At one point or another in our lives, we all fall on hard times. When those times come in the form of unpaid bills, the financial stress that ensues can be debilitating. Added to the burden can be phone calls and letters from debt collectors, such as DCM Services.
While the collection industry has come a long way over the years, largely due to federal regulations, some debt collectors still follow unethical, and even illegal, practices. In an effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous collectors, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
If you have been contacted by DCM Services (DCMS) regarding unpaid debt, you should make yourself aware of your rights under federal law.
What Are My Rights When It Comes to Debt Collection?
While you are responsible for resolving unpaid debt in your name, you are not required to succumb to harassment or other unethical tactics. Among other things, you have the right to be treated respectfully and with courtesy throughout the debt collection process.
If you have been contacted by DCM Services regarding a debt that they claim you owe, you should review the following legal rights that are protected by the FDCPA:
- You have the right to information. DCM Services needs to identify themselves when calling with the name of their company, as well as the name and identification of the specific collector calling. They may not mislead you about who they are.
- You have the right to be free from harassment or abuse. As such, DCM Services collectors are not allowed to use profanity, to call you repeatedly or at inappropriate hours, or to threaten you in any way. They may not threaten to harm you, have you arrested, or take your property. They are prohibited from threatening a lawsuit, unless they actually plan to sue you.
- You have the right to maintain your financial privacy. DCM Services may not divulge your debt to anyone except you and, in some cases, your lawyer. They may not share your debt publicly or with friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers.
- You have the right to control your contact with DCM Services. If you wish to stop communication with DCM Services, you can write a cease and desist letter that requires them to terminate all contact with you.
- You have the right have your debt verified. When asked, DCM Services is required to prove that the debt they are trying to collect is indeed yours.
How Do I Draft a Letter Debt Validation Letter to DCM Services?
There are many benefits to sending a debt validation letter to third-party collection agencies. If you believe that there are errors in the debt allegation, you should demand that the collection agency provide you with a debt validation letter.
These errors could come in the form of incorrect debt amount, the debt not being yours, or the debt already being paid off. Further, each state has a statute of limitations. If enough time has passed, you may not be liable for paying the debt.
You must request debt validation within 30 days of learning about the debt from the collection agency. Should you fail to do so within 30 days of the first contact from DCM Services, the debt will be considered valid and yours.
Once DCM Services receives your demand for validation, they are required to stop all collection activity until they have provided you with the requested validation.
Composing a debt validation letter is not complicated. Still, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to assist you with this task.
Sample Debt Validation Letter to DCM Services/h2>
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter in response to the phone call (or letter) that I received by DCM Services on (fill in the date). Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), I have the right to request validation of the debt that you claim I owe.
This letter is not a refusal to pay nor an acknowledgment of the debt as mine. Instead, it is a statement that your claim is disputed, and that validation is demanded according to 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) of the FDCPA.
I am requesting that the following information be provided to me by DCMS:
- Copies of the debt agreement listing the amount of the alleged debt and interest accrued
- Documentation of the payment history, as well as an accounting of charges being assessed
Per your legal requirements, I am requesting that you cease all collection activity including until this information is provided. If you do not comply, I will immediately file a complaint with the FTC and the Attorney General’s office in (fill in your state).
Is It Necessary That I Contact a Lawyer to Help Me with My Debt?
The debt collection process is complicated. By hiring a lawyer who is experienced in debt collections and consumer law, you will increase your chances of successfully navigating the legal obstacles you are facing due to debt.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against DCM Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.