How long does a debt collector have to respond to a debt validation letter?

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How long does a debt collector have to respond to a debt validation letter?

I send a letter more than 60 days ago to a collection agency asking them for debt validation. I have yet to receive a reply. At the 60 day mark I sent them another letter requesting that if they can not validate the debt to please remove it from my credit file. Again I received no reply. What should my next course of action be? How do I get them to remove my account from my credit report. What can I legally do, and what can they at this point legally do?

Asked on May 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Clearly this collection agency is not going to respond to either validate your debt (because it probably cannot or the statute of limitations has run) and it won't take it off your credit report. So now you get to follow the paper trail. Order a report from all four credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Experian, Equifax and Innovis). Innovis is the one most mortgage brokers and bankers use for home loan evaluations. Look to see if this debt (directly by the merchant or indirectly by the credit collector) is listed on your reports. For every report it is on, circle it, copy the report, submit a letter to the agency with all of your relevant information, signature, etc and show your paper trail you had and ask it be removed. Then, wait for the reporting agencies to respond to you after their investigations which they must accomplish. Look at the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and pretty much read up what you can on disputing entries on your credit reports.


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