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Consumer Fraud

Contacted by a Debt Collector After Debt Validation Request?

This Alert Affects:

Consumers who were contacted by debt collectors during the verification period, or the time between which the consumer sends a debt validation letter and receives the requested information.

Damages
Consumers who were contacted by debt collectors in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may be entitled to monetary damages.
Additional Details
After receiving a debt validation request, the debt collector cannot contact the consumer until they have provided proof of the debt.
Date
Consumers have 30 days to dispute the validity of a debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects the rights of consumers and requires that debt collectors refrain from using deceptive and abusive conduct when attempting to collect debts. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from taking certain actions, including communicating with consumers during the debt verification period. If a debt collector made a demand for payment after you sent a debt validation letter but before you received the requested information, he or she may have violated federal debt collection law.

Within five days of the initial communication, a debt collector must send the consumer a debt validation notice. This notice informs the consumer that they have 30 days to question the validity of the debt. Failure to dispute the debt within the allotted time period will allow the debt collector the right to assume the debt is valid. The debt collector can continue to demand payment for a debt until they receive the consumer’s request for validation; however, once the collector receives the debt validation request, they are prohibited from demanding payment from the consumer until the requested verification information is mailed.

If you or a loved one has been contacted in connection with an outstanding debt during the verification period, you may be entitled to financial damages. Debt collectors are required to follow a certain standard of conduct, and when they use abusive or deceptive debt collection methods, the consumer may have the right to file a debt harassment lawsuit. 

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