Disputing your debts is such an important topic. One that is often overlooked because people don't have the time to understand the complicated ins and outs of the debt collection industry. And debt collectors aren't trying to educate you on that because it would cost them A LOT of money. They hope most people will just receive the notification, get scared when they see it hit their credit report, and pay. And most people do exactly that. (For a debt they don't even owe!)
That is why here at Forgivey we have started the Dispute Your Debts Campaign. An on-going education of when, how, and why to Dispute Your Debts with debt collectors. So let's dive right in!
Any debt collector who contacts you claiming you owe a payment on a debt is REQUIRED by law to provide you with certain information about the debt. That information must include:
The name of the creditor
The amount owed
That you can dispute the debt and if you don't dispute the debt WITHIN 30 DAYS the debt collector will assume it is a valid debt
That if you dispute the debt in writing WITHIN 30 DAYS the debt collector will provide verification of the debt
That if you request the name and address of the original creditor WITHIN 30 DAYS (if it is different from the company who currently owns the debt) the debt collector will provide you that information.
If the debt collector doesn't provide that information in the first contact with you, it is required to send you a written notice including that information within 5 DAYS after contacting you.
You have 30 DAYS to dispute a debt or part of a debt from when you receive the required information from the debt collector. Once you dispute the debt, the debt collector can't call or contact you to collect the debt or the disputed part of the debt until the debt collector has provided the verification of the debt in writing to you. Your dispute should be made in writing to ensure that the debt collector has to send you verification of the debt.
Make sure the letter includes the date. Make a copy and send the original letter to the debt collection company. If you can send the letter by certified mail. Even better if you can pay for a return receipt. This will give you proof the debt collector has received your letter.
The truth is if we all started disputing our debts those companies would lose out on a lot money and that will have a huge impact on all parties involved. Mostly for us, the consumer, though. The only way to starve the monster is to stop feeding it. If we all dispute our debts they must respond. This will significantly impact their processes. It will take time, energy, and resources to start addressing all of these disputed debts and at some point it is just not worth it!
This is the first step in the process we all should take to make the change WE ALL NEED! Dispute Your Debts!
This content provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance.