Monday, April 06, 2009

Debt Validation, Where I'm at in the Process

Back in March I mentioned my "proud moment" of being proactive in dealing with some of my zombie debt issues. In that post I mentioned the following article Make Collectors Prove You Owe being used as my starting point. Below is a synopsis of that article and where I stand in the process.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law regulating debt collectors, you can request the debt collector to send proof of the debt.

How it Should Happen

1] 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.

  • I did not have an initial communication from this company just received the mailing
2] You must dispute the debt in writing within 30 days, or 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.

3] Submit a Validation Request--your request for debt validation must be submitted in writing and should be sent certified mail return receipt requested. You can dispute: 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.

Sent my validation request on 3/4/09...received by CMS on 3/6/09...on 3/11/09 I received a letter from CMS stating the following:

...Our office has requested this information from our client Resurgent Capital Service.Once we have received the information from Resurgent Capital Services, it will be forwarded to you...
By sending certified RRR you have proof of the letter’s mailing and receipt by the debt collector. If you do file a lawsuit against the debt collector, the certified RRR will help your case.

4] 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 the 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.

  • As of today 4/6/09 I have received nothing
5] 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. If debt collector list the debt on your credit report, it can be disputed.
  • The 30 days are up, so far nothing listed on my Experian report. I need to see if I should write a follow letter to CMS.
It will be interesting to see if this debt gets sold yet again. I also need to look into whether there is any legal means of preventing the constant selling of debts like this. I will be adding some information to help clarify some aspects of this post at a later time.

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