How do I send my dispute letter to the debt collector?
If you are dealing with a debt collector, you have the right to send a dispute letter. We have a simple dispute letter for you to look at and use if you wish. But how do you actually send it?
Four steps to sending a dispute letter to a debt collector
First, keep a signed copy of your letter.
Second, send it certified mail return receipt requested so you will get a green card back.
Third, when you get the green card back, scan it in (or take a picture of it with your phone) and then staple it to your signed copy of the letter.
Fourth, pull your credit report in about 60 days to see if the debt collector is reporting the debt and if it shows as “consumer disputed.”
Several questions about dispute letters
There are a number of questions we have received about dispute letters (validation letters) and we wanted to list some of these here. We’ll add to this list as we get more questions.
Do you have to list a reason for your dispute?
No. You can simply say you dispute the debt.
But it can be helpful to put more detail when you can — see the next question.
How detailed should you make your dispute letter?
As detailed as possible. If for example, you have paid off the debt, mention that. Enclose copies of whatever documentation you have.
If this is not your debt, tell the collector it is not your debt.
This is a common sense approach of giving any information which will help the collector see this is not something it wants to collect against you.
Can the debt collector reject your dispute as being frivolous?
No. You do not have to give a reason so there is no such thing as rejecting your dispute. Now the collector can continue to collect so in that sense it can reject your dispute.
But it must still mark your credit report as disputed if it updates your report after getting the dispute. Even if it disagrees with the dispute.
What if the debt collector responds but does not answer your dispute/validation?
Follow up. Send another dispute letter pointing out the defects or flaws in the debt collector’s response.
Think of this as a tennis match. You hit the ball over the net, the collector hits it back, you then hit it, etc. Until you get to the bottom of this and figure out who is right or wrong, you can continue to send legitimate dispute letters to the collector.
Can your dispute be verbal instead of in writing?
It can be for purposes of your credit report having to be marked as disputed. But in terms of getting “validation” for the debt, verbal is not good enough under the law. Now some collectors may validate the debt anyway but there is no legal obligation to do that for a verbal dispute.
What should you do next?
If your credit report is not properly marked, or if you are getting robo dialed calls to your cell phone despite your dispute letter saying not to call your cell phone, then talk to a lawyer about suing the debt collector for money damages.
You can call us at 205-879-2447 or contact us through the website and we’ll be happy to help you deal with abusive debt collectors.