Q: What is a validation letter and why should I send it?
A: A validation letter is simply a letter to the debt collector telling them that you dispute the debt. It can be sent by either the consumer or by an attorney on the consumer’s behalf. But, essentially, the letter is the same. It reads like this:
“I am in receipt of your letter of XXXX, 2013. I dispute this debt. Please provide validation of this debt to me. You may not take any further efforts to collect this debt until you validate this debt. Further, your validation must include a copy of the assignment to you.
You may not report this to the credit reporting agencies while this matter is being disputed.”
Short and simple. And it complies with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA” and the Rosenthal Act (“R-FDCPA”).
Now for the second part, why you should send it. This letter, or something very close to it, is the requirement in the law that makes the debt collector stop calling you, stop bothering you, and show you that you may actually owe this debt. (Just because they send you something, doesn’t mean it is true.) If you do not respond, the debt collector could allege that you agree you owe this debt since you did not respond. Thus, any time you receive a letter from a debt collector, you should send a validation letter. Note that a phone call will not protect your rights.
A validation letter will protect your rights. When a debt collector calls you for the first time, they then have five days to get you a letter. Once you receive that letter, you only have 30 days to respond with a validation letter. Do not delay. Either hire an attorney to send one or send it yourself. But make sure you get that validation letter out.