With any debt – be it credit card debt, mortgage debt, or other type of debt – the debt collector or lending institution must provide a validation letter that outlines in detail what the debt is, how much you owe, and other important information regarding the debt.
The debt validation letter is an essential step before you consider paying even a dime on the loan. Errors in debt collection are all-too-common, as are debt collection scams.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors must send you a written debt validation letter within five days of the first contact. If you don’t receive one, be sure to request one with a debt verification letter.
The debt validation letter from the collector must include:
- The amount of the debt owed
- The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed
- A statement that the debt is assumed valid unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt
- A statement that the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment if the consumer disputes the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period
- A statement that the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period
Timing is Everything
As noted above, you have 30 days to respond to a debt validation letter. While the debt collector is verifying that the debt is yours, they must stop trying to collect payment; however, if you send a verification letter after the thirty-day period, the debt is assumed valid and the collector may continue to seek payment while responding to your letter.
If you find yourself in the position of needing guidance when it comes to debt collection practices or foreclosure defense, we can help. Get in touch with us at Silverberg|Brito, PLLC right away for help.