Collectors Must Send a Letter
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), within five days of initially contacting you, a debt collector must send you a written debt validation letter that contains the following information:
The amount of the debt;
The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed; and
A statement that unless you dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days after receiving the notice, the debt collector will assume that the debt is valid.
The five-day debt collection notice is extremely important, in that it provides you with clear information about the source and amount of the debt, as well as your right to dispute the debt. Unscrupulous debt collectors don’t send the debt collection notice or validate the debt. Unsuspecting consumers don't know that, if they don't respond within 30 days, the debt collection agencies can get a legal judgment against them.
Sometimes, debt collectors do send the five-day debt collections notice, but the information about your right to dispute is buried in the fine print. The debt collector is banking on the chance that you’ll run out of time to dispute the debt collections claim within the 30-day window of opportunity. If the debt is in dispute, it means a lot more work for the debt collector, in that he or she must obtain verification.
When you’re behind in paying your bills, it’s tempting to avoid opening the mail. After all, who wants to be subjected to harassing letters and reminders? But before you toss all of the unopened mail into a pile, remember that a five-day debt collection validation letter means that the clock is ticking. Even though it may be unpleasant, make it a point to open the mail. It’s a better alternative than having a debt collection agency get a judgment against you.
Received a Debt Validation Letter?
If you’ve received a five-day debt collections validation letter, the first thing you should do is carefully read through it. Does it clearly state that you have 30 days to dispute the debt? Does it note the amount of the debt and the name of the creditor? If not, you should contact The Prado Law Firm Today. If the debt collection agency has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you are entitled to actual damages, attorney fees, and up to $1,000. The legal team at The Prado Law Firm will provide you with a free case evaluation, and will represent you if you’ve been the victim of abusive debt collections practices. To speak with a representative directly and immediately call (470) 353-8870 for a free, no obligation case evaluation.
If the information about the amount of the debt and the creditor is incorrect, you should send a debt collection dispute letter within the 30-day window of opportunity. Alternately, your fair debt attorney can send a letter on your behalf. Keep in mind that some debt collection agencies buy up what’s known as “junk debt,” and so the creditor listed may not be the original creditor. It’s important to make the debt collection agency take the time and effort to validate the debt.