Debt validation is a valuable part of the credit repair process, and one that can provide information about the accuracy of collections you are confronted with. Debt validation can also eliminate the presence collectors in your life and collection accounts on your credit report.
Debt validation is the right to ask a collector to document ownership of the debt they are collecting, and to provide an accounting of the amount they claim you owe. You have thirty days to request validation after receiving a collection letter. There are good reasons to validate a debt. And good reasons not to.
Always Validate First
If you are not financially prepared to pay a debt, you may not want to validate, or even acknowledge it. It is perfectly reasonable to want to gather your resources before contacting a collector. Prior to that, it may be better to stay off the collection radar screen. But if you have decided to confront the debt as part of your credit repair program you should always validate it before offering any money.
Gone for Good
If a collector cannot validate a debt upon request they are not allowed to report the debt and must cease collection efforts. If they have already reported the debt they must stop reporting. It is very common for collectors to fail to validate, and for the most part they will abide by the law and vanish from your life.
Or Back Again
If a collector fails to validate and subsequently stops collecting, it may or may not be the last you hear of the collection. It is not unusual in a case like this for a collector to sell the debt. Questions of ethics aside, they will bundle it with other failed debts and sell it to another collector, even if it does not include adequate documentation. This means that you may be contacted by a new collector in the future for the same issue, giving rise to further need for credit repair.
You May Need to Repeat the Process
Remember that collectors are not allowed to report a debt until after they have sent a collection notice and given you 30 days to question it. So if you get a collection letter from a new collector for a debt you previously attempted to validate, send a debt validation letter to the new collector immediately and repeat the process.
Doubt is Healthy
Statistically there is good cause for questioning the validity of all collections. Big collectors have become adept at flipping their portfolios. Many collectors will sell debts within only six months if they cannot collect. This churning activity creates a degree of chaos in the industry that leads to errors, ranging from collectors dunning for accounts that they no longer own, to accounting errors of the amount due.
For Our Credit Repair Customers
If you are in our credit repair program we will handle the entire debt validation process for you from the evaluation of risks to the actual validation process. We will also check the statute of limitation which may dramatically affect the negotiability of a debt should you decide to settle.