If you have been contacted by a debt collector claiming you owe money you may be either annoyed or confused. If you question the legitimacy of the call or the debt in question, it is important you know how to dispute debt allegations properly.
Answering The Call
While it can be tempting to dodge a call from a debt collector, it is never wise to do so. You need to answer the call to resolve the debt, or dispute its illegitimacy properly. Failing to take action with an outstanding debt is only going to result in more trouble with your lenders and your credit profile.
When you do answer the call request a verification notice. Debt collectors are required by law to provide you with proof of the debt they are attempting to claim. You must request this verification notice within five days of being contacted by the creditor. If you do not receive this verification notice within 30 days of the request, you could very well have been dealing with an illegitimate claim.
However, you shouldn't stop there. Whether your debt is verified or you were able to determine the debt was unverifiable with the debt collector, you should still contact the original lender the debt was allegedly owed to be sure they do not have record of the debt. It is extremely important to make sure all the information is verified with the lender directly, and that any negotiations of an actual debt owed are made only with them.