It starts with a letter sent by a debt collection agency. The letter claims you owe thousands of dollars in principal and a few hundred dollars of interest on a credit card account you thought was closed out years ago.
You decide to toss the letter into the trash and about two weeks later, the third party debt collector calls you at home demanding payment on the entire amount of the debt. The representative insists you could go to jail for not taking care of the alleged debt.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the bill collector that is trying to interact with you violated several provisions. A bill collector is not allowed to issue threats of any kind, particularly threats like claiming you could go to jail because you refuse to take care of the alleged debt. Moreover, the company violated the FDCPA by not mailing you a debt validation letter.
What is a Debt Validation Letter and Why it is Important?
The FDCPA requires debt collection agencies such as Carson Smithfield, LLC to send consumers a debt validation letter. Not only is sending a debt validation letter mandatory, the FDCPA also requires third party debt collectors to send the letter within five days of the first time they contacted a consumer.
If you have not received a debt validation letter from Carson Smithfield, LLC, you should immediately contact an FDCPA lawyer for instructions on how to proceed.
Receiving a debt validation letter is important for several reasons. First, the letter verifies the amount of money you owe on a credit card or a personal loan account. By checking with your meticulously kept personal financial records, you should be able to determine whether the amount owed claimed by the bill collector corresponds to what you have down as the right amount of money.
Second, a debt validation letter tells you the name of the company that issued the credit. Finally, a debt validation letter should include the date of the last activity on the account, which gives you a timeline to establish whether the statute of limitations has expired on the collection of your debt.
Responding to a Debt Validation Letter
There are several ways to for responding to a debt validation letter. Makes sure to keep it short and to the point
Here is an example:
Your name and contact info
Dear (Name of company)
This letter is in response to your validation letter that I received on (Date). Please follow up this clarification letter with another letter that provides the name and address of the original creditor. In addition, I would like you to tell me why you think I am legally responsible for this debt. According to the statute of limitations for debt collection efforts in the (Name of state), it appears I am no longer obligated to pay off the debt in question.
Work with a Licensed FDCPA Lawyer
An experienced FDCPA attorney will conduct a careful review of your case to determine what type of response letter to send Carson Smithfield, LLC. He or she will also decide whether you have a strong enough case to file a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages for one or more FDCPA violations. Schedule a free initial consultation today to get the legal ball rolling on your FDCPA case.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Carson Smithfield, LLC, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.