01-28-2013 08:43 AM
Last week a found a nice sample DV letter on these forums. I have been looking for it again for the past half hour if anyone could link me I would be grateful. Also any advise on the DV process would be great. I have 2 accounts in collections. I disputed them with all 3 CRAs, EQ deleted both, TU verified both and still waiting to hear back from EX. Thanks!
01-28-2013 08:51 AM
What was your reason for disputing?
When you send a DV letter, keep it simple and short. "You are attempting to collect this debt_____________. Please validate".
They are not required to give you a laundry list of things. I've seen one DV letter that is a page long, requesting all sorts of things. They are not required to provide anything other than the amount of debt, name of creditor to whom the debt is owed, and if specifically asked for, the name and address of the original creditor.
01-28-2013 10:08 AM - edited 01-28-2013 10:54 AM
The simple statutory language of FDCPA 809(b) is that the deb collector must "cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt...."
The FDCPA does not define how or what constitues obtaining verification. Whenever statutory language is broad, vague, or subject to interpretation, it is left to the courts to interpret the meaning and intent of the statutory language. It is thus the judge in your particular case who ultimately decides what is or is not adequate debt verification.
A uniform judicial interpretation does not come about unless and until the issue gets before the U.S. Supreme Court. That has not happened with respect to FDCPA 809(b).
Interpetations within each of the federal circuits does not become binding until decided at the appellate level, and then only within that circuit.
You are free to throw out a long laundary list of what you want as part of adeqate debt vericiation, but most precedential case law has interpreted section 809(b) to have been met if the debt collector has obtained reasonable basis for their statement that they verify the debt and passes that statement on to the consumer. They are not required to provide documentation or prove the basis for their verification. That makes emminent sense to me, as if documentation were to be required, there is no "debt verification court" under the FDCPA to rule on the inevitable differences of opinion on what that documentation "proves."
The DV process is not a fact finding process with procedures to rule on facts. It is a process that compels a debt collector to state that they have investigated and have reasonable basis for stating that the debt is considered valid. If they choose to verify without reasonable basis, they take the chance that if ever before a judge, they could be found to have knowingly or negligently violated the FDCPA.
Thus, requirements for documentation or the other many items contained in DV letters you see floating about the net are fodder for legal briefs, not DV requests, and in my opinion should not be included in a DV.
I would stick with "I request validation of the debt pursuant to FDCPA809(b)," and let the statutory requirements speak for themselves.
I would add only two other requests, depending upon your circumstances. The courts have held that a consumer has need for some itemization of an asserted debt in order to evaluate its proper amount, so a request for itemization is, in my opinion, prudent and proper.
Additinally, section 809(b) only requires the debt collector to provide the name of the current creditor unless the DV specifically includes a request for the name of the original creditor, so if you have doubt as to their identity, I would also include that request.
As a separate administrative matter, there is a growing tactic amongst some debt collectors to "mistakenly" treat a DV as a dispute.
Thus, I would recommend aslo including the sentence "This is not a dispute of credit reporting under either FCRA 611(a) or 623(a)(8)."
As a final factor, is your DV even timely at this point? If they sent dunning notice more than 30 days ago, it imposes nothing on them, and they can go about their business as usual.