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What is validation of debt under the Fair Debt Collection Act?

Texans who are in debt have a great deal on their minds without having to confront the reality that their creditors are going to begin harassing them with underhanded tactics. This is what the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is in place to try to stop. However, while it might be easy to find out what strategies creditors and debt collectors might undertake, there are also understated issues that debtors should know about.

When the debt collector contacts a debtor, there must be certain pieces of information provided. If it was not provided in the initial communication and the debt has not been paid within five days of that initial communication, the creditor is required to send the debtor the following information: how much is owed on the debt; the creditor that is owed the debt; and notice that the consumer will have 30 days to file a dispute of the debt before it will be assumed to have validity.

There must also be a notice that when there is a written dispute, the debt collector will have to send a verification of the debt and a copy of any judgment that has been entered. If the current creditor and the original creditor are not one in the same, and the consumer is making a written request for the identifying information of the original creditor within 30 days, the collector must provide it. In the event that the consumer files a dispute as to the debt or asks for the information of the original creditor within that 30-day period, the collector is required to cease all efforts at collection until this information has been mailed or a judgment or verification of the debt has been made.

Validation of debts is an important part of the protections that a consumer is provided under the Fair Debt Collection Act. It is not unusual for a debtor to be treated abusively and illegally in large part because they are not aware of the laws protecting them. For those who are struggling with consumer debt, an attorney can help not just in filing for bankruptcy or negotiating the debt, but in protecting the debtor from illegal behavior on the part of the creditors or debt collectors.

Source: federalreserve.gov, "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- Validation of Debts," accessed on Oct. 25, 2016

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