In Rudek v. Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, P.C. 2009 WL 385804 (E.D.Tenn.2009), Judge Collier ruled on what constitutes proper verification of a debt in response to a debt collector’s 30 day letter under 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). Judge Collier held that independent validation requiring proving the merits of the obligation is not required:
Defendant contends it complied with the verification requirement by providing Plaintiff with the name of the original creditor and stating that the client has verified the balance to be true, correct, and still owing. In addition, Defendant informed Plaintiff of when the last payment was received. The Sixth Circuit has not addressed what constitutes appropriate verification. But other courts have held that the verification provided here-confirmation of the debt, which is then relayed to the debtor-is sufficient. Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo,174 F.3d 394, 406 (4th Cir.1999) (“[V]erification of a debt involves nothing more than the debt collector confirming in writing that the amount being demanded is what the creditor is claiming is owed; the debt collector is not required to keep detailed files of the alleged debt.”); Ducrest v.. Alco Collections, 931 F.Supp. 459, 462 (M.D.La.1996) (holding debt collector can rely on its clients’ representation and has no duty to independently investigate claims); Azar v. Hayter, 874 F.Supp. 1314, 1317 (N.D.Fla.1994), aff’d without opinion, 66 F.3d 342 (11th Cir.1995) (The FDCPA does not “require a debt collector independently to investigate the merit of the debt, except to obtain verification, or to investigate the accounting principles of the creditor, or to keep detailed files.”); accord Clark v. Capital Credit & Collection Servs., 460 F.3d 1162, 1174 (9th Cir.2006); Anderson v. Frederick J. Hanna & Assocs., 361 F.Supp.2d 1379, 1383 (N.D.Ga.2005). ¶ This conclusion is consistent with the plain language of the statute. Defendant satisfied its obligation by “obtain[ing] verification of the debt” and mailing a copy of the verification to the consumer. 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). Plaintiff implies he is entitled to additional documentation to resolve a “dispute.” But verification is only intended to “eliminate the … problem of debt collectors dunning the wrong person or attempting to collect debts which the consumer has already paid.” Chaudhry, 174 F.3d at 406. “There is no concomitant obligation to forward copies of bills or other detailed evidence of the debt.” Id.
The Court’s holding is consistent with other caselaw, and Congressional history, which suggests that a debt collector need not investigate the defenses alleged by the consumer. Xiao-Lin, FTC Staff Opinion Letter (Aug. 3, 1987); Kodner, FTC Staff Opinion Letter (Mar. 7, 1979); Chaudhry v Gallerizzo (4th Cir 1999) 174 F.3d. 394.