Collector - December 2017 - 46

Now You're Talking
How you can avoid overshadowing the validation notice.

T

he Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act requires debt collectors to
provide certain disclosures in
the validation notice, one of which is
the consumer's right to dispute the debt
in writing during the 30-day validation
period. However, debt collectors can run
into trouble if a demand for payment in the
validation letter confuses the consumer
about her ability to dispute her debt. That's
why, when crafting a validation notice, you
must be sure any demands for payment,
settlement offers or threats of legal
action do not overshadow the consumer's
validation period.
According to the FDCPA, validation
notices must contain the amount of the
debt owed by the consumer. However,
debt collectors should use caution when
demanding payment within a certain
time frame in such letters. Contradiction
often results when a collection notice both
demands payment within 30 days and
explains the consumer's right to request
verification within 30 days.
Not all demands for payment in a validation
notice constitute a violation of the FDCPA.
You need to carefully choose your words for
requesting payment during the validation
period and avoid using certain words or
phrases that could be construed as a demand
for payment within a time frame that is shorter
or equal to the 30-day validation period.
Courts have examined validation letters using
terms such as "urgent," "immediate collection"
and "strongly recommend," and have released
differing opinions on whether or not these
types of terms overshadowed the consumer's
validation period.
A settlement offer presented in a
validation notice that requires the
consumer to pay the debt during the
validation period in order to take advantage
of the discount or that expires within a
few days of the validation period may
potentially overshadow the validation

46

period. Not all courts agree on whether a
settlement offer in a validation notice is
permissible; how the offer is presented in
the validation letter will provide the court
with its determining factors.
A debt collector may also inform a
consumer that the collector will file a lawsuit
during the 30-day validation period, so
long as the statement is made in a way that
does not contradict the consumer's right
to request verification within the 30-day
validation period. Once again, courts have
varying opinions as to the overshadowing
nature of these types of statements.

For a more in-depth look at the issues and
court decisions surrounding overshadowing
the validation period, ACA members
can review ACA SearchPoint™ document
#1172, Collection Efforts During the 30-day
Validation Period.
Have you checked out the member-only ACA
SearchPoint™ library? This valuable resource
is filled with documents that put important
compliance information related to the
FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, state laws and many
other topics at your fingertips. To access it,
visit www.acainternational.org/searchpoint.

Calling All Writers!

We're accepting articles from our readership.*

Collector magazine invites credit and collection professionals of
all levels into a community of experts who share their hard-won
experience through in-depth process and data-driven articles.
Send your article pitch or summary
to Anne Rosso May at either
» rosso@acainternational.org or
» Anne Rosso May
Collector Magazine
4040 West 70th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55435
*Qualifying participation for
the Continuous Service Award

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/searchpoint http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - December 2017

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Stronger Together
Taking a Layered Approach
Lines of Communication
Calendar
Honor Roll
Collective Intelligence
CFPB Issues Final Rule for Small Dollar Lending Market
Ask the Experts: Training Advice
Court Rules Voicemail is a “Communication" and Disclosing Name of Collection Agency Provides “Meaningful Disclosure” Under FDCPA
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - December 2017 - Cover1
Collector - December 2017 - Cover2
Collector - December 2017 - 1
Collector - December 2017 - 2
Collector - December 2017 - President’s Page
Collector - December 2017 - Industry News
Collector - December 2017 - 5
Collector - December 2017 - 6
Collector - December 2017 - 7
Collector - December 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - December 2017 - 9
Collector - December 2017 - FYI
Collector - December 2017 - 11
Collector - December 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - December 2017 - 13
Collector - December 2017 - Stronger Together
Collector - December 2017 - 15
Collector - December 2017 - 16
Collector - December 2017 - 17
Collector - December 2017 - 18
Collector - December 2017 - 19
Collector - December 2017 - Taking a Layered Approach
Collector - December 2017 - 21
Collector - December 2017 - 22
Collector - December 2017 - 23
Collector - December 2017 - 24
Collector - December 2017 - 25
Collector - December 2017 - Lines of Communication
Collector - December 2017 - 27
Collector - December 2017 - 28
Collector - December 2017 - 29
Collector - December 2017 - 30
Collector - December 2017 - 31
Collector - December 2017 - 32
Collector - December 2017 - 33
Collector - December 2017 - Calendar
Collector - December 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - December 2017 - Collective Intelligence
Collector - December 2017 - 37
Collector - December 2017 - CFPB Issues Final Rule for Small Dollar Lending Market
Collector - December 2017 - 39
Collector - December 2017 - Ask the Experts: Training Advice
Collector - December 2017 - 41
Collector - December 2017 - Court Rules Voicemail is a “Communication" and Disclosing Name of Collection Agency Provides “Meaningful Disclosure” Under FDCPA
Collector - December 2017 - 43
Collector - December 2017 - Compliance
Collector - December 2017 - 45
Collector - December 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - December 2017 - 47
Collector - December 2017 - Last Word
Collector - December 2017 - Cover3
Collector - December 2017 - Cover4
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