Author Topic: Clarification of validation vs verification and what my next step should be  (Read 163 times)

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Gail752

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About a month ago, I received a collection letter from a CA regarding an old Paypal account. I immediately sent them a VOD letter and included "I dispute X, I elect arbitration and phone calls are inconvenient" phrases as laid out on this board.

Today I received the CA's "validation/verification of debt" letter. They included: 1) the original amount of $1083.74, 2) the creditor as Comenity Capital Bank (which I believe I read on this site is the bank associated with Paypal) and account #. No other information (such as address, phone #, etc) of the creditor was provided.

For "proof or validation" they attached a list of charges that is six pages long - it is NOT the original creditor statements - just a list on a weird-looking excel type document. Three pages of the list starts in 2006, stops and picks up again for 2011,2012, 2013. The remaining three pages are "credits" or payments. It is not structured like a statement where one could align the charges and payments - just a laundry list of charges and payments.

While the "total amount due" ($# posted in the upper right corner of the response) is the same amount as the original demand of $X, I cannot determine the amount requested or posted on the validation response letter is the same amount based upon this six page list of charges and credits.

Have they met the minimum burden of "validation proof"? Since there is no starting balance of zero, no alignment of debits and credits, it's not clear if the total amount of the debt was "validated"(is the same as demanded). I also cannot determine if the debt is mine.

I want to send a "still in dispute" letter - thoughts or recommendations anyone?

Bruno the JDB Killer

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Have they met the burden? Sort of. They are supposed to provide a statement that if you request the address within 30 days, they will provide it. Look for that. Otherwise, all they have to provide in the initial contact is the amount and the creditor's name.

Date of last payment?

State of residence?
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

Clydesmom66

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Have they met the minimum burden of "validation proof"? Since there is no starting balance of zero, no alignment of debits and credits, it's not clear if the total amount of the debt was "validated"(is the same as demanded). I also cannot determine if the debt is mine.

If you demanded those things in your letter my guess is you used one of those cut and paste letters from the internet that is just riddled with errors.  Nothing requires they provide you with a full accounting of the debt from day one to default or they "prove" the debt is yours.  They only have to provide that level of proof if they sue you and IF you properly do discovery and compel them to produce it through the courts.

They are required to provide you with the address of the creditor as part of validation if you request it but not the phone number.  They are also not required to provide you with actual statements from the account.

Without knowing when you defaulted or what state this is in further advice isn't a good idea because some states give you more options and rights than others. 
Be VERY careful following advice from the internet! What worked for someone with thousands of posts on a message board may not work for YOU in your state.  Consult a lawyer when ever possible.

Gail752

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My letter said "I dispute this alleged debt. Please provide verification of the debt. All telephone calls are inconvenient." I forgot the sentence on electing arbitration. So in my second letter still disputing the alleged debt, I will mention that I elect arbitration.

From what I've read on this board, it appears what they sent me was insufficient or incomplete. Just my guess based upon what I've read about validation. I'm located in CT.

Bruno the JDB Killer

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I am in CT also. Validation is federal law, not necessarily state. CT has no duplicate statute mirroring the FDCPA. We have Public Act No. 07-176 and CUTPA (unfair trade practices) Those are your two main weapons against debt collectors here. We have a 6 year SOL and no borrowing statute. Very creditor friendly judges, too.

In your next letter just say you dispute the debt and all phone calls are inconvenient. Find the Comenity agreement for the year you defaulted and make sure  it has arbitration. You will probably be in small claims if they sue, and there is NO appeal if you lose. I suggest you spend the $125 and transfer the case to Superior Court if sued.

If you want to head them off at the pass, file for arb before they sue. The cost will make them think twice about pursuing you. Record any calls and photograph your caller ID in case they violate. One FDCPA violation can wipe out the debt.
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

11181986

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It's really a judgment call. Some will tell you that it is sufficient others will tell you it's not. The law in this area is not entirely clear throughout the U.S. as no Court has provided examples of what is sufficient vs what is not sufficient.

I'd personally lean towards it being sufficient as the purpose of validation requirements is to simply confirm that is it not the wrong debtor that a payment is being demanded from.

They are not required to affirmatively prove that the debt is yours at this time.

My usual next step is a cease and desist and see what they want to do.

Gail752

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Bruno - It's ironic you mention photograph caller ID. They called about 6 weeks ago (pre dunning letter) and the caller ID had a West Haven # listed with no name. They called multiple times using the same # - I didn't answer at first (I don't answer unknown #s) but when I finally answered they said they were XYZ collection agency. I told them I was work, I couldn't talk and it is inconvenient to talk via phone. At the same time (before I answered their call) they called my son on his cell phone using the same West Haven # on caller ID looking for me, stating who they were but not why they were calling.

I spent quite a bit of time searching for the name of this West Haven #. It came back as a female name, residence phone. I took a screen shot of the information PLUS I printed off all of my cell phone bills showing this #. My guess is they used an app that allowed their phone # to "be someone else". I also Googled the name of the CA based on just the name they gave me over the phone but couldn't find where they were geographically located.

Only when I received the dunning letter I found out they were in WA state. So clearly the West Haven # did not belong to them. I haven't read the entire FDCPA but I'm guessing posing as someone else to collect a debt is a violation not to mention calling relatives. 

Should I follow up on FDCPA violation first or arb if applicable? I will follow up to check the Comenity agreement on arb. Thanks!

Bruno the JDB Killer

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They can call a relative once to locate you. It is not an FDCPA  violation to spoof a number, but they are required to tell you their name and I think address if you talk to them, which you do not have to do. You can program a cell phone to show anything you want on caller ID.

If they called after receiving your cease and desist, it is a violation and you do not have to answer for it to stick. See if they have a license.

http://www.ct.gov/dob/cwp/view.asp?a=2233&q=297872&dobNAV_GID=1663
I am not an attorney. Any information I post is strictly my opinion and should be treated as such.

 

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