It’s essential you confirm with the debt collector whether a debt is actually yours before paying a single dime. It’s because of this that debtors are legally mandated with sending you a debt validation letter. Here, the debt owed is clearly stated, the exact amount owed, and other relevant information.
Only after receiving such details is when you can be sure that you’re dealing with a legit debt collector. Otherwise, you risk falling prey to scams as many people have and end up getting ripped off your hard-earned money. To avoid this from happening, here’s a guide on the debt validation letter.
What is a Debt Validation Letter?
The debt validation letter refers to the letter sent by the consumer to confirm a debt by offering valid and legit evidence for such a claim. As a consumer, you’re entitled to know whether it’s actually you who’s incurred the debt and are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You should always send this letter within 30 days after getting a notice to collect a debt you owe.
The debt validation letters are meant to safeguard consumers, making them vital during the process of collecting the debt. This is because mistakes often happen during the debt collection process and might see you pay a debt that’s exceeded the legal statute of limitations or a debt that is actually not yours. But the debt validation letter ensures that the debt collector proves beyond reasonable doubt the debt owed is legit. Only after requesting debt verification should you enter into negotiations with the debt collector.
There are several details that should be included in the debt validation letter, including;
- The amount you owe
- The name of the creditor who you owe money
- A declaration stating the debtor will confirm your debt via mail should you request for added information or dispute the debt
- A statement the collector will assume the debt is valid unless a disagreement gets raised within 30 days after the first contact
How to Write a Debt Validation Letter
Here are the steps to follow when writing the debt validation letter;
Step 1: Get The Letter Template
There’s a template image on this page that allows you to hastily preview the paperwork. Once you’re ready, go ahead and choose the software environment best suited for entering such details to the word processing document or PDF document. You can download the template either in “ODT”, “Word”, or “PDF” form as seen in the caption area. This form will be needed by different parties, so make sure to only fill your designated section.
Step 2: Fill Out The Heading With Necessary Details
Step 3: State The Purpose For This Correspondence
Find the area below this letter’s opening and check the two checkboxes. Here, you should state why you’re sending the paperwork to the party being addressed.
When writing this letter due to an unfamiliar notice of debt, notice of legal proceedings or unfamiliar bill, go ahead and make sure to check the first checkbox. Using the blank lines following the statement “Notice Sent To Me On…”., state the official correspondence date you received. This letter is usually the response to the first received notice.
When sending this letter due to your Credit Report having an error, make the second box preceding the words, “Response To A Listing…”.
Step 4: You Must Sign This Letter And The Desist Letter
Sign your name below the word “Sincerely” to show you’re serious about this issue. This line is usually found at the page’s bottom section. The paperwork’s second page needs a signature of the persons sending it. Sign the blank line under “Sincerely” as the language has been sent already.
Step 5: The Debt Collect Should Provide The Requested Information
The third page is titled “Creditor/Debt Collector Declaration”, and needs to be filled by the party above the letter and whom has been sent this notice. Numerous pieces of information should be included in this section. This includes;
- Name And Address Of Alleged Creditor
- Name on File Of Alleged Debtor
- Alleged Account #
- Address On File For Alleged Debtor
- Amount Of Alleged Debt
- Date When Debt Became Payable
- Date Of Original Charge Or Delinquency
- Was This Debt Assigned To A Debt Collector Or Purchased
- Amount Paid If Debt Was Purchased
- Commission For Debt Collector If Collection Efforts Are Successful
Step 6: A Formal Request For The Information Should Be Pleased By The Creditor
This is the last page of the paperwork and needs details the creditor can furnish with relative ease. The creditor should also answer some details, including the Debt Collector or Collection Agency stated on the blank line preceding the words “Collection Agency Name.”
Debt Validation Letter Format
(Your return address)
(Debt collector’s name)
(Debt collector’s address)
Subject: (Including debt account number)
Dear (Debt collector),
I was communicated by (name of debt collector representative) through (letter or phone) on (date). According to this representative, I owed (dollar amount) to (name of creditor). Nonetheless, I don’t have any outstanding debt with this creditor. It seems like my personal details got stolen (when), and I challenged that account with the major credit bureaus and the (name of creditor).
If you still deem I’m responsible for the debt, please send me the necessary documentation you have to prove your allegations. Until then, please stop contacting me with immediate effect and take note on your records I have lodged a dispute of any responsibility for this specific debt.
If you’ve reported this matter or are planning to report to the credit bureau, please also do report that I’m disputing this debt.
Debt Validation Letter Template
How to Send a Debt Validation Letter
When sending the debt validation letter, here are the steps you should follow;
Step 1: Write The Debt Validation Letter
You shouldn’t start defending yourself as the suspected debtor. This is because this letter’s primary purpose is requesting the creditor to give you the creditor’s address, name, and the reason you’re responsible for the particular debt.
Step 2: Include A Cease And Desist Addendum
You may choose to inform the collection agency under § 805(c) about not wanting to get contacted or called in any way. Doing this shows the creditor you acknowledge having the debt but don’t wish to be contacted, otherwise, you’ll take legal action against them.
Step 3: Sign The Documents
For it to be considered you’ve legally served the creditor, this letter needs to be sent via the United States Postal Service (USPS) with a return receipt. Subsequently, the creditor will get a validation letter instructing them they need to sign the receipt, and then it gets sent back to the debtor.
Step 4: Send and Wait for 30 Days
The creditor is given 30 days under the Federal law ( 15 U.S. Code § 1692g(b)) to do their investigations and send the judgments to the debtor. If the suspected debtor doesn’t hear back from the creditor within 30 days, the collection won’t be valid anymore.
The debt validation letter is essential to ensure you only pay the debt that you owe. This saves you from paying for someone else’s debt and suffering the financial burden. If you didn’t know how to go about writing this letter, this post outlines the steps you need to follow.