Hi folks, my name is Sergei Lemberg.
I run stopcollector.com and the law firm of Lemberg & Associates. We’ve filed thousands of the lawsuits against
debt collectors. We specialize in helping consumers fight debt collection abuse. I want to talk to you today about your right to
dispute the debt. Now, this is a very important topic. It’s fundamental to the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, the law that covers debt collection abuse. So the first thing you need to know,
number 1, is that every time a debt collector contacts
you on the phone, five days after their first contact; five
days after they first contact you, they have to send you a letter. The
letter has to lay down your dispute rights. It explains to you that you have thirty days
from your receipt of the letter to dispute the debt but if you fail to dispute they can assume
the debt is valid. So, don’t ignore these letters. Read the notice. The second thing you need to know is
that you have a right to dispute the debt. Well, maybe not sure what the amount of
the debt is. Maybe you’re not sure who this company is that’s collecting it from you.
Maybe you’re not sure why they’re looking to collect from you and not
somebody else. Whatever the reason for the dispute is, you don’t have to do anything
complicated. Simply write “I dispute” on the notice, or
write them a letter, and send it to them. So the third thing you need to know is
once you send them a letter disputing the debt, the debt collector cannot continue
collecting from you until validation of the debt. Now, what is validation? The fourth thing you need to know is that a
debt collector must validate the debt. Really, that means that they’re supposed
to go the records of the original creditor and figure out: Is the amount of the debt correct? Is their
original creditor correct? Are we collecting from the right person? And then they’re supposed to send all of that information to you in one
letter. Now, some people think “Well, validation
means they have to send you all the statements, they have to send you all the
letters, they have to send you proof of assignment.” No, no, no, and no. Doesn’t mean any of that. All they have to do is send you a letter
confirming the information that is in their original
demand letter. That letter is called the validation letter.
Once they validate it, they can continue collecting. Now, the fifth thing you need to know, and
this is really important, is that debt collectors screw this up. Time and time and time again they screw
this up. Folks dispute accounts, debt collectors
continue collecting them, debt collectors fail to report the accounts as disputed,
debt collectors fail to validate, the list of possible violations goes on
and on and on. You may be entitled to money as a
result of the debt collectors failure to properly validate the debt; to
properly respond to your dispute. You may be entitled to recover up to a thousand
bucks from the debt collector for violations of law. So don’t wait and don’t hesitate. If you
have an issue like this; if you are grieved by a debt
collectors failure to validate the debt, pick up the phone. Give us a telephone call. We’ll be glad to speak with you. We’ll be glad to explain to you how we
can help and what your rights are.