Legally validating a debt

Successful commercial debt collectors need to know which rules apply to their collection activities and which laws are not applicable.

Most debt collection is of the consumer variety, known in the industry as ‘retail’ collections, for debt relating to such things as credit card, telephone and medical bills.

By law, you may request the debt collector validate the debt, and the collector must respond within five business days.

(Requesting that is especially smart if you are worried that the debt collector is not legitimate; a legitimate collector will respond.) Recently a reader with the handle “Sonnycam” wrote to ask us what sort of documents or other evidence would prove a debt is legitimate. One uncomfortable truth is that debts you don’t recognize are sometimes legitimate.

The Kaplan Group is a boutique collection agency specializing in large (over ,000) debt collections due from businesses.

Founded in 1991, the company has a stellar reputation (A rating with the Better Business Bureau) and is recognized as one of the leading collection agencies for results on large and complex matters.

Sometimes when a collection agency contacts a business or business owner to try to collect a debt, the person will be familiar with laws that apply to retail collections.

For example, a consumer may send an agency a ‘validation of debt’ letter requesting the agency prove the consumer’s legal obligation to pay the debt.

Joann Needleman, president of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, says it’s easier for collectors to validate debts (the word “validate” doesn’t have a legal definition) if a collector knows precisely what a consumer’s question is. Legitimate collectors should be complying with laws. extremely low,” says Michael Bovee, founder of the Consumer Recovery Network.For example, if the amount owed is 00, they may sell the right to collect the debt to the third party agency for only to 0.Therefore, any amount the agency is able to collect above and beyond the to 0 they spent to buy the right will be to their benefit.(Collection accounts can have a major impact on your credit score.If you want to see where your scores stand, you can check two of your scores for free on ) Medical collection accounts in particular can be confusing because debt collectors must be sure they don’t violate medical privacy laws.