Debt Validation, or "debt verification", refers to a consumer's right to challenge a debt and/or receive written verification of a debt from a debt collector.
The right to dispute the debt and receive validation are part of the consumer's rights under the United States Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and are set out in §809 of that act, which has been codified in Title 15, Section 1692-1692p of the United States Code.
This page explains how debt collectors can notify you and what types of debt validation notice is legal or illegal.
If the employer’s debt collection agent gives the required notice, employee debt collectors need not also provide it.
The original Act excluded lawyers from the definition of "debt collector" by explicitly exempting from any coverage “any attorney-at-law collecting a debt as an attorney on behalf of and in the name of a client.” The definition of "debt collector" was amended in 1986 to omit the prior exemption for attorneys.
A consumer can dispute all or any part of a debt at any time, but only a written request sent within thirty days of receipt of the first written notice of the debt triggers validation rights under the FDCPA.
provides that failure by the consumer to dispute the debt during the thirty-day period after the debt collector's initial communication with the consumer may not be construed by any court as an admission by the consumer that he is liable for the debt.
The debt collector is not required to provide more than one notice for each debt.A notice need not offer to identify the original creditor unless the name and address of the original creditor are different from the current creditor.A debt collector’s institution of formal legal action against a consumer (including the filing of a complaint or service of legal papers by an attorney in connection with a lawsuit to collect a debt) or transmission of a notice to a consumer that is required by law as a prerequisite to enforcing a contractual obligation is not a “communication in connection with collection of any debt,” and thus does not confer section G notice-and-validation rights on the consumer.Debt Collectors; And what you can do to Get Them Out of your Life By: Kenneth De Lashmuttsource: [email protected] FTC opinion letter on validation Section 809(a) of the FDCPA, 15 U. They may very well be a vital part of your defensive strategy later down the road. The attorney would therefore have to include the written notice mandated by Section 809(a) (often referred to as the "validation notice") in the court document itself or send it to the consumer "within five days after the initial communication." According to the ACA's Request, some "state laws or state court rules prohibit the inclusion of additional language such as the validation notice on documents filed with courts." The association asks whether the requirements of Section 809(a) are "supreme to," and thus preempt, these state laws or state court rules. Preemption cases generally proceed from "the starting presumption that Congress does not intend to supplant state laws." New York State Conference of Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans v. As Congress declared in Section 802(e) of the FDCPA, 15 U. The state provisions about which you inquire do not prevent consumers from receiving the full panoply of protections from abusive debt collection practices afforded by the FDCPA. § 1692g(b), provides: 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. In the Staff Commentary on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 53 Fed. 50097 (1988) ("Staff Commentary"), and staff opinion letters, Commission staff have consistently read Section 809(b) to permit a debt collector to continue to make demands for payment or take legal action within the thirty-day period. Thus, we believe that there is nothing in the Act that prevents you from filing suit during this period, so long as you do not make any representations that contradict Section 809(b). § 1692g(a) This will be a pretty long lesson and will cover an integral part of validation which is the receipt of the initial or first contact with the debtor by a collector which usually gets thrown in the trash can if the debtor has not the funds to pay. One should never throw those collection letters away. In arriving at this conclusion, the Court explicitly considered and rejected Commission staff's introductory remark regarding the coverage of litigation attorneys. (4) If an attorney debt collector has had no prior communications with a consumer before serving a summons or other court document on the consumer, that document would constitute the "initial communication" with the consumer if it conveys information regarding a debt. (7) Second, there is no conflict preemption based on state law standing as an obstacle to the full accomplishment and execution of Congressional purposes and objectives. § 1692(e), the purpose of the panoply of protections under the federal debt collection statute is: to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses. at 50,109, comment 809(b)-1 ("A debt collector need not cease normal collection activities within the consumer's 30-day period to give notice of a dispute until he receives a notice from the consumer."); letter from John F. Joshua Berger (May 29, 1997): We interpret the "thirty-day period" as a period within which consumers must dispute their debts in writing in order to avail themselves of their Section 809(b) rights, but not as a "grace" period.Collection notices by phone, mail or 3rd party can be unsettling and cause some people to panic because they do not know their fair debt collection rights.