Saturday, April 13, 2013

How To Write Follow Up Letters When Collectors Claim To Validate

Today I'm going to explain how you are to follow up and send a second letter to a collector (could be an original creditor) who responded and sent what they claim to be validation. In all reality, if you ask the questions and request the production of documents I ask for, you will know that they didn't validate. I'm going to give you examples of the junk they send claiming validation. Well, usually, they claim to have "verified", but, that's not what you asked for now, was it?  You demanded validation.
Validation is "PROOF" from creditors and collectors, and Verification is used with credit bureaus. Not the same thing.  According to Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Ed., 1990, Verification is:
"Confirmation of correctness, truth, or authenticity, by affidavit, oath, or deposition. Affidavit of truth of matter stated and object of verification is to assure good faith in averments or statements of party."
What this is saying is that whoever claims to verify is willing to testify in a court of law that information they furnished is 100% accurate, truthful, and they have 1st hand knowledge of all that has transpired for that alleged debt or alleged account.  How can they be sure what they think they are right about is right unless they personally know it?  Who on earth actually knows the truth about your accounts or your debts other than you?  You are the ONLY one who has 1st hand knowledge.
Here is a typical response from both original creditors and collectors that send a letter and nothing else:  "We've investigated this account and found that we are reporting accurately."   Does that look like validation to you?  That's hearsay!  Where is the proof?  That's what your response letter will say to them.  
Dear Dummy Collector,
Thanks for taking the time to waste paper and postage on your response to my demand for validation.  How about if I send you a bill and just say, "yep, I got it right, you owe me." Do you think that would stand up in a court of law?  I highly doubt it. I asked you for proof, not hearsay, not more of your lies.  Send the proof I requested or go pound sand.
Okay, so I don't always say it just like that but seriously, claiming something is accurate is lazy and weak. Its not validation.
Here's another response you might see.  They send you a letter back claiming verification or validation and send you an old bill, probably the last month of an account that was getting ready to be charged off.  The bill might even say on it "Noncollectable Account." That is NOT validation.  Its an old bill that has  your name on it, possibly your address on it, but hmm, does it have a signature on it?  Is it a contract?  Its just a piece of paper that makes a claim but has no teeth in it.  I love getting these because they do several things usually.  They prove that whoever is trying to collect is a 3rd party collector. They prove that they don't have much in their file to come close to validation. And my favorite, as long as you are not in a state with an idiotic statute of limitations like 10 years or so, many times you will see that it is an old bill that is Time Barred!  Got to love it!
Dear Dummy Collector,
Thanks for digging into your archives to come up with a useless paper claiming to have provided proof that I owe you something.  You're not even close.  I can create one of these too with your company name as the alleged debtor on it pretty easily as well.  However, sending me some paper with what appears to be my name is not validation, nor is it proof.  Do you know how many people out there have a name similar to mine? There's no signature, its not a contract, one of the things I told you to provide, and lookie there...that paper you sent is outside my state's statute of limitations.  Now, if this is all you have, then buh-bye! By the way, since you haven't validated and you only have stuff that appears to be time barred, you had better get that crap off my credit report before I sue you in Federal court for FDCPA and FCRA violations.   
Now, a response that really looks like they validated.  They sent a Contract with Your Signature on it!  Is that validation? Nope!  Not full validation.  One of the things I request in my demands for validation is a full accounting.  I want to see every charge, every payment, interest accrued, late charges, legitimate fees, and it must include the dates every charge, change, or event occurred.  Case law for that is (Spears v. Brennan). That's not where I stop though. You'll see in my sample response below how to go after them.
Dear Dummy Original Creditor,
Thanks for sending me what looks to be a contract. It appears that you are trying to validate but you have yet to fully and lawfully do so.  Remember I also told you that I needed a full accounting - Spears v. Brennan style?  Where is that? You must have forgot to include that.  Oh, this contract you sent, I suppose it says I'll pay back what I spend, but are you saying I spent credit? Is that what you allegedly lent me?  I see you are a bank.  You do know that its against the law for banks to lend credit don't you?  If you say that you (or the original creditor) lent credit, then there is no valid contract, in fact, it means that any alleged contract we supposedly had is actually a VOID contract, completely unenforceable since it was created illegally.  
Now, if you say that you actually lent me money, well that's a different story now isn't it?  If you lent me money, then please provide the source of funds you allegedly lent me.  Because you know, being a bank and all, it is unlawful for banks to lend money from their own assets, and its unlawful for them to lend their depositors' money or assets.  So which was it?  Should I answer for you?  
I found out what you did, and you know what?  What I found out proves that you violated Regulation Z - you know, the Truth in Lending Act! Shame on you for not being truthful.  You created money out of thin air.  Well, maybe not thin air, but sort of.  Its a con game. You used my signature on a promissory note (the alleged contract) and illegally converted it into a security instrument and sold it. That alleged note did not belong to you and I did not give you the right to sell it.  You also insured it.  You have illegally received monies for something you sold that belonged to me and did not give me the money for it. 
You need to prove what I'm saying is wrong or you need to delete this from my credit reports immediately and destroy all evidence of this fraudulent alleged debt/account.  You don't have a valid contract with me - you can't even prove the 4 basic elements that create a valid contract -not with a violation of Reg Z and not when you allegedly lent money or credit unlawfully.  I don't owe any alleged debt when you committed fraud. You rendered everything void from its alleged creation. 
There is another type of alleged debt that is very common that you will want to get off your credit reports.  It is the medical collection. This post is very long already so I'm going to do another post for that one.  They have additional laws to abide by and I will show you how to use those laws to stop their collection efforts and delete their information from your credit reports.
I hope I've helped you look at their responses better.  Don't let them intimidate you and don't let them fool you into thinking that because they say they've validated or verified or that their records are correct, that it is so.  They are trained to get money from you.  Its all about the money.  Its not about being responsible. Its not about some moral need to fulfill an obligation. Its about MONEY! Your money, and they want every little bit they can squeeze from you regardless of fraud, regardless of the fact that they don't have valid contracts with you or in the case of 3rd party collections, no contract at all.
Keep fighting, keep learning, keep beating them!  If you need help fighting back, I'd love to help you.  Just use the contact information up at the top on the right side.  My email address and my phone number are there.  Use either one, use both.  I answer the phone and I respond to emails.  I'm here for you and I look forward to helping you successfully improve your credit! 

