of a lawyer’s desk or more straightforward wherein they simply state what you’re requesting for.
- On its own, debt validation won’t fix your credit
People often think that disputing a debt will automatically remove this from their credit report. This, of course, is far from the truth because when you dispute a debt, this doesn’t make it disappear.
You can make a request in your debt verification letter for them to remove the disputed debts from your credit report if the finance agency finds that you don’t own the debt. Unfortunately, it takes some time for the debt collector or collection agency to clear you of this debt.
Should you have debts on your credit report that aren’t verified as belonging to you, then you should directly dispute these with credit bureaus. Then, have them cleared from your credit report. You can either dispute the debts yourself or you can hire the services of expert credit repair professionals.
You must file separate disputes with each of the credit bureaus for every erroneous account. But remember that repairing your credit won’t remove the debts which they have proven to be yours. Neither can it remove any debts which are still under dispute with the collection agency.
- You only have 30 days if you want to dispute a debt
It’s required by law that debt collectors should provide you with a debt validation letter template within five days after the first contact. If they don’t do this, then you can request one directly by reaching out to them.
But keep in mind that the debt collectors aren’t only the ones under time constraints. You do have thirty days from when you received the first letter to send your dispute. If you aren’t able to dispute your debt on time, then the debt collector has full entitlement to consider the validity of your debt.
- You may receive a lot of collection calls when you request for debt verification
There is very little harm you can cause if you try to dispute debts which aren’t legitimately your own but some consumers go the extra mile to dispute their actual debts just to avoid having to settle them. Doing this can be very effective, especially when debts go through different collectors making the original paper works hard to locate.
The negative consequence of this is the vigorous barrage of collection phone calls and notices. If the debt collector has successfully verified your debt, you will receive a debt verification letter which includes a statement requesting that you settle the debt right away. When this happens, you’ll find yourself on top of the hit list of your debt collector.
You can still send a written request that the debt collector should contact you only through mail at a specified address but that won’t stop your voicemail to quickly fill up even before the letter reaches you.
- There are some debts which are too old for collection
When writing a verification letter about a certain debt, one recommendation is to provide the debt’s age. This information may not sound important but it’s perhaps one of the most significant bits of information that you can receive from a debt collector.
Why so? Because most kinds of debts are legally subject to a statute of limitations, where a legal amount of time gets provided during which the debt collection agency or collector must start acting. Once this statute of limitations has expired, the debt collection agency has lost its right to sue from recovering the debt. However, they may still try to reach out to you and try to collect.
Depending on the kind of debt along with the state where you reside, the statute of limitations can vary.In general, there are four types of debts namely:
- oral contracts
- written contracts
- open-ended accounts
- promissory notes
Ask your debt collector if the disputed debt is by law and time-barred. Although they aren’t required to answer you, the debt collectors should respond truthfully. You may also check the debt validation letter which you should have received within the appropriate time frame.
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