What constitutes a legal debt validation?
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.
1. Send a letter requesting validation.
2. Wait 30 days. Most likely they will not respond or they will respond saying that they received your letter. Only a letter which includes proof that the collection company owns the debt is satisfactory.
3. If they haven't sent you satisfactory proof, send a copy of your receipt for your registered mail, a copy of the first letter you sent and a statement that they have not complied with the FDCPA and are now in violation of the act. Tell them they need to immediately remove the collection listing from your credit report or you are going to file a lawsuit on the basis of defamation, and violation of the FDCPA, section 809 (b).
4. Wait 15-20 days. They will either remove it or not respond.
5. Typically, your work will stop here, as most collection agencies will bow down to your demands and send you a letter agreeing to remove the listing. Now all you have to do is send a copy of the letter to the Credit Reporting Agencies.
6. If the collection agency did not agree to remove the listing, then you need to move on to the next steps.
7. File a lawsuit in small claims court against the collection agency on the basis of violating the FDCPA.
8. Have the papers served to the collection agency. (You can find a paper server on the internet for about $25).
9. In the meantime, in a parallel effort with your lawsuit against the collection agency.
10. Contact the credit bureaus, and tell them that the creditors did not verify the debts under the FDCPA, and send copies of your proof. It is crucial to contact each creditor before contacting the credit reporting agencies, or filing a lawsuit. Make sure you state that the collection agency did not respond to your request for debt validation.
11. If the credit bureaus come back to you and say the collection is "verified", it is time to get tough with them. You have just proved that the debt is not verified, since the
collection agency did not respond. They may tell you that the request needs to come
from the creditor. This is baloney. They are basically being an accessory to the collection agency's illegal act of reporting you in the first place. Tell them so.
12. File a small claim suit in court on the credit bureaus, on the basis of defamation of character. This is the easiest thing to prove since the fact that a collection exists on your credit report hurts your character.
13. Have the papers served. (You can find a paper server on the internet for about $25).
Here is a great link where you can search for the local office of the credit bureau near you. http://www.llrx.com/columns/roundup14.htm
14. Notify the bureaus that you are suing them. The credit bureaus will call the creditors and find out that there is a question about whether the debt is legitimate. They should delete it immediately. If you want more legal ammo, you might also try looking up similar cases to cite.
15. If you don't want to spend the $25 to serve the agencies (it is well worth it, though, in my opinion), make sure you note the case number and court in which you filed the suit when you notify the credit bureaus you are suing them.
See Also: http://educationcenter2000.com