Dissolving Debt and Getting Rid of Debt Collectors!
When you receive the very first notice from a collection agency, be sure to send your request for Debt Validation before the 30 day period!! If you can get the Debt Validation to the agency before they have a chance to report the account to the credit bureaus, then you may keep it from being reported at all. This is extremely important because getting it off is much harder and if the collection agency DOES report it after the date of your Debt Validation (using your certified mail receipt as proof) then they have violated portions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and can be sued for each violation! That is powerful for debtors and should not be overlooked. If the agency refuses to acknowledge your Debt Validation then a follow up Estoppel letter can be used.
What if you did not dispute within the first 30 days of receiving the notice?
This is a tricky area and the Act should actually be amended to be clearer on this issue. While the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that the consumer should dispute the debt within the first 30 days of receiving the notice it does not state that you cannot dispute it later. It may be that you discovered the debt 45 days later or the original notice sent by the collector did not reach you or that you received it but did not know what to do until you starting looking into your options. Either way there is NO provision in the Act that says you are barred from disputing later, it may just take more persistence, more money and a counter suit if the debt collector goes to court for a judgment.
If the collection agency completely refuses to validate your debt because they claim it has surpassed the 30 day period then their only other option is to sue you, wherein you can defend yourself at that time by appearing and explaining to the court that you were never allowed to receive proof of what they claimed you owed- and, you were not going to pay anything until you had proof that their balance was valid. Additionally the collector will not be able to prove when you were first notified of the debt simply by sending a notice regular mail. Again, you may have never even received it.
History shows us that collectors HATE Debt Validation requests. It is time consuming and stalls their collection efforts. You may never even receive the proof even after many requests. Many consumers never hear from the collector again after they ask for Debt Validation. If the balance is large enough and worth the collector's time, you may receive some sort of proof. If you are happy with the proof then you can move forward, dealing with the debt and a resolution.
Validation of Debt [15 USC 1692g](c) This section of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states: The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
What this tells you is that if the collector were to sue you, there is still NO admission made by you that the debt is valid and the court would definitely make the collector prove the debt at that time. Remember a printout is NOT adequate proof. Additionally take note of your credit reports. Be sure the collector has ceased reporting it while in dispute.