Debt validation letters

How to dispute a collector's claim and stop collection activity.

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If you’ve recently received a call or letter from a debt collector stating you owe money, don’t just pass it off and forget about it. Instead, request validation or verification of the debt to make sure it’s legitimate and that you’re the person the collection agency is actually looking for.

What is a debt validation letter?

A debt validation letter is a document that proves a debt is valid, states how much you owe and confirms it’s within the statute of limitations for collection. You can also request that collection calls stop and all further communication with you from the agency be in writing.

Can I send a request for debt validation?

Yes, if you receive a phone call or letter from a collection agency and need more information about the debt, you can send a request for validation.

Below is a sample letter for a debt validation request. However, this is intended for demonstration purposes only. Consult an attorney for official legal counsel before sending a debt validation request to a collection agency.

Sample letter for a debt validation request

Date

Your name
Your address

Debt collector’s name
Debt collector’s address

Re: Your account number

This letter is being sent in response to a [written notice or phone call] on September 2020. This is not a refusal to pay, but a request for debt validation. I am requesting that you provide proof that the debt is valid under a contractual obligation and that I am the correct debtor.

Please provide me with the following information:

  • An agreement with the creditor that authorizes you to collect on this alleged debt
  • An agreement with my signature that states I have agreed to assume this alleged debt
  • Valid copies of the alleged debt agreement that states the original principal of the alleged debt as well as fees and interest charges
  • Complete accounting history of the alleged debt
  • Any judgments obtained by a creditor regarding this account
  • Name and address of the alleged creditor
  • Name and address of the alleged debtor
  • Name, address and official license for the collection agency attempting to collect this alleged debt
  • Date the alleged debt became payable, date of the original delinquency and verification that the alleged debt was assigned or sold to the collector

If your office is able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require 30 days to investigate the information. During this time, cease and desist all collection activity. If during this validation period any actions are taken that could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult legal counsel in preparation for a lawsuit.

If your office fails to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file. A copy of this deletion request needs to be sent to me immediately. Any noncompliance with my request will be considered a waiver of all claims to enforce the debt against me and your implied agreement to compensate me for any court costs and/or attorney fees if I am forced to bring this matter before a judge.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Your signature
Your name in print

How to dispute a debt collection

If you’ve been accused of having a debt you do not owe — or suspect a collection letter may be a scam — then it’s critical you send a debt validation letter to dispute the debt. A lender must stop collection activity until it confirms the debt is legitimate.

If the collector is unable to prove your debt or continues to contact you to collect on it, it’s violating federal law. File a complaint with the consumer affairs office of your province or territory and stop communicating with the collector until you can obtain legal advice.

Bottom line

Sending a debt validation letter to a collection agency can help you confirm the debt is legitimate and that you’re not falling victim to a scam. And if you notice an incorrect mark on your credit report, a debt verification letter is a good way to ensure you’re actually the person that owes the debt in question.

However, these letters are only one step in the debt collection process. If you’ve been fielding calls and notices from collection agencies, there are ways to deal with these collectors to stop harassment.

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