Newbie here. I'm in the process of repairing and rebuilding like many of you. I sent a creditor a debt validation letter. The creditor mailed a letter "contract" back to me that did not bear my signature on any page, whatsoever. What is the next step that I should take? I know that I should send them a second letter requesting a signature, but I just don't know how to word it.
Is this account yours??
A signed signature, I would think nowadays everything is electronic for the most part.
Are you dealing with the original creditor or a debt collector?
Validation does not apply to the creditor, only to third party debt collectors.
Also, an unsigned contract is not sufficient validation IMHO. Your mileage may vary, but in my mind, anyone can send out a blank contract....that's meaningless. For example, a blank contract not only does not show that you are attached to an account in any way, but it also does not show anything about the amount that they are claiming you owe. My three requirements, personally, before I agree to pay anything to a debt collector, are as follows:
1--that they show the debt is mine
2--that they show that they are legally entitled to collect it
3--that the amount they claim I owe is substantiated.
If they cannot do those, I do not pay. Again, your mileage may vary. But I've actually seen debt collectors trying to collect from me on accounts that either did not even exist, or that I was not responsible for in the first place.
Also, an unsigned contract is not sufficient validation IMHO. Your mileage may vary, but in my mind, anyone can send out a blank contract....that's meaningless.
I believe the legal requirement is very basic. Debtor name Debtie name, reason for debt.
Even if the contract is unsigned, if it contains the Debtors name and the Debtie's name, it should be enough to verify the debt for collections purposes.
The bare mininum would be a letter saying "According to BUSINESS, PERSON owes money for REASON." A very low bar. \
So are you saying that they don’t have to produce a signature from me to prove it’s valid?
Yes and no. For debt collection purposes they do not need a signature to resume debt collection activities.
However, without a signature it is unlikely that they could successfully take you to court over this debt. But that is a discussion to have with a lawyer.
The statute (FDCPA 809(b)) does not require that a findng of validity made by a debt collector and conveyed to the consumer must "prove" the legitimacy of the debt. Case law interpreting the degree to which validation requires any supporting documentation or proofs generally holds that a statement of finding is adequate. However there are cases where the judge has interpreted that some degree of documentation is required. In the end, what is or is not adequate validation is what the judge interprets the statute to require.
In most federal jurisdictions, no requirement for supporting documentation is the standard, and their finding would not require a signed contract.
HOwever, it also depends upon your state of residence, as some states have enacted enhanced debt collection practices statutes that do include additonal requirments. It is not a simple answer of yes or no.
Also, be aware that FDCPA 809(b) imposes no period for, or even any requirement to, send any validation.
A DV request, if timely, only imposes a cease collection bar on the debt collector, which remains in effect until they choose to send validation. If you consider validation to be inadequate, that means that you consider them to remain under a cease collection bar, and not that they are required to then send whatever you deem to be necessary.
Finally, FDCPA 809(b) requires that the consumer assert that the debt is not valid, in whole or in part.
If you acknowledge that the debt is valid, there really is no assertion that it is not.