If you have received a debt collection call or letter in the mail from a debt collector, you have specific rights under Texas law.
By initiating a debt collection, the third party debt collector must be able to prove that they are the legitimate owners of the debt, as well as to provide the alleged debtor with specific information regarding the debt.
What is a “debt validation” request?
All debt collectors operating in the State of Texas must be able to verify, or “validate,” any debt on which they are attempting to collect payment.
Texas Finance Code Section 392.202 requires a debt collection agency or credit bureau to provide the alleged debtor with specific information concerning their debt including but not limited to:
- The name of the original creditor
- The original date of default or non-payment of the debt
- The date the debt was transferred from the original creditor to the third party debt collector
- The original balance
- The current balance
- Surety bond information
How do I request a debt validation?
The most effective way to request a validation of debt is to send the debt collector a certified letter requesting specific information.
You must also request that the debt collector reply in writing to ensure that there is a record of all correspondence between yourself and the collection agency.
How much time does a debt collector have to respond to my debt validation request?
The debt collection agency has thirty (30) calendar days to respond to a debt validation request.
I sent a debt validation request and the debt collector failed to respond or did not respond in time. What next?
If a debt collector has failed to respond to your debt validation request, then they have essentially admitted, per Texas Finance Code 392.202(b)(2), that the debt in question is inaccurate.
As such, all collection efforts on the debt must cease and any derogatory listing should be permanently removed from any consumer credit reports.
The debt collector has five (5) days after admission of inaccuracy of this debt to cease collections and remove credit bureau listings. Failure by a collection agency to meet this five (5) day deadline means that they have violated Texas Law and would subject the third party debt collector to civil and criminal penalties.
By taking charge of your personal credit with the Big Tex Credit Repair Program, you can force credit collection agencies, through legal means, to stop collections, clear your credit report and restrict the transfer of the alleged debt to another collection agency.
The third party debt collector responded to my debt validation within 30 days. Is there anything else I can do?
By following the Big Tex Credit Repair Program guidelines, you should have requested information specific to the alleged debt that would only be available to a debt collector who legitimately transferred the debt from the original creditor to themselves.
Because debt collectors may often purchase debt for pennies on the dollar and en masse, they may not have all of the specific information pertaining to the debt. While they may have your name, social security number, original balance and current balance, they may have failed to properly acquire additional paperwork regarding this debt, namely a contract signed by you authorizing the original credit line or interest/fees information authorizing the debt collector to add additional expenses to the original debt balance.
In some cases, the debt collection agency may not even be legally collecting debt in the State of Texas, which immediately invalidates their collection claim.
Failure of the credit collection agency to provide this important information, even if they sent a response within thirty days, may allow you to continue to pursue the debt’s inaccuracy through legal means.
The Big Tex Credit Repair Program puts the power and legal know-how in your hands so that you can pressure the credit collection agency to provide you with all of the necessary information concerning your debt or force them to cease collections.