Requests for Validation or Estoppel Letters
Courts have not yet defined what constitutes complete validation – which works in your favor. You are not obligated to be satisfied with what they send. You are pestering them, legally with requests for a lot of information.
A validation letter is NOT a dispute. It is a request for information. You’re simply saying, “I’ve never had an account with David Smith Collections. Please identify yourself better and tell me about this alleged debt. Otherwise please remove it. Thank you.”
Every item on a credit report merits FCBA (OC), FCRA (CA) and FDCPA (CRA) verification by requesting validation of your CR data from an original creditor, collection agency and credit bureau. That means that essentially every item on your reports will be matched with at least two interventions, one sent to the CRA and one sent to whoever placed the item on the reports (OC or CA).
No intervention ever works everytime, so I advise using a variety of approaches and throughout the year as well as repetition. It is the CRA’s responsibility to provide explanations in plain English.
You need to be realistic about this – when to hold ‘em.and when to fold ‘em. If you believe that they haven’t provided proof of the debt you can contend that they have violated the law by continuing to collect. If the debt is small, most CAs would rather just then be pestered by you. Now, if it’s really your debt, and a $25,000 alleged debt, they’re going to pursue you!
The wonderful thing is that validation requests often just work. They simply don’t want to fool with your lawful request for information. CAs in particular, would rather just move along to the next person who’ll roll over. They cost less and pay more.
Also remember that the larger the amount of an alleged outstanding debt, the greater the risk that you’ll “awaken the giant”. A requests validation of a large debt could remind the CA or OC to continue or increase their collection efforts.