Pressure has been growing in our industry that has created an environment in our industry that requires more documentation, more proof of debt, and more confirmation of ownership of a debt. This has led to skyrocketing requests for documents from our clients. This has led to at least one very troubling problem we’d like your help in addressing.
Consumers have the ability to dispute a debt at any time and demand documentation, or proof of debt, from a debt collector. It doesn’t matter that the original creditor (your office) has already provided it many times. If they request from a debt collector (our office) we need to demonstrate validity of the debt. Some consumers request proof of debt because they genuinely do not believe they owe the balance due in part or whole. But many consumers request documentation as part of a stall tactic, attempt to get an account removed from their credit report, or just to see if you can actually produce the documents.
Debt repair clinics, consumer advocates, and the federal and state governments all have websites encouraging consumers to request documents from debt collectors as part and parcel of everyday routines knowing that in some cases the documents will not be produced and the debt will have to be forgiven. In the case of credit reporting, we have 30 days to respond to a dispute before the trade-line will be removed.
One area that can become a real concern is when our clients send in the documents we are requesting, but it appears to be a new placement for collection. What we really need from your office is to receive the cover letter we sent coming back to us to identify the documents as requested, and not a new account to be listed for collection. Also, different departments request documents for different reasons (Legal may need something for a hearing; Q/A may need it for credit reporting, etc.) and receiving the cover letter will get your docs to the correct people quickly.
If your office submits new accounts and documents over our Client Web Portal, it is critical that the subsequent documents be marked as “SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS” so we can identify them and not enter duplicate accounts. We do not want to send duplicate collection notices, or notices with incorrect balances. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact your Client Consultant.