The Insiders Guide to the FDCPA: Failing to Get Heard

Disclaimer: Once again this is a blog, not legal advice or legal research, and no attorney-client relationship is created merely by reading my blog.

Both in my time in and out of consumer collections, I saw consumer after consumer fail to have a legitimate dispute taken seriously by the Collections Agency.  Too often, the file would reach litigation before someone was able to put the breaks on.  Today I do this in defense.  This is the most expensive way possible to resolve problems, hands down.

The following was almost always a mistake made by a consumer, not an attorney. So here we go:

The biggest failure here was the Internet-Generated Demand for Verification Letter.  These are all over the internet.  Unfortunately, collections agencies have seen them a thousand and one times.  They are form generated, with overreaching demands.  One example of an overreaching demand for verification – and that is a great law phrase, by the way – is when the letter 1) disputes everything, then 2) demands a precise detailed accounting from a zero balance and often 3) requests some made up documents from a national banking authority.  Unfortunately the Law says, and the Courts have agreed, that when a collections agency receives a request for verification, they just hve to confirm in writing with the creditor that that’s what they say is owed.  And these days, most agencies have an affidavit from the creditor included with placement.  So – assuming you have a legitiate dispute, which you may need legal help to figure out, you sent a form letter, they sent a form affidavit, and nothing has been accomplished except time wasting and lost opportunity.

No one is the wiser.

My suggestion is to always send a short, sweet dispute letter.  Do not make demands you don’t understand.  Tell them what the problem is and what went wrong in nice polite language.   I do suggest discussing the issue with an attorney who is knowlegdeable who can really guide you in whether you have a legal defense or not.

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