Requesting Proof of a Debt

by L Miller
(Missouri, US)

I got a call just this morning from a holder of an old student loan (not federal) after a long period of no communications. I suspect they got notice of recent activity from a credit repository - which is fine. I gave them nothing.

I have run a search on StartPage and studied the Statute of Limitations for my state and studied a few other sites. As a result of it all, I am now aware of the 'without first getting written proof from the debt collector that you actually owe' stipulation.

What is the 'proper' way (form, textual content, method of delivery) to request that 'written proof'? I normally use email and am trying to train all entities which I deal with to use email which is way more documented than paper, so, is that a problem?

Thank you in advance.

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Jul 04, 2011
Requesting Proof of a Debt

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives consumers who are contacted about a debt the right to request that the debt collector provide them written proof that they in fact owe the debt or verification of the amount of the debt. The best way to make this request is to write the collector a letter and to send it via certified mail with a return receipt requested so that you have proof of when the letter was received. You must send your letter within 30 days of the collector contacting you for the first time however. Be sure to make a copy of your letter for your files. The collector is legally obligated to respond to your letter in writing.

If you believe that the collector's response is inadequate or unclear, contact the collector again for clarification. If you get no where, consult with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems. You should do the same if the collector fails to respond to your letter.

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