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Author Topic: Validation after 30 days  (Read 3284 times)
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« on: August 28, 2006, 09:02:06 AM »

TowerRat    05-06-2005 09:20 PM
In theory, you can dispute a debt at any time.

However, if you do not dispute within the 30 day notice period, the collector does not have to cease collection activity and there is case law to support that.

There is no case law to support debt validation after the 30 day period expires. While I strongly urge everyone to disptue anyway, if for no other reason than the fact that it can lead to violations, I privately believe that if you do not dispute within the 30 day window, you are not entitled to debt validation at all. It is optional for the collector, not mandatory. As I read the statute, 1692g(c) simply says that if a collector sends a dunning letter, and the consumer fails to dispute within the 30 days, the collector cannot use that fact to as a basis for or in support of a motion for summary judgment (we should get judgment because the consumer failed to dispute).

There is case law against consumers, from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Mahon v. Credit Bureau of Placer County:

C. The Adequacy of Verification - § 1692g(b)

The Mahons also contend the Credit Bureau failed to verify their debt as required by 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). Under this section, a debt collector must provide verification of the debt to the debtor, upon written request made by the debtor within 30 days after receipt of the initial Notice. 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). If no written demand is made, "the collector may assume the debt to be valid." Avila v. Rubin, 84 F.3d 222, 226 (7th Cir. 1996); 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(3).

Having already determined that the Notice required by the FDCPA was sent to the Mahons by the Credit Bureau, we presume that it was received shortly thereafter. Under the common law Mailbox Rule, "proper and timely mailing of a document raises a rebuttable presumption that it is received by the addressee." Anderson v. United States, 966 F.2d 487, 491 (9th Cir. 1992); see also Meckel v. Continental Resources Co., 758 F.2d 811, 817 (2d Cir. 1985) (properly mailed computer-generated notices can be presumed received).

We conclude the evidence established, without a genuine dispute of any material fact, that the Notice sent to the Mahons on September 21, 1995 was received by them shortly thereafter. They did not request verification of the debt to Dr. Bowen until June 5, 1996, almost nine months later. For their request to have been effective, it had to be made within thirty days from the date they received the Notice from the Credit Bureau. 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(3). The Mahons' tardy request for verification of the debt, therefore, did not trigger any obligation on the part of the Credit Bureau to verify the debt. Even if it did, however, the Credit Bureau, when it received the June 5, 1996 request, promptly contacted Dr. Bowen's office, verified the nature and balance of the outstanding bill, learned that monthly statements had been sent from Dr. Bowen's office to the Mahons for over two years, and established that the balance was still unpaid. The Credit Bureau then promptly conveyed this information to the Mahons, along with an itemized statement of the account. Although the Mahons did not request verification of the debt within the time provided by the statute, the Credit Bureau properly verified the debt anyway.
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