Debt Validation Sample Letter

Here is a debt validation sample letter that you might send to a collection agency or junk debt buyer to request that they prove the validity of a debt they are trying to collect from you. Feel free to use your own words and tailor the letter to fit your particular situation. Remember to send this certified mail with return receipt requested, and keep a copy of the letter and the receipt for your records.

I am also including in this letter a request that the debt collector stop contacting you by phone. Don’t leave that part out! It will stop any harassing or annoying phone calls you may be receiving. And even if you’re not especially concerned about phone calls, you should still always make it your strict personal policy to avoid speaking to collection agencies/JDB’s over the phone. In order to best protect your rights, all communications should be made strictly in writing!


Note: Debt validation is your right per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which applies only to third-party debt collectors–so please don’t send this letter to an original creditor, as they are not required to validate debts.

Date
Your Name

Your Address
Collection Agency Name

Collection Agency Address

Re: Acct Number XXXXX [if unavailable, list the name of the account]
To whom it may concern:

This letter is in response to your letter (or phone call) dated XX/XX/XX, and/or a listing you placed on my credit report. Please be advised that this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that this alleged debt is disputed.

Please provide me with the following:

-a detailed accounting of how the amount you say I owe was calculated

-a copy of a signed contract between me and the original creditor

-proof that you own or have been assigned the debt

-proof that you are licensed to collect in my state [note: there are a few states that don’t require debt collectors to be licensed; leave this part out if your state is one of them]

If you fail to respond to this request within 30 days of your receipt of this letter, you must delete all listings of this debt that you have placed on my credit reports.

This letter also serves as written notice that your company is not to contact me by telephone. All future communications with me must be made in writing and sent to the address listed above.

Sincerely,
Your Name [note: Do NOT sign anything you send to a third-party debt collector! You might find that your signature magically appears later on documents you’ve never even seen, let alone signed! This is one of the many underhanded tactics employed by third-party collectors.]

Junk Debt Buyers: Who They Are and How to Handle Them

A junk debt buyer (JDB) is a company that purchases uncollected debts from original creditors. This may include charged-off debts; debts included in bankruptcy; debts that are past the statute of limitations; and the remainders of settled accounts. The difference between a JDB and a collection agency is that collection agencies attempt to collect debts on the behalf of original creditors, while junk debt buyers actually own the debts they are trying to collect.

Junk debt buyers usually purchase debts for only a small fraction of the original amounts owed on these accounts. But of course they will pursue debtors for the full amount originally owed, and sometimes even tack on their own outrageous fees. This can increase the dollar amount of the debt to up to several times what it was when the creditor sold it!

Does this sound like it should be illegal?

Well, unfortunately the practice of buying and selling debts is technically legal. But just because junk debt buying is not in and of itself against the law, does not mean all debts can lawfully be sold and/or collected. An obvious example of such a debt would be one that was included in a bankruptcy. However, these types of debts are still bought and sold all the time. It is not even unheard of for debts that have been proven to be the result of identity theft, to be sold to a JDB! And guess who they pursue for payment? Not the identity thieves, that’s for sure!

Not only are they frequently in possession of debts they had no business buying and even less business collecting, junk debt buyers are also notorious for employing abusive, unethical and/or illegal tactics to try to intimidate consumers into paying.

These types of businesses thrive only because most consumers are simply unaware of their rights. We are going to make sure that you are not one of those consumers!

Here are the things you need to know in case you are ever pursued by a junk debt buyer:

-Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Junk debt buyers frequently violate it, and when they do may be liable to you for up to $1000–so document any and all violations!

-Keep an eye on your credit reports. Many debts will bounce from one junk debt buyer to another, and each time a debt is sold, it can reappear on your credit report, possibly resulting in multiple listings of the same debt. Also, JDB’s will often misreport the debt. For example, “re-aging” is a favorite (illegal) tactic of theirs. This means reporting a debt’s date of last activity as being more recent than it actually was.

-Junk debt buyers will often pose as lawyers when in fact they are not. They do this to intimidate you; don’t fall for it!

-Keep copies of ALL correspondence they send you. If you mail anything to them, send it via certified mail with return receipt, and keep a copy every time. Never throw any of this away, no matter how much time passes!

-Whenever possible, avoid speaking to them on the phone. You should only communicate with them in writing. However, if you do end up speaking to them, be sure to document the details of the conversation, and again, never throw your documentation away.

Also, do not give them any of your personal info. If they call your relatives, ask them to document the phone calls as well. Remember, if a junk debt buyer calls someone else regarding your alleged debt, and they already have your current contact information, this is a violation of the FDCPA, so make sure you have documentation of this if it happens!

-Never acknowledge that you owe a debt, and never agree to make payment, until the JDB has properly validated the debt.

