Receiving a letter or answering a phone call from a debt collection agency has triggered an incredible amount of stress and anxiety. You have started to lose sleep over the financial crisis, that is, until you realize the third party debt collector might be wrong about the alleged debt that you owe. A few more days pass, and what was once stress and anxiety has transformed into anger.
It seems the bill collector is trying to collect the debt that you do not have to pay.
How do you handle a debt collection agency such as MRS Associates that has violated a sweeping federal consumer protection law passed by the United States Congress in 1977? Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to send the third party debt collector a debt dispute letter. The FDCPA also prohibits bill collectors from harassing and intimidating consumers. For example, a company cannot threaten you in any way, nor can it call you repeatedly throughout the day at work or at home.
The Importance of a Debt Dispute Letter
The FDCPA established a timeline in which a debt collection agency must follow to pursue outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. Within five days of first contacting you, a company like MRS Associates must send you a debt confirmation letter that explains the specifics of an alleged debt.
In many cases, a debt confirmation does not go far enough explaining the debt in question, which gives consumers the right to respond by sending a debt dispute letter. You have 30 days after receiving a debt conformation letter to send a dispute letter to a debt collection agency.
The primary importance of a debt dispute is the written correspondence places the burden of proof on the shoulders of the company that initially contacted you. Instead of wondering how you can pay off the alleged delinquent credit card or personal loan balance, you wait for the company that first contracted you to present convincing evidence that the alleged debt is your legal responsibility.
Some unethical third party debt collectors bank on consumers not knowing their rights when it comes to debt collection tactics. The FDCPA makes it clear that bill collectors must prove an alleged debt actually exists.
What Should a Debt Dispute Letter Include?
A debt dispute letter sent by certified mail should include the following pieces of information:
• Your name and contact information, including email address
• The account number associated with the debt in question
• Name and contact information for the original creditor
• Request for the amount owed on the alleged debt
• Demand that the bill collector present physical evidence the debt is legally valid
Physical evidence that demonstrates an alleged debt is valid can come in the form of photocopied monthly statements, as well a detailed copy of the contract you sign to receive credit. If a company such as MRS Associates cannot submit enough evidence to prove the existence of an alleged debt, the debt collection agency must stop contacting you in an attempt to collect the debt in question.
Schedule a free initial consultation today with a state licensed FDCPA attorney to write a debt dispute letter to MRS Associates.
*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 MRS Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.