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DV letter question - how much time to respond?

Established Member

DV letter question - how much time to respond?

I have one VERY questionable medical collection ($300) reporting to two of the CRA's and I'm preparing to send off a request for debt validation.  I have never been contacted by the collection agency; I only found out about the alleged debt when they began reporting to the CRA's. I immediately filed online disputes; TU removed the collection within a day, EQ didin't remove it but included a note that said "customer disputes this medical colection" and EX came back after 30 days and replied "updated" (the collection remained in my file).

I'm unclear about how much time the collection agency has to respond to my letter; my understanding is they need to provide written validation within 5 days after contacting me by phone...but since there's been no contact, do they have 30 days to respond to my letter?  The collection is actually not hurting my score, but it's a matter of principle with me and I want the negative info off my reports. Can someone please verify the time frame I need to allow them to respond to me?  Thanks!

Message 1 of 8
7 REPLIES
Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?

DV requirments are set forth under FDCPA 809(b).

 

There is no period for requried response to a DV under the FDCPA.

A timely DV imposes a cease collection bar on the debt collector, which remains in effect until such time as they have provided the requested validation.

They can choose to delay (or never provide) validation, and simply cease further collection activities.

 

The five-day period for communication from a debt collector applies to their period for sending an initial collection ("dunning") notice, and not to any period for response to a DV request.  They are required under FDCPA 809(a) to send dunning notice within 5 days after an "initial communication with the consumer."

 

Message 2 of 8
Established Member

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?

So...since there was never an "initial communication with the consumer"...and subsequently no "dunning" letter ever sent to me...what is my next step in having them validate the alleged debt?

 

Message 3 of 8
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?


doredeb wrote:

So...since there was never an "initial communication with the consumer"...and subsequently no "dunning" letter ever sent to me...what is my next step in having them validate the alleged debt?

 


There is no "next step". As Robert indicated - there is no requirement for them to do so. You have requested validation, and the ball is now in their court. They can choose to validate or do nothing.

 

If you have good reason to doubt the legitimacy of this debt, you might take the "possible ID theft" route to get it removed.

Most Recent FICO 8 Scores EX601/TU580/EQ589 12/08/2017 Starting scores 553/485/543 08/25//2017
~~~Credit lines~~~~
SDFCU VISA Secured $250
Discover Secured $200
Message 4 of 8
Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?

There is case law that interprets posting of a collection to your credit report as triggering the requirment to send dunning notice.

Thus, you may have basis for asserting a violation of the dunning notice requirment of FDCPA 809(a).

Regardless, if they have not sent dunning notice, then any DV you send will be timely, and thus impose a cease collection bar under FDCPA 809(b).

 

You can choose to separately file a complaint with the CFPB over their failure to have sent a timely dunning notice under section 809(a).

However, resolution of that separate issue does not impact the DV process under section 809(b), as you have a timely DV request since it was sent prior to any dunning notice.

Message 5 of 8
Established Member

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?

Here's the deal:  The collection agency is reporting a $300 debt from 2011.  I did visit the hospital ER around the time of the "debt", but after checking in (lady at desk scanned my DL and took my temperature), I was told to wait in the chairs. Three hours later I was still sitting in the chairs.  Never saw so much as a nurse or PA, let alone a doctor.  I left the ER without having seen anyone or filled out any paperwork.  Fast forward SIX years to finding out a collection agency is reporting on my credit reports.  I called the hospital after seeing their name listed as the Original Creditor.  They said they "might" have generated a bill (taking my temperature...really?) and then sent it to an old address from 2004, the last time I had visited that hospital.  The hospital says they have no information verifying that's what happened.  My driver license had my my correct address, and my phone number has never changed, so they didn't do much to "find" me if they did, in fact, bill me.  If they had, I obviously would have disputed any charge. If they DID generate a bill, I should be able to dispute it (I was never given a chance) and I don't know how dealing with the collector will get me anywhere.  I need to see what it is the collector has to be able to dispute it with the original creditor, since they claim to know nothing about it. 

 

Message 6 of 8
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?


doredeb wrote:

Here's the deal:  The collection agency is reporting a $300 debt from 2011.  I did visit the hospital ER around the time of the "debt", but after checking in (lady at desk scanned my DL and took my temperature), I was told to wait in the chairs. Three hours later I was still sitting in the chairs.  Never saw so much as a nurse or PA, let alone a doctor.  I left the ER without having seen anyone or filled out any paperwork.  Fast forward SIX years to finding out a collection agency is reporting on my credit reports.  I called the hospital after seeing their name listed as the Original Creditor.  They said they "might" have generated a bill (taking my temperature...really?) and then sent it to an old address from 2004, the last time I had visited that hospital.  The hospital says they have no information verifying that's what happened.  My driver license had my my correct address, and my phone number has never changed, so they didn't do much to "find" me if they did, in fact, bill me.  If they had, I obviously would have disputed any charge. If they DID generate a bill, I should be able to dispute it (I was never given a chance) and I don't know how dealing with the collector will get me anywhere.  I need to see what it is the collector has to be able to dispute it with the original creditor, since they claim to know nothing about it. 

 


OK, instead of DV, you need to do a Direct Dispute with the CA - rescind the DV.

Most Recent FICO 8 Scores EX601/TU580/EQ589 12/08/2017 Starting scores 553/485/543 08/25//2017
~~~Credit lines~~~~
SDFCU VISA Secured $250
Discover Secured $200
Message 7 of 8
Highlighted
Established Member

Re: DV letter question - how much time to respond?

Can you elaborate?  I haven't sent the DV yet; are you suggesting I send the CA a dispute letter outlining what happened at the hospital? Sorry, I've never done this before.

Message 8 of 8