The government screws a lot of things up. But, sometimes they actually make things easier for consumers. Its not often, but sometimes it happens! The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is one of those times – mostly.
The FDCPA requires that debt collectors send consumers a written notice that includes, among other things, the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and a statement that, if within thirty days of receiving the notice the consumer disputes the debt in writing, the collector will obtain verification of the debt and mail it to the consumer.
15 USC 1692(g) states that the notice must include “Unless you notify this office within thirty (30) days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office within thirty (30) days from receiving notice, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request, within thirty (30) days after receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This letter is from a debt collector.”
There is no requirement that this specific language be used, but the same information must be included in the letter. Most debt collectors use this language right out of the code.
Many consumers who do not receive the notice are unaware that they must send their dispute in writing if they wish to obtain verification of the debt. If you receive a notice and you do not see this language, take the letter to an attorney and have it reviewed. There may be a debt collection violation.