If you have been contacted by a debt collector and are confused about their allegations you owe a debt, you must act quickly. Disputing a debt is an important process to ensure you aren’t sued over a debt that isn’t yours. Here is what you need to do:
First, answer the call. While it is tempting to ignore these debt collection calls it can actually do more harm than good. Answer the call and request the debt collector to give you their name, the name of the company they are representing in their collection efforts, and the amount they allege you owe. Keep this information for your records when you call your credit company.
Second, ask for written verification to validate the debt. You must request written verification before you do anything else. By law, a debt collector is required to provide you with this written verification. It is important to remember that when you request written verification, most debt collectors will want this in writing. Make sure you send your request for verification as a certified letter with a return receipt requested within 30 days of your initial contact with the debt collector; this is your proof of the request to keep for your records.
Third, when you receive your debt validation request card from the debt collection agency keep it with your other documents. Your written verification should follow in the mail soon after. Remember that any debt collector that does not provide this proof is likely not legitimate and out looking to scam money.
Last, contact your creditor directly. If there are any questions as to the legitimacy of your debt or you need to further resolve a debt it is important to discuss these matters with your creditor instead of the third party debt collector.