Debt Verification Letter: Sample and Template For You to Use
When you’re first contacted by a debt collector, you may question whether the debt is really yours and whether that collector is even allowed to collect on that debt. Through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the federal government gives you the right to have the debt collector verify that the debt is indeed yours. This process is called debt verification. To exercise your rights, you must send a written request for verification within the first 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector. Here’s a sample letter you can use to have the debt collector verify your debt.
Sample Debt Verification Letter
Your City, State Zip
Collector’s City, State Zip
Re: Account Number XXX-XX-XXXX-X
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is being sent to you in response to a notice sent to me on January 12, 2009. This is not a refusal to pay. Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b), I am disputing your claim and requesting validation of the debt.
I request that your offices provide me with evidence that I have a legal obligation to pay you including proof of the debt, the name and address of the original creditor, and the original account number. Please also provide me with your license numbers and your Registered Agent to show that you are licensed to collect in my state.
I request that you cease all collection activity while you collect the aforementioned information. This includes listing the information on my credit report. If you do not comply, I will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the state Attorney General. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued.
I appreciate your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
Modify the Letter to Fit Your Needs
The letter above is a template that can and should be customized to fit your individual circumstances.
Put today’s date in place of the word “Date.”
Make sure you update the “Your Name” block to include your name, address, city, state, and zip code.
Make sure you update the “Collector’s Name” block to include the debt collector’s name, address, city, state, and zip code.
Include your account number. Or, if the debt collector has another name for it, like control number or access number, use that phrasing and the unique number that’s been assigned to your alleged debt.
Your debt verification letter should be sent after the debt collector’s first contact with you. If that contact was a phone call rather than a letter, change the first sentence to reflect that. For example, you might say “This letter is being sent to you in response to a phone call your agency made to me on January 12, 2009.” Alternatively, you might say “This letter is being sent in response to your recent entry on my credit report.” How you phrase that sentence depends on how you initially learned of the debt.
Avoid signing your name to the debt verification letter. Unscrupulous debt collectors could photocopy for forge your signature on other documents.
Keep a copy of your letter.
Send your letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. This way you have proof of the date the letter was mailed along with the date it was received by the collector. This may strengthen any claims of wrongdoing you make against the debt collector.
The debt collector can take as long as necessary to provide you with proof of the debt. However, until this proof has been sent to you, the collector isn’t allowed to collect the debt from you including call you, send letters, or list the debt on your credit report.
Enforcing Your Rights
Remember, you must make the verification request in writing, within the first 30 days of being contacted by the debt collector. The debt collector isn’t legally required to comply with requests made outside those specifications.