Legally validating a debt
Sometimes, collection agencies will stop collection activities and return the account to the original creditor rather than validate the debt.
When you validate debt, you request the collection agency prove it has the legal right to collect the debt, that you agreed to pay the debt, and the amount of the debt is accurate. Within 30 days of learning about the debt, send a debt validation request letter via certified mail to the collection agency. Sending the demands via Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested gives you proof, in the form of a receipt (“green card”) your demand was received and on what date it was received.It’s very important the letter is sent by certified mail so you have proof you sent the request. Once this letter is received, the collection agency must stop attempting to collect the debt until they supply validation. If you hear nothing from the collection agency, then you should send them a copy of the receipt, the letter requesting validation, and another letter stating that in accordance the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you will not pay the debt.For these reasons, the FDCPA entitles consumers to validate their debt when a collection agency demands money from them.If a collection agency can’t validate the debt, the agency cannot list it as a negative mark on your credit score.
How can Sarah be sure that she really owes Laura a thousand dollars and not John?Furthermore, how can Sarah be sure that if she pays Laura, her debt to John will be satisfied?