You might be shocked how many people contacted by debt collectors believe there was an error. The three most common reasons for disputing a debt are:
- The debt was not actually owed.
- The debt belonged to a family member and the person called was not a cosigner.
- The amount of the debt was incorrect.
Another issue that sometimes arises is when a debt collector is calling about a debt that the consumer believes her or she has already paid in full. Just how common are these events?
How Often Do Debt Collectors Contact People in Error?
According to the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau, more than half of survey responders had an issue with being contacted by a debt collector for one of the abovementioned reasons. Shockingly, while 53% were contacted in this way, only 27% said they disputed the collection. The most commonly disputed issue was the wrong amount of debt.
Disputing a Debt Collection Attempt
The California Department of Justice makes the following recommendations in regard to disputing debt:
- Dispute the debt as soon as possible. If you choose to ignore the debt, believing you don’t actually owe it, you may be surprised when a suit is issued.
- Write to the debt collector and request written a proof. Be sure to keep a copy and send the letter certified so you know it arrives. At this point, the debt collector must send you a validation notice before any further attempts to collect.
- Send proof of payment. If the dispute is that you already paid the bill, or that you paid at least part of it, attach proof of payment (receipts, cancelled checks, etc.).
- Send proof of identity. If you are not the person the debt collector thinks you are, you may have to send proof of identity.
- Consult an attorney. An experienced attorney can help you to dispute the claim and to know how much, if any, of the debt, is actually your responsibility.
Help in Disputing Debt Collection for San Diego Residents
If you live in San Diego or the surrounding neighbourhoods and believe that you have been contacted in error about debt, call the experienced debt collection attorneys at LaGaurdia Law. Since time is of the essence when it comes to disputing debt collection, dial (619) 655-4322 today to get started.