Have you ever been in a situation where a debt collector asks you to pay a debt that you’re unsure of? Or maybe you had reason to question the right of the collector to collect the debt?
Here’s something you need to know. You are entitled to request a debt validation anytime a collector asks you for a debt. For a credit collection agency to validate your debt they must provide proof of the debt, the amount you’re assumed to owe, and evidence of their legal right to receive the payment from you.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you can request a debt collector to provide proof of debt by validating the debt.
Why You Should Request Validation Before You Pay
You’re probably wondering why you need to request validation before you pay off the debt. Here are a few reasons:
1. To verify that particular debt is yours:
Sometimes a debt may look legitimate, but in our age and time, it is easy to falsify information about a person’s financial dealings.
2. To be assured that you haven’t already paid:
It’s possible that you’ve already paid the debt and you vaguely remember it. Validating the debt will take care of this doubt.
3. To make sure that the debt collector is the right authority to receive the debt:
Let’s say you owe the money. How are you sure that the collection agency is the right agency to receive the debt on the creditor’s behalf? To avoid the chances of being duped, a debt validation letter is of utmost essence.
How does Debt Validation Work?
The debt validation procedure is time-bound. To validate a debt, the collecting agency must send a written notice of debt validation to you within five days of first contacting you.
This notice gives you the space of 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt, after which it can’t be disputed anymore. The debt collector can also include the debt validation notice in their first communication to you if the communication is in writing.
The Validation Request
For a validation request to protect your rights, it must be in writing. In the request, you can dispute all or part of the debt, or even request the identity of the creditor. After the collecting agency receives your request, they must provide you with the information you requested before contacting you again. If however the collecting agency is unable to validate the debt, they must delete the entry from your credit profile.