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Did I use the debt validation letter in the correct way?


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Two weeks ago, I began working on settling my debts. I am new to this forum as well as new to credit repair; however, when I sent out DV letters to 3 CA’s, I did so based on another websites’ information and now I’m questioning if I did the right thing.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but based on threads I have read on this forum, a DV is supposed to be mailed to the CA within 30 days after the “first” time they send you a letter. What do you do if they’ve already sent a few letters? Or what if an attorney’s office or another CA sends you letters as a representative of the current CA listed on CR?

Here’s my situation. To simplify things I will just refer to one acct. because their situations are similar. My acct was charged off in May 2010. Starting in June 2010, I’ve been receiving letters from a few different CA’s . For example, I’d receive a letter from one CA then 2 or 3 months later would receive a letter from a different CA for that same acct. I did not respond nor answer any calls. Now that I am able to begin dealing with the acct, I pulled my credit report and mailed DV to the CA that is listed on my CR. I did this since some of the letters were getting dated and I thought it would be best to go by the current CR. Now after re-reading the letters, I noticed that the CA on my CR is listed on the letters as the “Current Creditor”. I never rec’d an actual letter from this “Current Creditor” CA. Does that mean that the CA does not need to respond to the DV because they have been the “Current Creditor” for quite some time on these other CA letters? I’m so confused now! Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

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First, you can request (well you can request anytime) DV within the 30 days of your receipt of their initial contact letter with you. The easiest way to know if it's the alleged first contact is if the letter gives a long explanation of your right to dispute w/i 30 days (maxi miranda).

You can send them a DV at anytime but they don't have to respond or validate if it's after 30 days.

Second, it's very common for the debts to be passed around over and over again. In fact more common than staying with a single agency. Here is where it can be tricky and/or work in your favor. Each new agency is another opportunity to send DV. In other words if agency had the account for 90 days and you never sent DV and now agency B gets the account, you have your DV rights back, after agency B contacts you.

An original creditor, not current creditor, is exempt from the FDCPA. The current creditor can mean the debt has been sold. In the above example agency A might sell the account to agency B. If that happens, agency B might be the current creditor, but not the original creditor. In other words, agency B would have to follow the FDCPA, even if they own the debt.

An original creditor starts out with the debt and there can only be one original creditor. All other creditors are subject to FDCPA (generally speaking).

As to an atty, they are subject to the FDCPA (generally speaking and just about every time they engage in debt collection). An attorney even if they own the debt is not an original creditor, but a current creditor/owner. They have to comply with the FDCPA and give you your DV notice in their initial letter.

So to recap, it's the original creditor that does not have to follow the FDCPA and any third party collector or owner does have to follow the FDCPA. Also keep in mind, DV is just one thing that the FDCPA provides. Even if you don't send a DV letter the agency has to comply with all the other parts of the FDCPA and you can send a C&D at anytime to them if you wish.

Now, a DV is okay and I would always send one. However, there is way too much stock put in those letters. They are not a silver bullet. DV only requires the creditor to confirm they are contacting the correct person and their records do reflect the balance demanded. Note I said their records reflect, not their records are accurate.

You can actually do more harm than good in sending a DV. If you send a long drawn out letter, making demands for licenses, assignments, proving the debt is in statute, a full accounting and throw around a bunch of threats that you will get a lawyer or report them to the FTC, if might get you sued real quick. The reason, the agency will know you have no clue about the law.

So send your DV, just send them with about two sentences. The way I won a lawsuit was I sent a DV letter and then 2.5 years later, for some unknown reason the agency sent me another collection letter, but they never sent the basic DV from 2.5 years prior. I won on that and that was the only argument for my whole claim. So by all means fire them off, it might just get you an FDCPA violation. However, don't make empty threats and understand DV is really nothing.

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Thank you so much for your response! Could you please answer these questions for me?

1. Does the following info a CA sent me in response to my DV letter qualify as proof of validated debt? Or do they need to send me more info such as the original signed contract, copies of statements, etc..

Our client:

Original Creditor:

Original Account#:

Open Date:

Date of first delinquency:

Last payment prior to acquisition:

Interest rate:

Charge-off balance:

Charge-off date:

Current balance due:

This letter was on company letterhead, dated, but was not signed and didn’t have a person’s name to contact on it. Also, this CA does show on my CR.

2. With the other 2 CA’s, even though they did not respond to my DV letter (although I wasn’t aware at the time that I needed to respond to their first letter) since they are listed on my CR do I just assume that they are the ones that own the debt and send them a settlement offer? (Of course, I hate to “assume” anything, but I just want to get this over with!) Or do I just wait for them or some other CA who they might’ve assigned it to contact me? I’d prefer not to wait because eventually I would like to be able to qualify for a mortgage again. (I had to short sale last year and house I’m renting is in foreclosure, and I hate moving my family again, so trying to clear things up quickly but properly!)

I also need to clear up 2 Cap one debts, but that’s another post. Thanks for any help you can offer!

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Thank you so much for your response! Could you please answer these questions for me?

1. Does the following info a CA sent me in response to my DV letter qualify as proof of validated debt? Or do they need to send me more info such as the original signed contract, copies of statements, etc..

Our client:

Original Creditor:

Original Account#:

Open Date:

Date of first delinquency:

Last payment prior to acquisition:

Interest rate:

Charge-off balance:

Charge-off date:

Current balance due:

This letter was on company letterhead, dated, but was not signed and didn’t have a person’s name to contact on it. Also, this CA does show on my CR.

2. With the other 2 CA’s, even though they did not respond to my DV letter (although I wasn’t aware at the time that I needed to respond to their first letter) since they are listed on my CR do I just assume that they are the ones that own the debt and send them a settlement offer? (Of course, I hate to “assume” anything, but I just want to get this over with!) Or do I just wait for them or some other CA who they might’ve assigned it to contact me? I’d prefer not to wait because eventually I would like to be able to qualify for a mortgage again. (I had to short sale last year and house I’m renting is in foreclosure, and I hate moving my family again, so trying to clear things up quickly but properly!)

I also need to clear up 2 Cap one debts, but that’s another post. Thanks for any help you can offer!

Hey Sunflower,

Slowdown. :shock: Don't be too hasty.

I know time is of the essence for you but...

NO need to be sending ANY kind of settlement offers to a CA's yet. (if ever). Paying off and settling debts with CA's, unless you know HOW to do it properly, can actually HURT your credit score. AND, unless you negotiate it the right way, it doesn't remove it from the CB's either... so.... take your time and let the board work for you.

At the top of every page is a section called, Debt Validation, click on it and read that entire section, even if you're past the DV stage. It's imperative because in that section (as well as threads) you learn that you do not have *ANY* (read that again) obligation to pay a JDB - a Junk Debt Buyer that has *bought* your debt from your original creditor. This didn't make sense to me when I was new (a year ago), but now, it's common knowledge. You need to know why, and you can learn that stuff here.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone is here to help. :)

-RD

Edited by RockDaddy
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