So, do I need to send another debt validation letter since they are only now calling me? As I've said before, this agency has never reached out to me - had I not had those credit alerts, I would've never known about this. And I have lived at the same address for four years, so I would not have missed any piece of mail that would speak to this.
I don't have an issue filing in small claims court myself against them, they are up to 6 as of today - but I don't know if I need to consult a lawyer first.
After reaserching the case law, I would tend to agree with prior posters who have stated that a DV sent prior to dunning notice does not impose a cease collection bar.
FCRA 609(b) only imposes a timeliness requirement of 30 days if a dunning notice has been sent, but only states that a cease collection bar is imposed by a DV that is sent within a 30-day period after sending of a dunning notice. I found no case law interpretation that supported my prior conclusion that a DV would impose a cease collection bar even if no dunning notice has been sent.
The legislative history of the DV process shows that it was implemented to shut off continued collection activities until the consumer received validation. No initiation of collection activities means that there is not yet a need to give the consumer that reprieve, so the debt collector can wait until they choose to begin active collection, and get one shot at seeking payment of the debt before the consumer can then bar continued collection activities.
Thanks for the clarification!
Thanks for the research into this, I appreciate it. What do you recommend my next step is? They are only calling - still no mail or any information on what they are collecting. Am I in limbo until I receive mail? Do I re-send the validation letter?
FCRA 605(a) sets formal requirement to send the required dunning notice within 5 days after the debt collector has initiated communication with the consumer regarding the debt.
If they are calling, then answer the phone, which then completes their call as a communication regarding their collection on the debt, thus imposing their requirement to send dunning notice, and thus your ability to then send a timely DV that will impose a cease collection bar, provided you send the DV within the 30-day period set in the dunning notice.
When answering their call, you need not discuss the validity of the debt or enter into any specific discussion regarding the debt.
Simply inform them that you will await their dunning notice, and terminate the call.
At the advice of some, I submitted a complaint to the CFPB for how USCB was attemping collection on an alleged debt with me without any kind of correspondence or verification; in addition to me sending a certified letter. I included the letter I sent to them as well as a photo of the SIGNED returned receipt from their office indicating they received the letter.
UCSB has responded to the complaint and this is a snippet, verbatim, from them:
"The following represents the findings of our investigation into the concerns you raised and our conlusion in terms of the mitigating steps USCB has taken to resolve the complaint. USCB records do not reflect receipt of any letters from the complainant. The letters provided reflect items requested that UCSB is not required to provide. The accounts in question are not being credit reported and a collection hold has been placed on the accounts based upon the dispute UCSB has just received in the CFPB complaint."
I am allowed to provide feedback - but things are not adding up. They state they do not have records that they received a letter, but I do have proof of it(the address I sent it to was taken directly off the credit report item). They seem to indicate that they are NOT required to provide items/proof of the alleged debt, yet they still attempted to call me 11 days in a row. The calls have since stopped becuase of this complaint, but I am not sure what all this adds up to.