A good form dispute letter under FDCPA to send to debt collectors
A big part of my practice is suing debt collectors in Alabama.
Many people will ask, “What is a good form letter to send to debt collectors?”
Let’s look at this in 4 different ways.
1. Purpose of the letter
The purpose of this letter is to dispute with them, and to gain information.
2. How to send the letter.
Send it via certified mail.
Also, you need to keep a signed copy of the letter (digital and physical copies).
Email the copy to yourself, put it on Google Drive, put it in the cloud, etc.
Make sure that in some way you have a digital copy.
You’d be amazed at how many debt collectors will lie about what you’ve said in letters to them.
3. Content of the letter.
First of all, you need to identify the collector.
That means stating their name and address.
Then, you need to identify who you are.
State your name, and any other names you may be known by.
Give your address and the last 4 digits of your social security number.
Let them know who you are.
We suggest saying, “I dispute owing any debt to you.”
Because when consumers get a collection letter, they usually will put their account number in the letter.
Sounds harmless, right?
Well, what if you accidentally write down the wrong numbers?
That can get you into some unnecessary trouble, so we recommend you write down that you dispute owning any debt to them.
If they think that you owe them money, ask them for proof.
You can also tell them not to call you at work or any other number, and revoke their permission to call you.
So here is the full text of a sample letter:
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested
Dear Sir or Madam,
I dispute owing any debt to your company.
If you think I owe any debt to your company, please send me whatever you can in writing showing me that I owe any debt to your company.
Do not call my cell phone number of xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you think I gave permission for you to call my cell phone, I’m revoking it in writing. And do not call my work number of xxx-xxx-xxxx or any other number for my work of [give name of your work]. I’m not allowed to receive these types of calls at my work.
Last 4 of Social Security
4. Follow up on the letter.
After about 7 days, the collector should get the letter.
You can check online and see if they got it.
You also should have the green card from mailing it certified mail.
After about 30 days, you should check and see if the debt collector has responded to you.
Mark your calendar for this.
Have they sent you anything?
Have they called you?
Are they calling your cell phone?
After 60-90 days (2-3 months), pull your credit reports.
Check them and see if they have marked the debt on your account as disputed.
They update credit reports at least every month.
When a debt collector receives a dispute letter, they need to inform the credit reporting agencies that the debt has been disputed.
These debt collectors don’t like that.
If they mark that debt as disputed, then the account ends up ignored.
The whole reason they put that debt on your account was to get your attention, because that kind of information interferes with your credit.
Sometimes the debt collector will decide not to make the debt as disputed.
If that’s the case, and your credit report continues to show that you owe the debt collector money after you’ve disputed with them, then you need to look into suing the debt collector for false credit reporting.
As always, if you have any questions and you live in Alabama, give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.
I look forward to chatting with you!
Have a great day.