Collection Agency Failed to Validate Debt, What Should You Do

Stop Debt Collectors Collection Agency Failed to Validate Debt, What Should You Do

What Should I Do if a Collection Agency Failed to Validate Debt?

Dealing with debt collection agencies is never fun. Third-party debt collectors can be aggressive, persistent, and rude. However, although consumers often feel as though they're at the mercy of these entities, debt collectors and their actions are heavily regulated. There are also several important steps that collection agencies must take before beginning their collection efforts. Among these is formal debt validation. If a collection agency failed to validate debt before trying to collect payment, you may have legal recourse.

The Stop Debt Collectors product from DoNotPay is designed to help consumers with issues like this one. When debt collection agencies violate consumers' rights, DoNotPay provides swift and effective resolutions. Whether you're unsure of what your rights are or you're simply too overwhelmed by your debt to take appropriate action, DoNotPay can help.

What Debt Validation Is and Why It Matters

One very large part of knowing how to deal with debt collectors is understanding your rights. Whether you've been contacted by a medical debt collection agency or an ERC debt collection agency, there are several rules and restrictions that these companies must adhere to.  Approved in September of 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) bans collection agencies from engaging in unfair practices. Under the FDCPA, collection agencies must:

  • Provide written debt validation letters within just five days of establishing contact with consumers
  • Stop all collection practices upon receipt of debt verification requests until the related debts have been verified
  • Respond to debt verification requests in a timely fashion

Debt validation provides pertinent details about the money that collection agencies are pursuing. It must also include all of the information that consumers need to both verify their debts and dispute them when necessary.

What Is a Debt Validation Letter?

Also known as debt verification, debt validation is often included in the initial requests for payment that collection agencies send. This is permittable by law so long as debt verification is written. Initial debt verification cannot be made by phone, in-person, or digitally. The elements to look for in  a debt validation letter include:

  1. The name of the original creditor
  2. The amount that you owe
  3. The date of the debt's origination
  4. Details on how to dispute your debt
  5. A list of your rights as a consumer under the FDCPA
  6. Notice that you're legally able to request debt verification within 30 days
  7. Notice that your debt will be considered valid unless disputed within 30 days
  8. Notice that you can request the name and contact information of the original creditor within 30 days

Without this information, consumers may not know where their debts have come from, whether they've expired (reached the statute of limitations), or have been misreported.

Can Debt Collection Agencies Attempt to Collect a Debt That They've Failed to Validate?

By law, third-party collection agencies are not allowed to proceed with collection activities until they've provided you with a written debt validation/verification letter. Moreover, if you notify a collection agency in writing of their failure to do so, any collection activities that they've started must immediately cease.

Other Missteps That Debt Collection Agencies Commonly Make

Failure to validate debts is only one of many mistakes that third-party collections agencies can make. Other ways in which a collection agency might fail to adhere to the standards set forth in the FDCPA include:

  • Disclosing to your employer(s), family members, or friends that you have a debt
  • Failing to communicate with your attorney (if you have one) and contacting you directly
  • Calling at unusual times
  • Engaging in harrassing behaviors
  • Using profane language
  • Threatening physical harm

Can You Just Ignore a Collection Agency That Hasn't Validated Your Debt?

Failure on the part of a debt collection agency to validate a debt doesn't absolve you from your financial responsibility. In fact, once a debt collection agency contacts you, you have just 30 days to report their shortcoming before your debt is considered valid. You must  submit your report of a collection agency's failure to provide debt verification in writing. It is also important to keep physical records of all documents received from and submitted to these entities.

How to Write a Debt Validation Letter

If you been receiving collection calls from a debt collection agency that has yet to validate your debt, you can submit a request for debt verification. Often referred to as a debt validation or debt verification request letter, this correspondence should put an immediate hold on current collection activities. It should also motivate the debt collector to supply all legally required information. You debt validation request letter should include:

  1. Your name and address
  2. The name and address of the collection agency
  3. Your account number
  4. A statement of your right to request debt verification of under the FDCPA
  5. The date initial contact was made
  6. The date of your request for debt verification

It is best to state that your request for debt validation is not a refusal to pay but instead, an effort to ensure that the debt for which you're being held accountable is actually something you owe.

You can additionally:

  • Cite 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) of the FDCPA
  • State that further reporting of a debt that has yet to be validated to any major credit reporting bureau may constitute fraud
  • State that further reporting of a debt that has yet to be validated to any major credit reporting bureau may be defamation of character

When closing your letter, state that if debt validation is provided, you will need 30 days to do your own research and that throughout this time, all collection efforts must be paused.

How to Deal With Debt Collectors That Have Violated Your Rights on Your Own

When collection agencies fail to adhere to the FDCPA, they can be reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You can submit your complaint to the CFPB by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/. You can also submit your written complaint by mail to:

Written complaintConsumer Financial Protection Bureau

P.O. Box 27170

Washington, DC 20038

Submit a complaint onlineCreate an account to submit and track your complaint via the CFPB’s complaint portal.

Before submitting your complaint to the CFPB, you should first inform the collection agency in question of their failure to validate your debt. You also must give them adequate time to correct their error.

Solve the Problem With DoNotPay

There are many important elements to include in a request for debt validation letter. Moreover, these communications tend to hold more weight when they are drafted and submitted by attorneys rather than consumers themselves.  Fortunately, DoNotPay offers an effective and affordable way to take care of this task. With the Stop Debt Collectors product, you can have DoNotPay create and send this document on your behalf and with superior results. DoNotPay can also make sure that collection agencies are fully compliant with the FDCPA in other areas.

Here's how it works:

  1. Search "debt collection" on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

     

  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

     

And that's it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We'll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they're no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.

You can also check out our other credit products, including Credit Limit Increase and Clean Credit Report!

Why Use DoNotPay to Deal With Debt Collection Agencies That Have Violated Your Rights?

Using DoNotPay to deal with collection agencies that have overstepped their bounds is cheaper than hiring an attorney and just as effective. Best of all, not only can DoNotPay help you with matters pertaining to debt verification, but it can also determine whether other rights have been violated and then address these issues too. DoNotPay can additionally help you get answers to all of the most common debt-related questions including:

Other Ways DoNotPay Can Make Your Life Easier

DoNotPay is the best tool to use when a collection agency failed to validate debt. As the world's first robot attorney, DoNotPay is a powerful, AI-driven resource that's capable of solving countless legal and financial problems. You can use DoNotPay to deal with aggressive creditors, save money, identify important opportunities, and more. DoNotPay subscribers can:

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