-Tread carefully if the debt is within the statute of limitations and is for a significant amount and/or you have any assets that may make you a desirable candidate for a lawsuit. Most of the time junk debt buyers don’t want to bother with consumers who know and exercise their rights, but they may make an exception if they think it could be worth suing you. If you do have the financial means to pay the debt if necessary, by all means request validation for the debt. (If the JDB can’t validate, they will not be legally eligible to collect payment on that debt.) But if you legitimately owe the debt and you know you can’t afford to pay it, it may be wise to lay low and avoid raising a stink and drawing attention to yourself.

-In the event that the junk debt buyer properly validates the debt, try to negotiate a pay for delete before you pay it. Otherwise, paying it will actually worsen your credit scores. Always insist on a written copy of the pay for delete agreement before you make payment.

-Never give a JDB your bank account number, or credit or debit card number. If you do make a payment to them, never do so by personal check! Unscrupulous junk debt buyers are known for wiping out consumers’ bank accounts after the consumer sends payment in the form of a personal check–they take the checking account number right off the check and withdraw as much money as they please without the consumer’s consent. It can take weeks or months for the victims to get their money back, if they get it back at all. Protect yourself by making payments via money order only, and always keep a copy for at least a few years.

-If you are pursued for a debt that is past the statute of limitations, do not make a payment; doing so would reset the statute of limitations, which you do not want! In this case, send a debt validation request and a statute of limitations dispute letter. If the debt is over 7 years old, check your credit reports to make sure it is not being reported by the JDB (or anyone else). If it is, dispute the listing with the credit bureaus.

So there you have it…I hope you never have the misfortune of having to deal with a junk debt buyer, but if you do, now you’ll be ready for them!

Sample Statute of Limitations Dispute Letter

Here is a sample statute of limitations dispute letter that you might send to a collection agency or junk debt buyer if you are being pursued for a debt that is past the statute of limitations. Please note that you should use the sample letters on this site as guides, rather than simply copying and pasting them word-for-word. Be sure to use your own words and tailor the letters to your individual situation when appropriate.

You will also notice that the below letter mentions that you dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt’s validity, you may leave that statement out. But please be advised that if your letter does not include this statement, it will be assumed that the debt is valid. As with any other correspondence you send to a creditor or collector, be sure to mail the letter via certified mail with return receipt requested, and keep a copy for yourself.


Date
Your Name

Your Address
Collector’s Name

Collector’s Address

RE: [account number, or if unavailable, name of account]
To whom it may concern:

This letter is in response to your letter dated [__________] (copy enclosed) or phone call dated [__________] regarding the collection on the debt account listed above.

I do not believe I owe this debt and therefore I dispute this account. I am aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and my state laws. Therefore, I’d like to inform you that I have checked with my State Attorney General and verified that the Statute of Limitations for this type of debt through the courts in [name of state] has expired. If you intend to take this issue to court, I shall inform the court of my dispute of this debt and that the Statute of Limitations has expired.

This letter is to demand that your company should not contact me except to inform that collection efforts are terminated or that you or the creditor are taking specific actions allowed by the FDCPA or my state laws.

Henceforth, I shall consider any contact a violation of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and will report it immediately to the State Attorney General or Federal Trade Commission. Please be advised that I tape record all phone calls and violations of the FDCPA may result in your company being held liable for up to $1000 in damages per incident.

Sincerely,
Your Name [do NOT sign anything you send to a collection agency or JDB; if you do, your signature could “mysteriously” appear on other documents you’ve never seen before, let alone signed!]

How to improve your credit report

If you have ordered your credit report and found it wasn’t as good as you hoped, there are things you can do to improve it – but it could take time.

First things first: find out what’s gone wrong and take steps to avoid the same problems in the future. Your credit report is entirely repairable.

Identify the problem

The first thing to do is find out what you’re dealing with by reading your credit report, so you can work out what’s gone wrong. Here are some suggestions:

Check for false entries – Sometimes past lenders may have forgotten to record a debt as paid, or they may have accidentally left a negative mark on your credit history for something that wasn’t your fault. If there is anything incorrect on your report, call the lenders involved and ask them to change the entry.

Register on the electoral roll – Register to vote at your current address so that lenders can find you easily. It also helps to combat fraud.

Get a bank account – Simply having a bank account is better than having none at all. Stay with the same bank for longer and you’ll receive more points on your credit score than someone who has just opened an account. Additionally, avoid using an unauthorised overdraft and make sure there is always enough money in your account to cover any debits or standing orders.

What if I can’t open a bank account? Have a look at the basic bank account options that don’t require a credit check.

Make payments on time and pay off arrears – Time can heal this problem, as long as you are able to make your payments when you’re asked to in the future. If you accidentally missed a few payments for one reason or another, making them regularly and on time in the future will show anyone who looks at your credit record that you have fixed the problem and can manage your financial commitments better than before.

