WHAT DISCLOSURES MUST A COLLECTION AGENCY PROVIDE A DEBTOR?

Typically, a collection agency begins its efforts with an introductory letter. This letter usually contains the required legal disclosures, which include:
• The amount of the debt,
• The name of the original creditor,
• The period of time in which the debtor may dispute the validity of the debt (thirty days), and
• The obligation of the collection agency to send the debtor verification of the debt if its validity is disputed.

In the original correspondence, the collection agency must also inform the debtor that it is attempting to collect a debt and that any information it gathers from the debtor or other sources will be used for that purpose. If this information is not included in the initial contact letter, the collection agency must provide it within five days.

Most lawyers recommend that debtors request verification of the debt because, in that case, a collection agency may not resume collection efforts until the information is confirmed with the original creditor. The collection agency may not, whether by threatening to destroy the debtor’s credit rating or by threatening to sue if payment is not received immediately, make a statement in the initial correspondence that overshadows the debtor’s right to dispute the debt for thirty days. Visit our website www.dlblaw.com

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