Moon Twp, PA (PressExposure) August 12, 2009 -- Personal credit is a big issue. Everyone makes mistakes but it seems like we're plagued with them forever. Not to mention with identify theft even those of us on the right track can be hit with disaster. Thankfully there is now a way to get those collection agencies to stop calling for good. With debt validation one never has to pay for a debt they didn't earn again and people who are in debt can be free of the burden. Read on to learn how to handle collection agencies and debt.
1 Read the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
2 Once a collection agency has contacted you, in writing, verify that the collection agency is licensed in your state. If your state does not require a collection agency to have a license, see if they require them to have a bond. This goes for a collection agency which claims to be a lawyer, or any establishment which is trying to collect money from you.
3 Ensure that the debt the collection agency is trying to collect on is still within its statute of limitations. Every state has a certain amount of time allowed in which a debt can be collected on.
4 If your research determines that a collection agency is legally allowed to collect a debt from you, then you need to validate that debt. By requesting the collection agency validate the debt, you are ensuring that you are the person responsible for the monies owed. You are legally entitled to this by the FDCPA. The only acceptable debt validation include proof that the collection agency owns the debt or has been assigned the debt in order to collect the monies owed, the payment history of the debt (beginning from the original credit up until the point the collection agency contacts you), and a copy of the original signed loan agreement or credit application. A simple print-off of the debt is not acceptable. Meanwhile, the collection agency cannot continue to try and collect the debt until the collection agency has verified the debt.
5 If a collection agency does continue to try and collect money from you after you have request debt validation then they are in violation of the FDCPA. This includes a collection agency who responds to a debt validation request with a court summons. This violation means the collection agency can be sued by you and they have to immediately remove any collection listings from your credit.
6 While you are validating your debt with the collection agency, be sure to dispute any collections on your credit report. If any of the disputes come back as verified, then again, the collection agency is in violation of the FDCPA. You should then contact the credit bureaus, in writing, and supply them with the proof of your request of validation to the collection agency. Then you can request the credit bureaus provide you with the method of verification the collection agency used (another right stated by the FDCPA).
7 Notify the credit bureau and collection agency of your intent to sue should they not adhere to the FDCPA, and then follow through.