Most debt collection agencies go after consumers until the companies receive what they believe is a fair payment for an outstanding credit card or personal loan account. The relentless pursuit of consumer debts sometimes leads third party debt collectors down the path of unlawfulness.
Overly aggressive debt collection tactics such as issuing threats forces many consumers into agreeing to pay delinquent consumer debts they might not be financially responsible for paying off. Fortunately, a longstanding federal law protects consumers against unethical bill collectors.
Passed by the United States Congress on September 20, 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits companies from making threats of any kind. A debt collection agency like Municipal Services Bureau cannot threaten to seize your property or threaten to contact a third party regarding your debt. In addition, the FDCPA allows consumers to send debt dispute letters to third party debt collectors that request evidence of the financial obligation for paying off a personal debt.
Timing is Everything for a Debt Dispute Letter
The FDCPA establishes a timeline for both consumers and third party debt collectors to follow when it comes to a debt dispute letter. Five days after first contacting you by phone or via the United States Postal system (USPS), a bill collector such as Municipal Services Bureau must send you a debt confirmation letter that presents evidence of your financial liability. Within 30 days after receiving a debt confirmation, you have 30 days to contest the validity of the alleged debt by sending the company a dispute letter.
Although you can craft a debt dispute letter, having a licensed FDCPA attorney write the letter is a good idea to ensure the letter contains emotionally neutral language. Companies responsible for collecting consumer debts often get the upper legal hand when consumers allow emotions to diminish the message of a debt dispute letter.
Example of a Debt Dispute Letter
Debt dispute letters follow several of the same writing guidelines. At the top of the letter, you should add the date of the letter, as well as your name and contact information. Make sure to include your email address to ensure Municipal Services Bureau has multiple ways to get in touch with you at home and at work. Finish off the top of the letter by presenting the account number of the debt in question.
Then, you begin writing a debt dispute letter can look like the following sample letter:
A representative from Municipal Services Bureau sent me a letter that I received on April 30, 2020. My FDCPA lawyer has advised me to send this debt dispute letter because I am not legally obligated to pay of the alleged debt.
We want you to provide the following information to prove the debt is indeed my legal responsibility:
• Name of the original creditor
• Contact information for the original creditor
• Amount owed
• Copy of the signed credit agreement
• Proof that your company is licensed to collect debts in (State)
Never let a bill collector push you around. By sending a certified debt dispute letter, you make the statement that you are serious about the rights granted to consumers by the FDCPA. Schedule a free initial consultation with a consumer protection lawyer to learn more about the groundbreaking federal consumer protection law.
*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 Municipal Services Bureau Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.