Being told you owe debt is intimidating for any Illinois resident. Harassment by creditors looking to get paid back is even worse. However, sometimes, there is an out available to you in the form of a debt validation letter.
What is a debt validation letter?
A debt validation letter is a letter sent to a consumer by a debt collection agency. The letter provides proof that the individual owes debt to a specific creditor and when they expect it to be paid.
Debt collectors are required to send a debt validation letter at least five days within the time when they first contact a person. However, if the collector does not send the letter, it’s wise for the consumer to request one. This is important because a debt validation letter serves as proof of a debt that’s owed. If a collector doesn’t send that letter, it serves as a red flag for the consumer and they have a right to request one in writing. Asking for it to be sent via certified mail and for a receipt is wise.
Why do you need a debt validation letter?
Sometimes, consumers are told they owe debt to a creditor and it’s untrue. Having a debt validation letter can benefit a person due to the following reasons:
- The person doesn’t owe the debt because it’s already been paid
- The person’s old debt was legal time that a creditor can try to collect on it
- The person is a victim of a debt collection scam
If a person requests a debt validation letter, the debt collector must stop contacting them until the letter arrives. If the collector fails to send that letter and contacts the person, the contact can be considered creditor harassment. The same stands if the collector contacts the individual before the debt validation letter arrives.
If a creditor or debt collector is harassing you, fight back and report them for the behavior.