This is one of the most important post I will put on this blog for beginners. Please take this to heart!
The most important thing you can do is dispute every collection letter you get. You must dispute the letter in writing within 30 days of receiving it to get the most protection under federal law (FDCPA). If you are past the 30 day time limit, still send a dispute letter but know that you have lost considerable rights.
Save a copy of the letter. Send the letter CERTIFIED MAIL. You may later need to prove you sent it, who you sent it to and when you sent it.
Here is a simple sample letter:
City, State Zip
Collection Agency Address
City, State Zip
Re: Acct # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
To Whom It May Concern:
I am in receipt of you presentiment referring to an alleged debt. I was not aware of this alleged debt until now, and under my rights under the FDCPA, I request that you validate this debt.
I dispute this debt.
Here is the specific law related to dispute letters:
FDCPA Section 809. Validation of debts [15 USC 1692g]
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Fight the good fight, Boiler