Start My Answer

Disclosures — Definition

George Simons | August 16, 2022

Summary: Under the FDCPA, debt collectors must give disclosures about certain information surrounding a debt. Here is SoloSuit's guide on regulations on debt collection disclosures.

Disclosure is a common phrase used in various legal concepts and contexts. But regardless of the concept or context, this phrase means the release of new or confidential information. This article discusses the term ‘disclosure' when used in the context of debt collection cases..

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines how debt collectors interact with consumers when trying to recover a debt they supposedly owe. On June 30, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced additional rules under the FDCPA. As a result, effective November 30, 2021, consumers were awarded more control over how debt collectors interact with them.

The CFPB also announced new guidelines for debt collection disclosures. The new regulations added three key elements:

  1. The right to know the debt being collected
  2. Information about consumer protections
  3. Disclosures required under specific laws

Now, let's take a minute to break down each of these elements.

1. The right to know the debt being collected

If you are contacted by a debt collector pursuing repayment for an alleged delinquent account, you have a right to ask for basic information concerning the alleged debt. In fact, there are statutory mandates requiring debt collectors to disclose important details about the debt to consumers, when requested.

According to the new rules, debt collectors:

  • Cannot contact you claiming that you owe a debt without mentioning the exact amount owed.
  • Must disclose the name of the creditor to whom the debt is allegedly owed.
  • Must state that the consumer has up to 30 days to dispute the debt and that the debt will be considered valid if they don't dispute it within the provided timeframe.
  • Must inform the consumer that they will verify the debt if the consumer makes such a request in writing within 30 days of being notified about the debt.
  • Must provide consumers with details of the original creditor if the consumer submits such a request within 30 days.

It's important to note that the information described above is usually provided during a debt collector's initial communication. However, if the debt collector does not provide such information when they first contact you, they must provide it within five days. In this context, the phrase ‘initial communication' means the first time the debt collector contacts the consumer about the debt supposedly owed.

The law requires the debt collector to provide the validation notice in any of the following ways:

  • Written form
  • Verbally
  • Orally during the initial communication

2. Information about consumer protections

The new regulations require debt collectors to inform consumers about the protections they have under the new law. More specifically, collectors must inform consumers that they can find additional information about consumer protections during debt collection on the CFPB's website.

The debt collector must also disclose to the consumer that they can dispute the debt and provide ways to file the dispute. If they provide this information electronically, they must also provide a statement demonstrating how the consumer can dispute the debt electronically.

3. Disclosures required under specific laws

One of the most common affirmative defenses to a debt collection lawsuit is that the debt's statute of limitations has expired. When the statute of limitations has expired, most states prohibit debt collectors from threatening consumers with legal action to collect such debt. This is because they cannot legally collect a time-barred debt. But despite knowing this, some collection agencies threaten consumers with legal action, hoping they'll make a payment to the debt account, effectively reactivating the debt's statute of limitations.

In some states, when the statute of limitations on debt expires, the debt is considered invalid, effectively preventing any collection efforts. In other states, debt collectors may still attempt to collect the expired debt, but they cannot threaten consumers with legal action over such debt.

However, according to the new regulations, a debt collector must disclose any debt whose statute of limitations has expired on the front page of the validation notice. The disclosure could be something like:

“The law prohibits debt collectors from collecting old debt. Therefore, we will not sue you to collect this debt if you don't respond or speak to us about it. This is because this debt is too old. However, if you make any form of payment or acknowledge↚—in writing—that you owe this debt, we may be able to file a lawsuit against you to recover the debt.”

California is a good example of a state that requires disclosures for time-barred debts. Cities like New York also have this requirement.

Why are debt collection disclosures important?

The truth is, some debt collection agencies are driven by greed rather than the need to recover what you supposedly owe. Such rogue agencies will harass you to pay a debt you don't know anything about. In addition, debt accounts switch hands several times before landing on the desk of that particular debt collection agency that contacts you. So without verifying debts, many consumers end up paying debts they don't owe. The worst part is that once you agree to pay a debt, it confirms that you owe the amount. And, making a payment to an old debt automatically reactivates the debt even if its statute of limitations has expired.

How SoloSuit can help

If a debt collector has failed to disclose enough information about your debt, you can send them a Debt Validation Letter to formally request a debt verification. If the collector cannot verify the debt, they will probably stop contacting you about it. You can use SoloSuit to draft a Debt Validation Letter in minutes.

If the collector has already sued you for a debt, the first step to winning in court is to respond to the debt lawsuit with a written Answer. You have up to 35 days to respond, depending on which state you live in, before a default judgment is entered against you. With a default judgment, debt collectors can garnish your wages and put liens on your property. Responding to the lawsuit increases your chances of winning the case altogether and getting those collectors off your back.

SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt collection lawsuit in all 50 states.

To learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit, check out this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.


Ask a Question


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.



Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.


Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court