We have drafted three form letters to help you respond to debt collectors. These letters will not fit all situations, but they address some of the most common issues. Please read through the following information to find out if one of these letters fit your situation. If it does, you can use the letter as a model - to communicate with your credit collector.
Note: Keep a copy of any letters that you send and store them in a safe place.
Stop call letter
The most common complaint we hear: “A debt collector is hounding me and will not stop calling.” This simple letter asserts your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Once you have notified the debt collector, the law requires them to stop calling you.
Letter disputing the debt and asserting that right to collect debt has expired
It is common for debt collectors to buy up “old debts” from previous debt collectors. Because of this, you may not have heard from anyone on an old debt for a long time. Then, suddenly someone is trying to collect from you again. The “statute of limitations” for collecting on a debt in Maine is, generally speaking, six years. So, if the debt is older than six years, it is probably not legal for the debt collector to be coming after you.
Letter requesting “validation of the debt”
If a debt collector has just begun contacting you, within the first 30 days you have the right to request “validation” of the debt. While the debt collector is responding to your request, they cannot try to collect from you. If the creditor follows the law by responding, you will have valuable information that could help you dispute your obligation to pay on the debt.
Even if this is not the first notice you have received, the notice may say that you can request "validation" of the debt. Again, we would encourage you make the request. The collector must respond but may not have to stop collection in the meantime unless the notice says that they will do that.
Read more about Debt Collection in Maine
Updated August, 2017
PTLA # 023