It’s generally recommended to use CMRR (Certified Mail with Return Receipt) for communicating with credit reporting agencies, collection agencies, and creditors. It provides a trail of when letters were mailed and when they were received. If correctly used, CMRR can be used as evidence in court. Here’s how to send off a letter CMRR:
- The first thing you’ll need is a Certified Mail form and a Return Receipt form. These are available free of charge at your local post office or can be ordered free of charge from the USPS web site. A certified mail form looks like this:
It has a unique tracking number printed three times on the form – once at the far left side, and twice under the barcode.
A return receipt form looks like this:
The return receipt form is double-sided and you will need to complete both sides of the form.
- When writing your letter to the creditor, collection agency, or credit reporting agency, be sure to reference the tracking number from the Certified Mail form in the header of your letter. Just a brief note near the date that says something along the lines of “Sent via Certified Mail: XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX on March 2, 2008” will do.
Even though the sending and receiving of the Certified Mail can be tracked through the US Postal Service, referencing the CM tracking number in the body of your letter itself is the only way to prove what the actual contents of the letter were. Be sure to make a photocopy of your letter before you seal the envelope.
- Place your letter in the envelope, seal it, and write the delivery and return addresses as normal
- Complete the Certified Mail form. It’s very simple. You only have to fill out the bottom right portion where it allows you to print who it is being sent to and the address where it is being sent.
You will notice that the form is perforated between the two tracking numbers printing under the bar code. Do not tear the form at this perforation. Leave the form complete. The postal clerk will detach the form after they’ve completed their portion of the form and postmarked it for you.
Attach the CM form to your envelope. The bar code portion of the form is sticky- simple peel off the backing, and fold the form over the top of your envelope. It should be attached at the top, to the right of your return address. A small green sliver will be on the back of the envelope, and the large portion with the barcode will be affixed to the front.
- Next up is the Return Receipt form. Start with the back, which simply has a large empty box where you can print your name and address. This will be used to mail the Return Receipt back to you as proof that the letter was delivered.
On the front side, fill in the name and address of the company or person you are sending the letter to in box #1. In box #2, copy the tracking number from the CM form. In box #3, check the Certified Mail box.
On the left and right side of the RR form on the side with your name and address, peel off the backing and stick the form over the delivery address on the envelope. When the letter is delivered, whomever received the letter will sign and print their name in the boxes on the upper right. The mail carrier will detach the form from the letter at the perforations, and the green card will be sent back to you.
Attach the certified mail receipt, the post office receipt, and the return mail receipt to your letter and file it away to be referenced as needed at a future date.
Now you’re all set to start sending out those letters!