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  1. Hi, I have been reading your blog and have gotten a lot of really good ideas. I have a few weird questions.

    I think I might have to sue a collection agency for various reasons. My question is, is it better to sue a CA in civil/local court, or in federal court?

    By "better," this is what I mean. I have read horror stories on credit repair forums, etc. that state/local judges do not really give a crap about federal law. Even if a person sues a CA and presents evidence, reads FDCPA law, case law, etc., many times the judge will just throw all that out the window.

    All the judge hears is that the person "owes" a debt. The judge will just bark, "that's your debt? Pay your debt!"

    Whereas I'm assuming federal judges will actually pay attention to when a CA violates federal laws. I'm assuming. (But filing suit in federal court costs almost $400. Whatever.)

    Another question. FDCPA states that if a person files suit against a CA for anything, he/she cannot be awarded more than $1000. My Q, does this mean that I would have to file a separate suit for every incidence of harassment? What I'm asking is, in your experience what have you seen?

    I have read that on credit repair forums also. Most notably, where several forum posters claim that no matter how many letters and phone record entries a person shows that they received from a CA, they will not be awarded more than $1000 total for everything.

    Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

    1. One more thing, you can get court fee waivers for just about every court if your income qualifies. If you are on financial assistance of any sort(food stamps, etc.) Don't forget, the statute of limitations is 1 year from discovery of the violation.

  2. Hi Fuel,
    It is my opinion that suing in Federal court is better, even though it is more expensive. You are correct about the limit of award being $1000 but that's only on FDCPA and FCRA violations. Don't forget there are FTC violations if they have called using an autodialer, called multiple times a day, called a cell phone, called at work even though they've been told not to (have to check into that one, it might only be FDCPA). But, those are statutory damages and you can also claim actual damages. You can claim treble damages and you can also claim punitive damages when they screw up your credit report intentionally and it is part of the cause you didn't qualify for something or didn't get a job.


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