If you have received a collection letter from an attorney demanding you pay a debt, you may wonder how to determine if you you truly owe the money to which the attorney is referring. You have the right to create a first-response debt dispute letter, which asks the attorney to prove this debt is in your name and show what the debt is for. You can write this letter yourself on your home computer to give it a professional look.
Compose your letter on your home computer using a basic writing tool like Microsoft Word. Begin the letter by typing the date in the top left corner with your address below it. Leave a space, then type the collector's name with his office address under it.
Begin the letter by typing the title of the issue to which you are responding. Follow that by informing the collector that you are writing this letter as part of you rights protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Section 809(b): Validating Debts.
Add to your letter your request that the attorney provide you the total amount you owe, proof that he has the right to collect this debt, and the name of the original creditor to whom this debt is owed. Also request that if the attorney has sent notice of this debt to any outside source, such as the state's attorney general, that he inform that party that the debt is now in dispute.
Print two copies of the letter, keeping one for your personal files.
Mail the letter to the attorney at his office address and wait for him to send you the items you requested.
Keep records of any correspondence between yourself and the attorney.
- Maximizing Money: Responding to Initial Debt Collection Letters
- FTC Consumer Information. "Disputing Credit Card Charges." Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "If a Credit Reporting Error Is Corrected, How Long Will It Take Before I Find Out the Results?" Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "How Can I Stop Debt Collectors From Contacting Me?" Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Are There Laws That Limit What Debt Collectors Can Say or Do?" Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Lexington Law. "Pay for Delete Letter Template for Credit Repair." Accessed June 3, 2020.
- FTC Consumer Information. "Time-Barred Debts." Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "12 CFR 1026 § 1026.9 Subsequent Disclosure Requirements." Accessed June 3, 2020.
- Keep records of any correspondence between yourself and the attorney.