Senior Contributor
Noah_Bodie
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
Debt Validation
[ Edited ]

FDCPA requires a CA to send you an initial written notice containing these five things:

  1. the amount of the debt;
  2. the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
  3. a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
  4. a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
  5. a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

 

If the CA does not include these, they are in violation of FDCPA. Save the written notice you receive. Your lawyer will be happy you did.

 

Regardless, now is the time to request validation. Debt Validation is a powerful weapon. Use it.

 

Ignore the DV form letters you find out there. KISS principle.

 

"I pulled my credit bureau report, and I discovered that you claim I owe you a debt. Under § 809 of FDCPA, send me validation of this debt."

 

"You claim I owe you a debt. In accordance with FDCPA, send me validation of this debt."

 

"I receive your letter claiming I owe you a debt. Per the FDCPA, send me validation of this debt."

 

Send the DV letter CMRRR, save your CM receipt, save your RRR green card when it comes back, save your USPS receipt (CM # is on it), photocopy your signed DV letter and save that.

 

Also include a reference line at the top of your letter.

USPS CERTIFIED MAIL xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

 

Don't use the words "cease and desist" in a DV letter. There's no such thing as limited C&D so don't get cute.

 

If you say C&D in any context, they will likely comply by ceasing and desisting. If you're still under the SOL, they will also likely now sue. They will probably tell the judge if it goes to court they were complying with your instructions to C&D. They could argue that by C&Ding them they were not legally obliged to validate. Don't cheat yourself out of catching them in one or more violations.

 

Save every letter and notice you get in the mail, and save copies of everything you send. It probably won't hurt to make 3-5 photocopies of everything you send out.


Contributor
devhip
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎04-28-2007
Re: Debt Validation
Next step? What if they ignore your correspondence and don't delete? I have a few remaining stubborn accounts. One is from the notorious Arrow, and is over 8 years old. Yet they verify with the CRA's and I guess their word is taken as gospel.
Senior Contributor
Noah_Bodie
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
Re: Debt Validation
[ Edited ]

Statute pertaining to DV is § 809 of the FDCPA, aka 15 USC 1692g.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=15&sec=1692g

 

DV seems to scare off at least some CAs and even some OCs. Before I knew any better, I DVed two OCs and got two deletes. You can only DV a CA--not an OC--and you must do it within 30 days of receiving notice.

 

There are two possible violations committed by CAs when you DV them. First, their notice to you must contain certain things--see 809(a). Second, once you timely DV a CA, they have to validate or cease collection efforts--see 809(b). They can take as long as they want to validate. 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, or longer. Does not matter. But they MUST cease collection efforts, and that includes reporting to the CRAs.

 

If they don't validate, they cannot call, write, sue, or continue reporting to the CRAs. IOW, if they don't validate, then they have to delete from the CRAs. But understand this does not preclude an OC from continuing to report. DV only affects the CA.

 

The statutes say you have to DV within 30 days. However, if the CA puts something on your CR, and you don't find out for years, has the 30 day clock already run? I dunno and I'm not a lawyer.

 

In my very non-legal opinion, if a CA puts a collection on your CRs, but you don't find out for years, I say the 30 day clock starts when you find out. If they've never sent you anything in writing and never notified you by phone, then I don't see how the clock could reasonably be ticking. Not a lawyer and not a federal judge so consider my opinion accordingly.

 

Assuming they respond, what exactly constitutes adequate validation under law? Can they simply respond in writing saying, "You owe this so pay up."? Can they send you a letter with your name, address, a dollar amount, and the name of a creditor? Excellent questions to which I have no simple answers, but I suspect the answers are no and no.

 

Hopefully the matter will be decided very soon before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case that is worth watching. Guerrero v. RJM. Case # 05-15121. The credit industry, IMHO, is deathly afraid of a published opinion in this case. The 9th Circuit tends to be very consumer friendly, so long as they don't think you are squirreling around with them.
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/

 

In direct answer to your question, if you timely DV and they don't cease collection efforts, then they are in violation. Since it's Arrow, I would try to collect all the violations I could on them. If you're in a one party state for the recording of phone calls, record your conversations with them and don't tell 'em you're recording. With hardheads like Arrow, you'll want the law, and the threat of a lawsuit, on your side. Even if you're in an all parties state, I'd still record my calls. Obviously you need to tell 'em you're recording, but they might be foolish enough to say harassing or threatening things even if you tell 'em you're recording the call.

