Every year, the debt collection industry makes about $13.4 billion.
It's a money-making machine, and no wonder. Debt collection agencies work around the clock to collect the money owed to schools, businesses, and medical care providers.
No matter how carefully you pay off your debts, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a debt collector. It can be scary when the phone calls and letters start rolling in.
You might wonder, "How do I manage this and properly respond?"
There's a simple answer. When the debt collection agency comes calling, you should send a debt verification letter by USPS Certified Mail.
Are you wondering what a debt verification letter is? Not maybe you are not sure why you should send it by Certified Mail?
We will explain. Keep reading to learn how sending a Certified Mail letter can help you respond to debt collection notices.
How Does Debt Collection Work?
If you've built up debt from credit card expenses, school loans, or other sources, there's a good chance debt collection agencies will come calling.
Debt collectors will contact you in several ways. Some debt collectors will call your cell or phone in order to try to get you to pay quickly. Others will send notices by snail mail. Some debt collectors will use both methods.
If you're behind on credit card debt, collectors will begin to notify you soon after the first missed payment. Other forms of debt are similar.
If you've missed your payments for more than six months, you should expect more frequent communication from debt collectors. In many cases, debt collectors will begin to send the notices by USPS Certified Mail.
Debt collectors use Certified Mail because it allows them to keep a record and provides proof and evidence when the notice was sent and when it was delivered.
This is helpful for the debt collectors because if you fall behind on payments for long enough, a debt collection company or lawyer can attempt to sue for the money and costs. The records from Certified Mail are crucial in court.
If debt collectors keep sending you notices in the mail, your first instinct will probably be to ignore it and hope it goes away. Unfortunately, this isn't the best option.
Why? Because that's what debt collection agencies want you to do.
The best-case scenario for debt collectors is if you don't respond. If you don't answer their letters and you don't show up in court, the judge can grant a default judgment against you.
This can lead to wage garnishment, it gets recorded on your credit report, and where a debt collector takes part of your paycheck without your consent.
To avoid this, you need another way to deal with debt collection notices.
How Do You Dispute Debt Collection?
The first step is to make sure that you actually owe the dollar amount that the debt collection agency is asking of you. Many times additional fees and costs have been added to the debt and you may be able to dispute the validity of the debt.
Also, debt management and collection systems have a legal obligation to give you something called a debt validation letter. A debt validation letter explains the source of the debt and exactly how much it is.
Without sending a debt validation letter, a debt collector cannot collect its money. The debt collector has no power over you, unless it sends you a debt validation letter first.
Why A Debt Validation Letter Is So Important?
Debt validation matters because it's possible that the debt collector is asking for money in error.
Sometimes debt collectors make mistakes. They handle a lot of information, and sometimes the wires get crossed. You don't want to accidentally pay off someone else's credit card debt.
You also want to make sure you avoid a debt collection scam.
Debt validation can help you spot a scam, because one of the key red flags of a debt collection scam is when the so-called "debt collector" withholds information from you.
If you request a debt validation letter and the debt collector fails to comply, you're probably facing a scam.
The bottom line is that you need to request debt validation before you allow a debt collector to go any further.
Step One: Make Sure You Haven't Already Received a Debt Validation Letter
Before you send a debt verification letter requesting debt validation, you need to make absolutely certain that you don't already have a debt validation letter in your possession.
Hopefully, you keep records of your mail—and if you don't, now is the time to start. You should go back through the notices you've received and look for a debt validation letter.
You're looking for a letter that includes the following details:
- Exactly how much money you owe
- The source of your debt
- Notification that unless you dispute the debt within the thirty-day period after the debt collector first contacted you, the debt will be considered valid
- Notification that the collector will honor requests for additional information, as long as they are made within the thirty-day period
- Notification that the debt collector will provide verification if you ask for it within thirty days
It should also be sent certified mail. That's because certified mail debt collection letters are part of the legal requirements.
Without these elements, it is not a valid debt validation letter.
If you discover that you haven't received one of these letters, then it's time for you to send a debt verification letter.
What Is a Debt Verification Letter?
First things first: It's very important that you request verification by Certified Mail, not over the phone.
That's because the law only requires debt collectors to pause their efforts if you send the notification by mail. So make sure you write your letter and send a real, physical letter snail mail by Certified Mail.
In this letter, you're going to ask for proof that the debt belongs to you. You want the agency to provide hard evidence.
Your debt verification letter should include these elements:
- The date that the debt collector originally contacted you
- Whether the initial contact occurred by phone or mail
- A request for debt validation
Your debt verification should not include anything that might be construed as an admission to owing the debt.
What Are the Benefits of Sending a Debt Verification Letter?
The biggest benefit of sending a debt verification letter is that once you send the letter, the debt collector is legally required to stop contacting you until they provide proof that the debt belongs to you.
This can do one of three things for you.
First, it could buy you some time and prevent it from being reported in default to the Credit Reporting agencies.
Second, it can give you time to negotiate a settlement and pay your debt before a debt collection attorney starts contacting you.
Third, it could demonstrate that the debt collection agency is actually a scam. It could also uncover an error in the amount that the collector is requesting.
Either way, it's a win for you. So when a debt collector first contacts you, your first recourse should be to send a debt verification letter by Certified Mail so you have evidence and proof of the debt.
How Do You Send a Debt Verification Letter?
It can actually be done online using a website www.certifiedmaillabels.com website.
Just write your Debt Verification Letter and save it as a PDF file. Then you can upload the PDF letter and this company will print it, take it to the Post Office mail it, and track the USPS delivery of your letter. They even keep a copy of your Debt Verification Letter and the postmark, date of mailing, and the tracking and delivery information for ten (10) years inside your personalized mailing portal. You should keep a careful record of your communication with debt collectors. If your case goes to court or you need to prove that you sent a verification letter, you want data backing you up.
Luckily, that's what you get when you send letters online at this website Certified Mail Labels.
Certified mail is a service provided by the United States Postal Service. The service provides information about when the letter was sent, when it was delivered, etc. It requires the signature of the recipient upon delivery.
With Certified Mail Labels, you can even receive an Electronic Delivery Confirmation Report in your inbox, so that you can easily store the information surrounding your letter.
Certified Mail Labels Makes Sending Debt Verification Letters More Convenient
Certified Mail Labels makes it simple to purchase and print the certified mail label for your debt verification letter.
This means you can easily send a letter via certified mail and save a trip to the post office.
Even better, you can use our Print & Mail Service. If you upload your PDF debt verification letter, we can print and mail the letter on the same business day.
The online process will save you even more time and hassle.
Send Your Debt Verification Letter With Certified Mail Labels Today
Don't let the debt collection notices send you into hiding. Now you know the right way to respond to all those letters and phone calls.
If you want to protect your rights as a debtor by sending a debt verification letter today, sign up for a free account.
If you have more questions? Give us a call at (800) 406-1792! We'd would be glad to help walk you through the process.