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15 USC 1692g – Validation Of Debts

Whether through the mail or online, just about all of us receive bills letting us know what we owe and to whom. When you receive a bill, it usually says the amount and when payment is due. The same should be true for past due bills that are now being pursued by a debt collector. Because debt collectors are trying to get a debt paid on behalf of someone else, it may not always be clear who you should pay and whether the amount is correct. Fortunately, the law requires debt collectors to include certain information in their communication with you. If they fail to do so, then they may be breaking the law. Here’s more on what the law says about the validation of debts, and what you should do if you have received a communication from a debt collector that you are unsure of.


The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was created to protect you from the unfair and abusive tactics that some debt collectors use to satisfy a debt. The law limits what debt collectors can do when they contact you. An important aspect of this law is the idea of notice. Notice demands that you are made aware of how much you owe and to whom you owe it to. In fact, the law says that when a debt collector contacts you, then they must inform you of:

1. The amount of the debt. This also must be an accurate amount. They cannot falsely claim that you owe more than you actually do.

2. The name of who the person or entity that the debt is owed to. It is important to know that who owns your debt now may be different from who you originally agreed to pay. You are entitled to the names of both.

3. That unless you dispute the debt, it will be considered valid. Once you receive notice of the debt, you will have thirty days to let the collector know that you are disputing the debt. If you fail to do so, then the debt may be considered accurate.

4. That if you dispute the debt, then the collector will provide you with verification. If you dispute the debt, the collector must then provide you with verification. This may be an agreement you signed or a judgement from a court of law saying that you owe money.

5. That upon request, they will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor. Again, the person who currently owns your debt may be different from the original creditor. In order for you to be certain that the debt is valid, you must be provided with the name of who you originally agreed to pay.

(* It is important to note that if you are sued by a collector for an unpaid debt, legal filings do not count as notice under the FDCPA.)

Disputing Your Debt

If you are uncertain whether you owe the money that the collector is claiming, then you have the right under the FDCPA to dispute it. In order to do this, you must contact the collector in writing. You will have thirty days from when you receive notice of the debt to do this. If you do not dispute your debt in writing within the thirty days, then the collector may assume the debt is valid.

Once you inform the collector that you are disputing the debt, all collection efforts must end until it can be verified. Typically, the collector will need to provide you with proof that you agreed to pay the money they claim you owe or send you a copy of a judgement from a court stating that you owe the money. Getting a judgement from a court typically will involve filing a lawsuit against you. This will generally also involve you being notified in person or through the mail.

Failing to dispute the debt does not mean that you have admitted to owing the money. What this means is that if the collector later sues you for the unpaid balance, they cannot use your failure to dispute the debt to show that you agreed to pay what they claim you owe.

What You Should Do If You Are Contacted By A Debt Collector

Because debt collectors are not the original creditor, you should always demand to know who originally held the debt and that you be provided with verification of it. This is especially true if you cannot recall agreeing to repay the debt that you are being contacted about. Each year millions of dollars are stolen from people through scams where people posing as debt collectors claim that they are owed money. But perhaps just as common are accounting errors that will cause a paid balance to be reflected as unpaid. Without verification, you may end up paying on a debt that has already been satisfied, or that you never agreed to pay.

Consumer Rights Attorneys

If you are accused by a debt collector of owing money, then it is your right to seek confirmation of the debt before you pay a dime. To learn more about the process of debt validation, and how you can go about disputing your debts, you should talk to a consumer rights attorney. The Law Office of Simon Goldenberg consists of well-regarded consumer rights lawyers. We have your back. We will thoroughly review your case and fight to get justice for you against those unscrupulous debt collectors who have harmed you. Get in touch with The Law Office of Simon Goldenberg by calling (888) 301-0584 or by contacting us online today.