What if I don’t recognize the debt?

After a debt collector calls you for the first time, it has five days to mail you a “validation notice.”  The validation notice gives you 30 days to dispute the debt in writing and/or seek the name and address of the original creditor. 

It is always good to seek validation of the debt, especially if you do not recognize it.  If you are not sure whether you owe the debt, you should tell the debt collector you are disputing it.  The law prohibits the debt collector from contacting you again until it responds to your request for validation. If you dispute the debt, the law requires the debt collector to send you something demonstrating you owe the money (usually a bill from the original creditor).  If you still do not recognize the debt or you do not owe the debt then see the next section.

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