If you have been contacted by a debt collector that is not the original creditor or representing the original creditor, I think it would be smart to ask the debt collector to validate the debt and prove you actually owe it if there is any doubt on your part you owe the debt.
Many debts were sold to debt buyers that wound up collecting or even suing consumers but never had sufficient information to prove the debt owed was accurate or valid. Asking for debt validation is a smart thing to do.
This process does not have to be complicated or difficult. You don’t need a form letter and in fact you can write the letter out by hand if you want. But I have provided somewhat of a sample letter below.
The hardest part of this process will be taking the letter at a Post Office so you can send it certified, return receipt requested. You must do that. You will need the proof when they received your letter.
When you get the green postcard back showing when they received your debt validation request, put that card in a safe place with all your other important papers. If you kept a copy of the letter you sent, staple the green card to it.
It is important to send this letter within 30 days of you being contacted by the debt collector. Do not delay.
Sample Debt Validation Letter
Debt Collector Name
City, State Zip
The Date Today
City, State Zip
(Account: If the collection notice has an account number on it, put it here.)
I am writing to you today to dispute the debt you are trying to collect from me and to request you provide validation the debt is legitimate.
If you have notified the credit reporting agencies of this debt you must notify them promptly that I have disputed the validity of this debt.
I have notified you in writing within the 30-day period and request you cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until you can verify the debt and provide me, by first class mail, the following materials:
- All documents, including electronic records or images, which bear my signature and which concern the debt being collected;
- A ledger, account card, account statement copy, or similar record, whether paper or electronic, which reflects the date and amount of payments, credits, balances, and charges concerning the debt, including but not limited to interest, fees, charges or expenses incidental to the principal obligation which the creditor is expressly authorized to collect by the agreement creating the debt or permitted to collect by law;
- The name and address of the original creditor, if different from the collecting creditor; and
- A copy of any judgment against me.
Now, go to your local Post Office and send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.
You will need to complete a return receipt card, like the one below, and attach it to the back of your letter before mailing.
There is an additional charge to send a letter certified and request a return receipt.
And Now You Wait
After you send your letter, just wait for their response.
If they call before they get the letter, there is no reason to be nasty, just let them know you sent the letter and will await their investigation and response by mail.
Unless the collector can prove the debt is valid then there is no reason for you to deal with them anymore.