 

You saw the $100K lawsuit a woman in L.A. won against Arrow a few days ago? They are one after Fred Hanna's own heart. The law means nothing to them.

I suspect this post, and perhaps this thread, will soon disappear. Talk of lawsuits isn't exactly viewed with great praise in these here parts. But I ask the question to all, if the law says one can sue, and if the courts permit the suit to go forward, and if $100K awards are being given to consumers because CAs and OCs are continuing to violate the laws, why is this not a valid topic for discussion?

 

Fair Isaac is part of the credit industry, but by and large Fair Isaac has the least involvement with consumers. Fair Isaac doesn't report to CRAs or store credit information of any kind. Fair Isaac is the algorithm that the OCs, CAs, CRAs and consumers utilize. If these sorts of discussions aren't permitted, then it seems Fair Isaac is displaying more than a bit of bias towards those in the credit industry.

 

Moderator Emeritus
masdeocho
Posts: 2,050
Registered: ‎04-17-2007
Re: Debt Validation


Noah_Bodie wrote:

Fair Isaac is part of the credit industry, but by and large Fair Isaac has the least involvement with consumers. Fair Isaac doesn't report to CRAs or store credit information of any kind. Fair Isaac is the algorithm that the OCs, CAs, CRAs and consumers utilize. If these sorts of discussions aren't permitted, then it seems Fair Isaac is displaying more than a bit of bias towards those in the credit industry.



Fair Isaac is a big business and its customers are lenders, so that's where its loyalties are.  We consumers are just annoying flies they have to swat at occasionally.  
-----------------
Bartender, bring another round of FICOtinis please!

9.4.2011: TU 805. EQ 815.
Member
Quietman
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-12-2007
Re: Debt Validation
[ Edited ]
Corrected to comply with guidelines - Quietman :smileyhappy:


Message Edited by Quietman on 05-14-2007 11:38 AM
Senior Contributor
Noah_Bodie
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
Re: Debt Validation
Quietman,
 
Thing is, if you don't mention validation, or in any way state that you challenge their claim, they might then have standing when they claim, "But your honor, the debtor never challenged the debt. We would of course provided validation of the debt if we had been asked, but we weren't."
Member
Quietman
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-12-2007
Re: Debt Validation
[ Edited ]
Corrected to comply with guidelines - Quietman :smileyhappy:


Message Edited by Quietman on 05-14-2007 11:38 AM
Member
Scubasteve2365
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-10-2007
Re: Debt Validation
[ Edited ]
I'm new to this game, and after having pulled my CRs from the three agencies for the first time in my life I have quite a few things that should NOT be on my report. Some things I have no clue what they are, and some things I know what they are, but were taken care off and should have never seen the light of day on my credit report.

Let's say I use an example posted in this thread, and send these collection agencies a letter via Certified USPS mail. What is the point? I'm sure they have a account information on me. For example, one of my Collection accounts is $70 to HollyWood video. The collection agency has information forwarded to them from Hollywood video, and they can just simply "validate" the account with that information.

What do they have to "prove", and what do I do if I get no response from them. What threats can I really do, because certainly the average consumer doesn't bother filing small claims cases. Don't these guys typically "call your bluff?"

I have likewise questions about sending in Disputes to the 3 credit agencies. Using the Hollywood video account example from above. Let's say I send in the dispute, they contact the CA, and the CA forwards them the information they have. Won't that be counted as "proof"? How can I make anyone know that I returned that video to the store 3 years ago?

I guess I'm just confused about all the "laws" governing disputes and validations. Any good reading somewhere on them? I think my credit score could easily be 50pts higher if I cleaned up all the little nit-picky $50-$200 collection accounts that shouldn't be there.

Message Edited by Scubasteve2365 on 05-14-2007 07:03 AM
Member
Quietman
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-12-2007
Re: Debt Validation
[ Edited ]
Corrected to comply with Guidelines - Quietman :smileyhappy:

Message Edited by Quietman on 05-14-2007 11:39 AM
Member
Scubasteve2365
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-10-2007
Re: Debt Validation
Wow, thanks alot. That Flow Chart really helps visualize the process. My only questions know, what exactly is a validation from a CA? Is it simply: Dear Joe Schmoe Company X says you owe the money Sincerly Collection Agency