by: Michael Saunders
When it comes to fixing bad credit and collections, you have a very important right as outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: The right to have a collection account "validated."
This process, as outlined in the FDCPA, is quite different from the "verification" process referred to above. When a credit bureau asks a creditor to "verify" information, the investigation that follows can be pretty cursory. The creditor reviews its records and any information supplied by the consumer and then decides whether it (the creditor) was right or wrong.
When a collection agency is asked to validate a debt, by contrast, the process can get pretty involved. The collector must prove that the debt is your responsibility, and also that they have the legal right to collect it from you. Furthermore, the collector has to cease all collection activity until they provide this evidence to you. If the agency can't validate the debt, it must end its attempts to collect on the debt and stop reporting the collections account to the credit bureaus.
Note that your right to validation applies specifically to collection agencies, not to the original creditor. Collection agency records are presumed to be less reliable than those kept by the original creditors. Collectors are often guilty of going after the wrong people or misstating the amounts owed; the validation process is meant to protect consumers from those practices. (continued...)
FIx Bad Credit, Without Paying a Cent
About The Author
Co-founders William Mann and David Mravyan devised the Sensimat during a mandatory project for their MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada. Sensimat is a device that helps manage and assess pressure among wheelchair users.