Have you ever received a pay history from one of your lenders and been unable to determine how your payments are being applied? If so, you are not alone. In fact, the majority of consumers that are contacted about past due balances and request a printout of their payments is unable to decipher what the lender sends. A typical pay history from a credit card company, mortgage holder, or auto lender seems to be written in “code” that only the employees of the company know how to crack. If you find yourself in this position, and believe the debt is either not valid or that payments have not been properly applied, you do have the right to dispute the debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives consumers 30 days to dispute the validity of any debt trying to be collected by a third party. What this means is:
- If someone other than the lender has contacted you to collect a debt, that entity is defined as a debt collector. All debt collectors are required to follow the rules set forth in the FDCPA.
- One of the most basic rules in place is that the collector give you a notice that specifically and clearly tells you that you have the right to dispute the debt, or even just a portion of the debt being collected.
- In order to dispute that the debt is owed, you must send a written letter to the collector telling them that you dispute the debt and are asking for proof that it is owed.
- The collector is not permitted to take further action until they are able verify the debt, and provide you with that verification.
Unfortunately, many debt collectors fail to reply to a dispute, or fail to give a satisfactory verification. This failure exposes the collector to liability under the FDCPA and the consumer has the right to bring an action against the collector for any damages that resulted from the collector’s oversight. We have experience fighting collectors, so you don’t have to shoulder that burden. Call us today to find out more.
If you need help disputing a debt, call our office. We can offer solutions, legal and practical, that meet your needs. Call a Plantation, Florida debt relief attorney today for more information.