Getting an Itemized Statement to Balance is Not Negotiable!

Imagine you have received a bill from a debt collector and you thought it had all been paid and taken care of some time ago.  You contact the collector and tell them such, and you need to see a bill showing what you owe.  This doesn’t seem too outrageous, does it?  What if the documents our client sends us totals to a different amount due than what they placed for collection?  Can we send the statement to the debtor?  Do we need to just “fix the balance”?  What if they already got four to six statements showing the correct balance, does the debt collector still need to send a balanced statement?

Yes we do!  Not only are we required by federal law to “validate the debt” to the consumer, but we need to do it in a way that makes sense to unsophisticated people.  This means, we need to be able to add up all the charges, subtract all the payments and adjustments and get the EXACT amount our client has placed for collection.  We need a document that is simple and in plain language, and it does not matter what was sent out before the account was placed, or how many times they talked to your staff, or said they were going to pay the bill.  Every consumer has this right for validation under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and if we cannot balance the account and validate the debt, we will cancel and return it.

If there are fees added on, we MUST receive a signed contract for those fees as part of the validation process.  If the debtor claims to not be the correct person, it is up to the creditor to establish that it IS the correct person by providing other documents with proof of ownership or ID.  If the creditor cannot provide this proof, we cannot proceed to collect the debt.  Again, it doesn’t matter what went on before the account was placed for collection.  Hiring a third party debt collector means invoking the rights for consumers under the FDCPA, and the creditors must be able to establish proof of debt, correct balance owed, and correct ID for the proper debtor.  If we cannot get the proper documentation, we will not be able to proceed collecting the debt.

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