When you are contacted by a debt collector, it can feel stressful, especially since the collectors seem to have all the information. Many consumers feel overwhelmed and out of their element. Luckily, by law, collectors can’t hoard that information, keeping you in the dark. You have the right to certain information, and you should feel empowered to demand it.
The following are key notices that debt collectors must provide you when requested—and you should always demand them:
- The name and address of the original creditor
- The company name, address, and contact number for the current creditor attempting to collect
- The amount of the original debt
- A debt validation letter within five days of the creditor’s initial communication with you that contains:
- Key information about the debt, including the original creditor and amount owed
- A statement that the debt will be assumed valid unless you dispute the validity of the debt or any portion of it within 30 days of receiving of the notice
- A statement that the creditor will obtain and mail to you a verification of the debt or a copy of the judgment against you upon request within 30 days
- A statement that the debt collector will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor upon your request if it differs from the current creditor within 30 days
- A verification of the debt, consisting at minimum of:
- who you owe the debt to
- how much you owe, and
- a written statement explaining why they believe you owe the alleged debt.
Any creditor that does not provide you with these notices on request is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at best. At worst, the supposed debt collector may be a scammer preying on your lack of information.
What If These Notices Are Not Enough?
Of course, even when you are given all this information, you may still not believe the debt is valid or you may not have enough information about the debt. In that case, you have the right to continue to investigate or solicit more information from the debt collector about the debt. If you are not getting the information you need, an Ohio consumer debt attorney can help you get the information you lack—and even prosecute the so-called collectors if it turns out to be a scam.
Just because you are called about a debt does not mean it is necessarily real. You have the right to know the truth. If you are being harassed about a debt—real or fake— you have the right to seek justice. Call the Ohio consumer debt attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates today at (888) 726-3181 to find out how we may be able to help. Our lawyers are happy to provide you with a preliminary consultation on your case absolutely free to help you decide what your next steps should be.