I got a call out of the blue a little over a month ago from a debt collection agency, saying I owed almost $1500 from an ambulance ride I took because of me being involved in a car accident OVER 2 YEARS AGO.
While on the phone with the debt collector, I looked up debt collection laws, and after a couple minutes of research decided to request a Debt Validation Letter, which they are legally required to send me within 5 days of initial contact.
Long story short, never received it. Instead they sent me a “Verification of Balance” letter. Which immediately told me “holy shit, they don’t have proof I owe the debt. Which means I’m not legally required to pay this shit.”
Today, right before the 30 day cutoff, I receive another call from them attempting to collect the debt. I request to speak with a supervisor. After going back and forth with him for a few minutes about why they haven’t sent me a Debt Validation Letter (WHICH THEY’RE REQUIRED TO DO UNDER THE LAW), he transfers me to his supervisor.
This is where it gets fun. I’m now going back and forth with him. After a few minutes he puts me on hold. Roughly 3 minutes later he comes back on and says “Sir, after reviewing your file, it doesn’t appear we have the documentation required, pertaining to the original bill, in order to send you a Debt Validation Letter. However I am showing you have a balance owed here in your file of $1,410.54. Would you like to pay a portion of it now, set up a payment plan, or…?”
This dumbass just admitted to me they don’t have proof of me owing the debt. Which means im not legally required to pay it. It’s null and void.
I tell him this, he gets flustered, and after some more back and forth, basically tells me to have a nice day and hangs up the phone.
I’m going to still send a letter requesting a copy of the debt validation letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested, to cover my ass. And when they don’t, because they aren’t able to, it’s a done deal.
If they try to put it on my credit report, I just contact the credit agencies with proof of me asking for the debt validation letter and never receiving it, and it gets removed from my credit report.
Moral of the story, ALWAYS ask for documentation. Don’t let debt collectors scaring you into paying a Debt you may not be required to pay.
Here’s the bogus ass letter I received. imgur.com/yG9uDzH
Folks, please be extremely careful about how you communicate with debt collectors. Yes, requesting validation is a generally a good idea, but just calling them up is definitely not the safest approach. It is very easy to accidentally say something that is not in your best interest over the phone.