What Constitutes Written Proof for a Debt?

One of the biggest sticking points when it comes to commercial debt collection in today’s marketplace is having the ability to quickly and accurately prove that a particular debt is actually valid if the consumer should elect to exercise their right to insist on proper validation.

This is happening more and more frequently, and collectors who possess the necessary documentation to verify the debt that they are attempting to collect are almost always in a strong position compared to those who must scramble for some type of evidence.

Physical Written Proof of Debt

The strongest form of written proof has always been some type of physical documentation that was actually signed by the consumer and witnessed by a third party. This could be something as complex as a home mortgage signed at a real estate closing all the way down to something as simple as a hand written IOU that was drawn up by consenting parties and witnessed by a mutual friend.

No matter what type of written documentation we are talking about, this is the strongest and most common form of written proof. If you have this type of evidence to back up your claim with regard to any type of debt, you are always going to be standing on solid ground in the eyes of the rules and regulations that govern debt collection.

An Alternative Form of Written Proof

It is a much lesser known fact that email correspondences can also be considered written proof of a debt. So if you are unable to attain physical written agreements when you extent credit to your clients or customers, the next best thing is to discuss the terms of your agreement through email.

Not only is email a generally accepted form of written proof of debt, it is also an amazingly easy form of proof to forward to any commercial collection agency you might hire to collect an outstanding debt or delinquent account.

Website Terms and Conditions

Website terms and conditions are another option that many businesses fall back on when tasked with proving that a debt is legitimate. However, these terms and conditions often simply appear in a pop-up, and it can be extremely hard to prove that the consumer you are attempting to collect from is actually the person who clicked to accept those terms.

Because of this complication when online agreements come into play, it is almost always better to acquire written proof of debt through an email correspondence. This cannot only act as a backup to the terms and conditions that you specify on the website, it can also be a much more reliable source of proof should you need to provide that proof in a court of law at some point.

When it comes to written proof of a debt, having a hard copy that the consumer signed in person is always going to be the most solid form of proof. But email correspondences have quickly become the next best option in the eyes of both collection agents and court officials. So no matter what type of proof you prefer to get when extending credit to your clients or customers, make sure that you are backing up that proof with email evidence to support your claim.

By |2017-02-12T14:41:00+00:00January 30th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Graduated from University of Utah - business degree 1990. Served in US Army as an interrogator / linguist, then as a tactical intelligence officer - Military Intelligence 1986-1990. Managed Western US sales operations for NY based collection agency 1990-1992. Founded Direct Recovery Associates, Inc. 1992-present