What if I can’t afford my payments? Sometimes it isn’t possible to make the full payments on time for unsecured debts like credit cards and loans – perhaps because you only have enough to pay your mortgage at the time.

In these circumstances, professional debt advice from debt management companies could help. If debt management is suitable, you could lower your monthly payments to an affordable level, keeping enough of your income back for your mortgage and other essential expenses.

Unfortunately debt management won’t improve your credit rating. In fact it will damage it, because lowering your repayments will remain visible on your credit record for three to six years. However, if you are able to stick to a new repayment agreement and even raise your repayments when your circumstances improve, you’ll at least be on the road to improving your finances.

Is your financial behaviour improving?

Your credit report dates back six years, so don’t worry if you made financial mistakes in your 20s and you’re now in your 40s – people change and those mistakes probably won’t matter so much now.

If you have debt problems now, or did in the last six years, all is not lost, because your credit report is entirely repairable. Generally, it is better if someone looks at your credit report now (or in the future) and sees that you are taking positive steps to manage your credit well.

Why Is the APR For Bad Credit Car Finance Higher

Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. You’re trying to get back on your feet and get reliable transportation, only to find that no one really wants to get you car finance options at all. That’s a real shame when you think about it because there are just so many opportunities to change your life once you get transportation. You can take yourself back and forth to work instead of hoping that your friends and family will be able to take you. If you want to go to the doctor without being questioned, you’ll be able to do that too. However, it all starts with getting a car.

However, what if we told you that it’s possible to get car finance options on your own terms? You might say that you’ve tried that and gotten a much higher APR than if you had good credit. There’s nothing that says that the lender has to give you an equal APR as someone else, but you might wonder why the APR for bad credit car finance is so much higher than what you might expect.

There are a lot of reasons for that.

The most important reason to understand is that you are considered much riskier in the eyes of the lenders that handle these matters. This means that in order to take you on as a customer, they’re taking on the risk that you will default. Now, we know that you don’t have any plans to do that — you just want to make sure that you can get the most reliable car possible. However, the lender doesn’t know that. They don’t really know anything about you, so to make the process fair they have to go off the numbers. Your credit score is going to be part of that, but it’s not the full picture.

Stable income and employment is going to be the other part of the equation. If you have a bad credit rating but you can prove that you’ve been at the same job for five years, you’re a lot more likely to get approved for a loan than if you were to be someone that’s only been on the job for six months. There’s too much risk there. You may not be able to hold that job for the long term, and then they would have to run the risk of not getting the money repaid to them.

There are lenders that are willing to work with people who have bad credit, but you will end up paying a lot more in interest than someone else who doesn’t have bad credit. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it’s going to go. Yet once you get a better credit rating you can always look into car refinance rather than just giving up on your dreams of owning a car — you deserve better than that!

Turn Bad Credit Into Good Credit With PPI Claims

Bad credit is something that takes over your whole life. Trust us — we know all about it. When you feel that you can’t get past your bad credit, it feels like there’s no escape for you. There’s no way out. Everything feels like it’s closing down on you. That’s no way to go through life, and you don’t have to feel like it’s the end of the world. You just need to make sure that you’re pushing forward as much as possible. You have to make sure that everything is taken care of as much as possible. What else is there to do in life than reach for what you ultimately want?

When it comes to PPI claims, there’s no need to feel like you have to do it on your own. If you’ve read any of the numerous articles denouncing PPI, then you already know that there’s a possibility that it’s affecting you too. You might feel angry and hurt but it’s important to get past this feeling as well. If you don’t, then you’re going to find yourself sucked into an infinite loop that’s just too hard to break out of over time.

Yet you have to find the strength to claim the life that you ultimately want. In this vein, you should get a PPI claims company involved. When you have bad credit, it feels like you’re disconnected from the rest of society. In your mind, you might start thinking that other people have something that you don’t have. You might have bad credit now, but that doesn’t mean that you have bad credit forever. You can indeed break out of it. You can indeed get past it. You can indeed get your life back together. You can indeed embrace a new life that’s way beyond anything that you have ever experienced.

The money that you collect from a successful PPI claim can be used for anything. And don’t think that you’re on the sidelines forever just because you don’t have the upfront cash for a solicitor. You can indeed get legal representation on a no win no fee basis. This means that if you win your case, the fee would be taken out of what you win. And if you don’t win, there are no hard feelings. That’s something that’s pretty powerful, and it’s important that you embrace it today. Do it now, while it’s still on your mind. Good luck!

Sample Nutcase Letter

Here is a sample nutcase letter. “What in the world is a nutcase letter, and what would I use it for?”, you ask? The purpose of the nutcase letter is to convince a creditor or collector to remove a derogatory listing from your credit report that is paid in full. Remember, collections and charge-offs still kill your credit score, even after they’re paid!

