I know for fact that they received our request for validation because we sent it certified mail and requested a return receipt, so… Given the amount of time that has passed, I thought I’d better check up on my credit reports to see if they’d done any damage.
Unfortunately, I used up my free credit reports (one per agency) when I got the first collection call. While our state actually requires the credit bureaus to give us two free reports per year, any additional free reports would’ve had to come by snail mail, and I’m way too impatient for that. Thus, I was faced with paying $30 to get my three reports – or was I?
A credit report bargain?
I ended up going to TransUnion first and, after requesting my credit report (sans the credit score because I don’t really care about that), I was greeted with an offer to sign up for their TrueCredit service, which offers you access to all three reports as often as you’d like for a “low” monthly fee of $14.95 (you can supposedly cancel whenever you want by calling them). While canceling this service might turn out to be an adventure in itself, I figured it was worth the trouble to save $15, and to also have instant access to all three of our reports for a full month.
So… What did I learn when I checked my credit reports? All clear (so far), which is good news for the collection agency. If they had reported derogatory information without having validated the debt after I asked them to do so, they would’ve been in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and I could’ve sued them for $1000 in damages in small claims court.
My next step is to draft a “drop dead” letter to them, complete with a copy of my original letter, my certified mail receipt, and proof of delivery of that letter. The gist of this letter will be that they have failed to validate my debt, and thus I’m assuming that the matter is closed. Moreover, if they make further attempts to collect this supposed debt, they will be in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). While it would be great to receive a letter from them saying that the matter is closed, all I really want is for them to go away.