Debt validation is a powerful credit repair tool, but like many credit repair techniques it must be approached properly to get the optimal outcome. When done right debt validation can provide wonderful results including proof that the collector has the legal right to collect and an accounting of the amount due. And there are many cases when the collector, unable to provide the documentation required, will quietly vanish from your life.
Respond to Collection Letters Quickly
Collection letters must include, or be closely followed by, a written notice including your right to dispute the debt within 30 days. It is important to know that collectors do not like to validate debt or process credit repair demands. From a collectors perspective they are playing a numbers game; they want to send out collections letters and collect money. They would rather not tangle with debtors over the details. If you do not dispute the debt within the 30 day period allowed the collector is likely to ignore your request.
Credit Repair Options
Once you have a collection notice in hand there are a couple of credit repair strategies you should consider right away. If you don’t recognize the debt you have the right to request the name and phone number of the original creditor. Collection notices are supposed to include the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owned, however in the case that the debt has been sold and resold the original creditors name may not be indicated. But if you do recognize the debt you should research the statute of limitation before going any further.
Statutes of Limitation
The statute of limitation (SOL) for the collection of a debt is the maximum period of time that a collector can file a lawsuit. To be precise, a collector can file a lawsuit after the SOL has passed, but should they do so you can have the suit dismissed on this basis. It is important to your credit repair effort to know that the SOL clock starts on the day that you first become delinquent. This means that you need to count from the first time you missed a payment in the sequence that led to the charge off or collection status. SOLs are state and debt type specific and are easily found on the Internet.
If the subject collection is beyond the SOL you are pretty much in the clear. You can choose to contact the collector to negotiate the debt if you wish. Those looking for the best credit repair outcome may want to take the opportunity to negotiate for complete account deletion. Once a collector knows that you are aware of the SOL they should be extremely willing to settle. You also have the option of ignoring the debt. The reporting period limit will roll around and the debt will fall off your credit report. If you decide to ignore the debt and the collector continues to contact you, you may opt to send them a cease communication letter, another useful credit repair tool. Once they receive this they will stop all communications.
Validate the Debt
Assuming that you decide to validate the debt you must do so in writing. Keep your request as simple and clear as possible. As with all credit repair communications, do not go into a story or explanation. Just ask for validation of the debt. I strongly recommend that you specifically list the documents and information you want them to send you. Ask them for proof they have the legal right to collect the debt, a detailed calculation of the amount claimed owed, and a copy of your original signed contract or account agreement.
Right and Wrong Results
If a collector cannot validate the debt they should stop collecting and not report to the credit bureaus. This happy credit repair outcome occurs quite often. But it does occasionally happen that they send nothing more than an internal printout or some such thing, and then continue their collection efforts. This can make your credit repair project difficult. There is ample case precedent to support the argument that a collector must provide the documentation listed above, but you may have to go to court to get satisfaction. If you reach the point where you are ready to get into a legal battle you should consider consulting an attorney so you are fully prepared when you get in front of the judge.
Credit Repair Help
If you begin your debt validation journey on your own and find that you are confused you should reach out to a credit repair service where a professional will review your entire case, research the SOL, prepare and send the letters as needed to get the best possible results. You do not have to do it alone. Reputable credit repair services are extremely affordable and will insure that the job is done properly. Good luck!
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