Many individuals face difficult financial decisions on a daily basis. Unexpected medical bills or unanticipated car repairs are just a couple of the reasons why some people fall behind on their monthly expenses.
When bills go unpaid, they are sometimes turned over to third-party collection agencies. These companies are hired to collect the debt on behalf of the business to which the debt was originally owed.
While there are many ethical third-party collection agencies, there are occasions when a debt collector will take things too far.
While you are responsible for paying your debt, you are not required to accept harassment from a third-party collection agency.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted by Congress in 1977 to protect consumers from unfair abuse or excessive harassment from debt collectors who have been hired to collect a debt. If you have been contacted by Scott & Associates regarding your debt, you should be aware of your rights under the FDCPA laws.
What Are My Rights When It Comes to Debt Collection?
The majority of collection agencies are merely doing their job by working to collect monies owed to their clients. There are a variety of ways which this is done. Before engaging with Scott & Associates, you should know your legal rights as specified under the FDCPA:
- You have the right to protect yourself from any harassment, oppression, or abuse. As such, the FDCPA bans the use of obscene or profane language, threats of harm, repetitive phones calls meant to annoy or abuse you.
- You have the right to privacy. Scott & Associates is not allowed to tell unauthorized persons about your debt, including leaving detailed voicemail messages on your phone or answering machine.
- You have the right to information, including knowing who is calling you. Collection agencies need to identify themselves, the reason for their call, the amount of debt owed, and the name of the creditor. They are also responsible for informing you that you have 30 days to dispute the debt before it is deemed valid.
- You have the right to stop communication with a collector who is calling excessively. A cease communication letter can be sent to Scott & Associates, which will limit their ability to contact you.
- You have the right to ask for and obtain debt verification. Within 30 days of learning about your debt, you may send a certified letter to Scott & Associates demanding verification of your debt.
How Do I Draft a Letter Debt Validation Letter to Scott & Associates?
While composing a debt validation letter is not complicated, there are a few things that you need to know. First and foremost, the letter must be received within 30 days of your contact with the collection agency. Your letter should be sent via certified mail so that you have proof that it has been received.
In your debt validation letter, it’s important that you do not acknowledge the debt as yours or indicate that you intend to pay the debt. Remember that you are simply asking for validation of the debt.
It is wise to enlist the help of an experienced FDCPA lawyer in drafting your debt validation letter. Your attorney, who is familiar with the laws governing debt disputes, will assist you in gathering the appropriate information to write a compelling argument.
As the receipt of the letter is time sensitive, you should contact am attorney as soon as possible. If your lawyer finds that Scott & Associates have followed unfair debt collection practices, you have the right to sue them in state court.
Sample Debt Validation Letter to Scott & Associates
Date: Your Name Address City, State, Zip Code Scott & Associates P.O. Box 113297
Carrollton, TX 75011
Re: Account Number (Fill in your account number)
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter in response to the phone call (or letter) that I received by Scott & Associates 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 the following information be provided to me by Scott & Associates:
- Copy of the agreement that Scott & Associates has with the creditor that authorizes you to collect on this alleged debt
- Documentation showing that Scott & Associates is licensed to collect debt in my state, including your license number
- Signed copy, bearing my signature, of the agreement stating that I have agreed to assume the debt
- 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 file a complaint with the FTC 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?
Given the complexity of the nature of debt disputes, as well as the critical time constraints, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced FDCPA lawyer in dealing with Scott & Associates.
If you feel that your debt is invalid or that you have been mistreated, you should consider hiring an FDCPA lawyer immediately.
*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 Scott & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.