This letter was originally created by the member Psychdoc of the CreditNet forums. The aim of the nutcase letter is to pester the creditor/collector into submission. You will be demanding that they either validate a debt that has already been paid, or delete it from your credit reports. As you can imagine, once the creditor/collector has been paid, there is nothing in this for them except wasted time and money. So they will often find it much easier just to delete the debt from your credit reports and wash their hands of you, rather than to waste their resources digging up the required documentation (which they very well may not have anyway).

The letter also implies that you are a sue-happy nutcase who may be planning to take legal action against the creditor/collector if they don’t cooperate with you. Again, it would make much more sense for them to just delete the offending item rather than risk being dragged into court over a paid debt.

So without further ado, here it is:

Date
Name of Old Fully-Paid Acquaintance Address

Address

City, State, ZIP

To Whom It May Concern:

I am formally requesting that you validate all tradeline notations you have submitted to the three major credit reporting agencies by NAME OF COLLECTION AGENCY or NAME OF ORIGINAL CREDITOR for me, YOUR NAME, for account number XXXXXXXXX.

Due to possible inaccuracies in these CRA reports, I must demand that the validation I hereby lawfully request be in the form of a notarized statement by a person with original knowledge of the debt as it was constituted and who can testify that the debt was incurred legally, was not subsequently disputed as a result of returned, faulty, or recalled consumer products, was not utilized as a profit-loss tax deduction during the period it may have been payable, and was not claimed as a loss with any insuring entity during the period it may have been payable. Please be advised that I am not requesting a verification that you have my mailing address; rather, I am requesting validation, i.e., competent evidence that I had some contractual obligation sans consumer protection encumbrance which incurred the original claims associated with this tradeline.

I have enclosed two documents which will verify my address: a photocopy of a [YOUR STATE] Driver’s License and a photocopy of a recent [NAME OF UTILITY OR TELEPHONE COMPANY] statement.

Please know that you have 30 days from the tracked and confirmed delivery of this lawful notice to either answer these demands or to remove the associated negative tradeline notations from the CRA reports. Any other action may constitute evidence of your intent to abridge one or more civil or other constitutional rights. Please be further advised that continued unsubstantiated reporting of possible inaccuracies to third parties may provide a basis for criminal complaints being filed in accordance with FDCPA, FCRA, and other federal statutes.

I look forward to a timely and amicable resolution to this matter.
Sincerely yours,
Your Name Address City, STATE ZIP

Medical Debts Listed on Your Credit Report

Medical debts listed on your credit report can and should sometimes be handled a bit differently than normal debt listings. Although you can dispute a medical listing the same way you would any other, you have additional rights that you can leverage when it comes to medical debts.

Chances are, you’ve heard of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule. You are probably aware that its purpose is to protect the privacy of your medical information/records. But what you may not know, is that the HIPAA law also applies to the reporting of medical debts on your credit reports.

Per HIPAA, medical providers may only disclose your medical information if they have a permissible purpose for doing so.

Medical providers do not violate HIPAA if they assign a valid, unpaid medical debt to a collection agency and/or report that debt to the credit bureaus. Disclosing your information as needed to obtain payment for services rendered is considered a permissible purpose under HIPAA. But once the debt has been paid, there is no longer permissible purpose to disclose your medical information by reporting the debt on your credit reports, therefore all listings of the debt must be deleted upon payment.

So as you can see, HIPAA can provide you with powerful leverage when it comes to credit repair. But please be aware that HIPAA can’t help with every medical debt! It is only useful in credit repair when it comes to:

-debts that have already been paid
-debts that you don’t rightfully owe
-unpaid, valid debts that you are able to pay**

**If you haven’t yet paid the medical debt but are able to do so, you should negotiate a pay-for-delete with the medical provider. Be sure the agreement is made in writing and that you have a copy of it before you make payment. Setting up a pay for delete arrangement beforehand is easier than lodging a HIPAA dispute later to get the paid medical debt removed from your credit reports.

The great thing here is that when you attempt to negotiate a pay for delete with a creditor or collector for a non-medical debt, they may or may not be willing to delete the debt from your reports in exchange for payment. But once you pay a delinquent debt to the medical provider, not to the collection agency(!), they have no choice but to delete all listings of that debt from your credit reports, including any listings that have been reported by collection agencies to which the debt was assigned.

PLEASE NOTE: You must NOT make payment for a medical debt to a collection agency! Doing so would waive your HIPAA rights, at least as far as that particular debt is concerned. You must pay the original healthcare provider only in order to preserve your right to have the debt deleted from your credit reports upon payment! However, if you have already paid a collection agency, you’re not out of ammo–you can try sending them a nutcase letter.