Should I keep a signed copy of any letter I send to a debt collector?
This is a question that comes up when we’re dealing with debt collectors.
Yes, you should keep a signed copy.
We want to have proof of what we’ve sent to them.
In this article, we’re just talking about whether or not to keep a signed copy, not how to send it to the collector.
Let’s look at a few reasons to keep a signed copy.
Under the FDCPA, when you send the debt collectors a dispute letter, the debt collectors have to mark the debt as “disputed.”
What if they don’t fix your credit report?
Then you sue them, and they say, “You didn’t dispute this. You sent us a letter, but it wasn’t about disputing debt. You can’t sue us.”
If you keep a signed copy, you can come back and say, “Well, actually I have a copy of the letter I sent, and I did dispute this.”
If you’ve sent them a validation letter, it tells the collection agencies to stop their collection activities until they’ve validated the debt you supposedly own.
Keeping the letter ensures that you have proof when they say you didn’t send that letter.
Maybe you sent them a cease and desist letter.
Then when you sue them, they may say, “Well, you just said that you didn’t owe the debt. You said nothing about communicating with you.”
You can show them exactly what you said.
Under the TCPA, it’s illegal for debt collectors to harass you with auto-dialers.
Let’s say you sent them a letter telling them to stop calling you with robo-dialers.
Or you say, “Here’s my cell phone number, I’m revoking your permission to call me.”
If they continue to call you, you need to have proof that you told them to stop.
We’ve had cases where the consumer wrote them a letter revoking their consent, and their phone had 100’s of calls from a robo-dialer.
Each of these calls can have a minimum damages of $500, up to a maximum of $1,500 per call.
It’s important to be able to prove what we’ve said to the debt collectors.
How do I do this?
The simple way is to print out two copies of the letter you typed, and sign them both.
Once you’ve sent one copy to the debt collector, put the other copy in a folder.
Label that folder.
Put a note on it that says something like, “This is the letter I mailed to the debt collector…”
Something that will help you remember why it’s in there and why you have it.
In addition to a physical copy, you should have a copy saved to the cloud.
Sign the letter, then put it through the scanner.
Then you can upload it to the cloud (gmail, dropbox, google drive, etc) and not have to worry about it.
Or you can take a picture of the letter with your phone and save it to the cloud.
However you want to do it works.
This ensures that you will have a digital copy is something happens to the physical copy.
It may seem like overkill to do this, but it doesn’t take much effort and it’s worth the little amount of time you spend doing it.
We hope that this has been helpful for you.
If you have any questions, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.
I look forward to talking with you!