How To Dispute your Debt

How To Dispute Your Debt
The first letter that you receive from a debt collector should contain a short summary of your “rights” to dispute the debt.  Often this disclaimer is located at the bottom of the letter or on the reverse side.  Do not disregard these rights – they are very important and they go away if you do not act on them quickly.  Below is an example of such a disclaimer:
Unless you notify us within thirty (30) days after receiving this letter that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, we will assume the debt is valid.  If you notify us in writing within thirty (30) days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, we will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, if applicable, and mail you a copy of such verification or judgment.  Upon your written request within thirty (30) days after receiving this notice, we will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
To simplify:  you are legally entitled to ask the debt collector to verify the debt.  If they can’t provide verification from the original creditor, they are required to cease collection efforts.  If the debt collector ignores your dispute letter and continues to call or send collection letters, it is a violation of the FDCPA.
In order to preserve your rights to receive verification, you must dispute the debt within 30 days of receiving the first written correspondence from the debt collector.  Make sure to keep copies of any signed letter that you send to a debt collector.  It is also a good idea to send any dispute letter via certified mail so that you have evidence that they received it.
Fill out this form to generate your own sample dispute letter and mail the letter to the creditor.
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