New York City provides some of the strongest debt collection defense laws in the entire country. These include the debtor’s right to request verification of a collection agency’s claim at any time in the collection process.
Opposing a debt collection claim begins with reviewing the account arrears or past due balance, as well as the name of the original and current creditor.
The verification or proof of debt that collection agencies are required to send is similar to what is required by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
This includes documents or information confirming:
- the consumer is the correct debtor on the account at issue, and
- the balance claimed as due matches the creditor’s business records
Pursuant to a Federal Trade Commission opinion letter, verification of the debt should also include full account documentation such as the account application, credit card user agreement, and billing statements which break down the interest and finance charges, purchases and payments.
Validation of Debt is a separate procedure useful when fighting a debt in New York. It enables a consumer to review proofs that the Creditor is the correct party to which the account balance is owed. Nobody wants to make a settlement payment, only to find out the debt remains unsatisfied because the company you paid did not have proper ownership of the account due to breaks in the chain of assignments.
The FDCPA is a national law that applies in all 50 states. With respect to verifying the debt, it provides a consumer only 30 days from the first debt collection letter in which to demand verification of the debt from that collection agency. If a new collection company takes over the account in the future, you would likewise receive a new 30 day debt verification period.
By holding collection agencies to New York’s debt verification laws, a consumer can request verification of debt at anytime. Demanding such proof can put the brakes on national debt collection agencies accustom to foregoing debt verification after 30 days from their first written demand for payment.
If you need professional assistance fighting a debt or obtaining debt verification & validation, please promptly review your case with our law firm.