There are few things more stressful in life than being pursued by collection agencies for unpaid bills. While it is a consumer’s responsibility to take care of outstanding debt, they should not be subject to harassment or abuse from debt collectors.
The debt collection industry has undergone a vast transformation over the years. What was once considered a deceitful profession has become increasingly respected, thanks largely to legislation passed in 1977 aimed at protecting consumers from unfair debt collection practices.
If you have been contacted by Penn Credit regarding alleged unpaid debt, you should make yourself aware of your rights under federal law.
What Are My Rights When It Comes to Debt Collection?
Companies have the right to collect on monies owed to them for services or products that they have provided to consumers. When debt goes unpaid for a length of time, these companies sometimes turn to third-party debt collection agencies to help them obtain the funds that are owed to them.
One such collection agency is Penn Credit. Based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Penn Credit has been a player in the debt collection industry since 1987.
If you have been contacted by Penn Credit about an unpaid debt, you should review the following legal rights as protected un the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):
- You have the right to protect yourself from any harassment, oppression, or abuse. Penn Credit should not be calling you excessively or in the early morning or late evening. You should not be subject to threats or vulgarity.
- You have the right to privacy. While Penn Credit is allowed to contact others in an attempt to locate or reach you, they are prohibited from sharing details of your financial situation with friends, coworkers, family, or neighbors.
- You have the right to information. Penn Credit is required to identify themselves, the reason for their call, the amount of debt owed, and the name of the original creditor. They are also expected to inform you that you have 30 days to dispute the debt before it is considered valid.
- You have the right to terminate contact with a collector who is calling excessively. A cease and desist letter can be sent to Penn Credit, which will limit their ability to contact you.
- You have the right to obtain debt verification. Within 30 days of learning about your debt, you may send a certified letter to Penn Credit demanding validation of your debt.
How Do I Draft a Letter Debt Validation Letter to Penn Credit?
If you believe that there are potential errors in a debt allegation from Penn Credit, you should demand that they provide you with a debt validation. Composing a debt validation request letter is not complicated, but there are a few key things to know before drafting your letter.
In writing a debt validation letter, it’s vital that you do not acknowledge the debt as yours. Further, you should not indicate that you intend to pay any portion of the debt. Instead, you are simply asking for validation of the alleged debt.
Your letter must be received within 30 days of your first contact with the collection agency and should be sent via certified mail so that proof of your letter is maintained.
If Penn Credit has violated any of the laws as outlined by the FDCPA, they could be liable for financial damages to you.
Sample Debt Validation Letter to Penn Credit
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter in response to the phone call (or letter) that I received by Penn Credit on (fill in the date). Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), I have the right to request validation of the debt that you claim I owe.
This letter is not a refusal to pay nor an acknowledgment of the debt as mine. Instead, it is a statement that your claim is disputed, and that validation is demanded according to 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) of the FDCPA.
I am requesting that the following information be provided to me by Penn Credit:
- Copy of the agreement that Penn Credit has with the creditor that authorizes you to collect on this alleged debt
- Documentation showing that Penn Credit is licensed to collect debt in my state, including your license numbert
- Signed copy, bearing my signature, of the agreement stating that I have agreed to assume the original
- Copies of the debt agreement listing the amount of the alleged debt and interest accrued
- Documented proof that the statute of limitations has not expired in my state
- Documentation of the payment history, as well as an accounting of charges being assessed
Per your legal requirements, I am requesting that you cease all collection activity including until this information is provided. If you do not comply, I will immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General’s office in (fill in your state).
Is It Necessary That I Contact a Lawyer to Help Me with My Debt?
It is prudent to enlist the help of an experienced FDCPA lawyer in drafting your debt validation letter. Your lawyer will be familiar with the laws governing debt disputes and will be able to determine if your rights have been violated in the debt collection process.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Penn Credit, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.