Use a debt validation letter to dispute any collections account you are uncertain about.
When you are working hard to improve your credit score, monitoring your credit reports is an essential part of the process.
Perhaps you’ve come across a debt or collections account on your report, or a debt collecting agency has directly contacted you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides 30 days to submit your debt validation letter to the collections agency in order for them to validate the debt.
Validating the debt is an important step as some agencies are known to attempt collections on false debts or even on debts already paid off.
Let’s review the in’s and out’s of a debt validation letter and how it can be used as a tool to help you address those pesky collections.
How to Write a Debt Validation Letter
As with all debt validation letters, do not admit to owning the debt nor hint at the possibility of making a payment.
Send your debt validation letter by certified mail and keep your mailing receipt and proof of delivery.
You may refer to the sample letter below for inspiration. Try and keep your letter emotion-free and professional.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also offers different sample letters for you to use depending on your needs; you can review them here.
[Your name & address]
[Creditors or the collection agency name and address]
RE: [Account number provided for the debt – if available]
To whom it may concern, In response to the [phone call/letter], I received on [date you received the call/letter] in which you identified a debt [input any information regarding this debt that was provided to you]. I hereby officially request that you provide validation of this debt.
Please provide me with the following information pursuant to 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) of the FDCPA:
1) the name and address of the creditor who currently owns the alleged debt. Please include their account number and the total amount owed.
2) If the debt originated with a different creditor, please provide the original creditor’s account number and the amount owed to them before the transfer of ownership. Please include any additional names the original creditor may be listed or known as. Moreover, please confirm the date at which the current creditor acquired the debt and from whom.
3) Please provide verification and all supporting documents that there is a valid basis for claiming that I am required to pay the debt to the current creditor.
Regarding the alleged debt, please forward the following information;
- The last billing statement issued by the original creditor.
- The date at which the debt was obtained, as well the amount of the debt at that time.
- Would you please provide a detailed list and explanation regarding any fees, interest, or additional charges added to the amount listed on the last billing statement issued by the original creditor?
- On which date does the original creditor indicate the debt as being delinquent.
- What is the date of the last payment made on this account?
- Please indicate whether the debt has been determined to still be within the statute of limitations. When is the statute of limitations set to expire on this debt, and how was this assessment made?
Regarding your authority to collect on this debt;
Does your agency have a debt collection license for my state? If so, please provide the name on the license, the license number, the date of the license, and finally, the state agency’s contact information that has issued the license (name, address, and telephone number).
If no license is available, please explain why not. If you are contacting me from outside of my state, please include all licensing information related to your state.
Please treat this debt as being in dispute, and validation is requested. Kindly provide the above-listed information within 30 days of receiving this letter or remove the negative tradelines submitted to the three major credit reporting agencies.
Disclaimer: This sample letter is not legal advice.
If you would like an even more formal sounding letter, you can review the PDF copy provided by USA Credit Lawyer, view here.
What is a Debt Validation Letter?
Simply put, a debt verification letter allows the consumer the opportunity to check for any errors and request that any such mistakes be removed from their credit bureau history.
Creditors often hire debt collection agencies or even sell the debt to a collection agency. With all these changes of hands, information can be muddled or simply lost along the way.
Since having a collection case on your file can wreak havoc on your credit score and life, the FDCPA has set certain rules in place to allow you to validate these debts.
Credit Repair Companies Can Do They Work
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of sending a debt validation letter and following through with the additional steps along the way, you can always seek the help of a credit repair company.
Credit repair companies specialize in managing all things credit-related and are there to handle credit reporting issues to appear on your credit reports.
While the services are not free, the benefits of having professionals handle the matter are not to be ignored.
If you are on the fence, you can get started with a free consultation with Credit Saint.
About the author
Clara is the founder of Credit Rise Up, an entrepreneur, personal finance expert, and credit repair enthusiast. She’s committed to helping her readers get on the right track and take actionable steps towards improving their credit by using the experience that allowed her to join The 800 Club. Find out more.