Start My Answer

Do 609 Letters Really Work?

George Simons | October 19, 2022

Spend less time chatting and more time responding to debt collectors.

Summary: Do you have a negative item on your credit report that you hope to eliminate. Find out if a 609 letter can really work to improve your credit.

If you are looking for ways to repair your credit in the wake of bankruptcy or an adverse judgment from a debt collection lawsuit, you may be curious about the efficacy of a “609 Dispute Letter.” Some people have described this type of correspondence as a “credit repair secret” or “legal loophole” that essentially obligates credit reporting agencies to quickly eliminate certain negative and/or inaccurate information from a credit report. This often leads people to ask, “Do 609 letters really work?”

Section 609 Letters– Explained

The “609” in a 609 dispute letter stands for Section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This provision establishes your rights to request a copy of your credit report and associated information that appears on your credit report.

However, this is somewhat of a misnomer since Section 609 of the FCRA does not specifically establish the right to dispute inaccurate or negative information found on credit reports. It is actually Section 611 of the FCRA that creates a legal right to formally dispute inaccurate information that appears in credit reports. Specifically, Section 611(a)(1)(A) established the formal right to dispute an error on a credit report. Here is the relevant statutory language:

If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in a consumer's file at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency directly, or indirectly through a reseller, of such dispute, the agency shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate and record the current status of the disputed information...before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer or reseller.

Once a dispute letter is submitted to a credit agency, the FRCA sets forth that a credit agency must initiate an investigation and this process must be completed within 45 days. Though, in practice, most 609-related investigations are finished within a few weeks. Once the credit reporting agency completes the investigation process, it is required to provide you written results within five business days.

Avoid bankruptcy by responding to debt collection lawsuits with SoloSuit.

Why the FCRA Provided Consumers an Option to Contest Inaccurate Information on Their Credit Report

There is a reason the FCRA created a statutory right to contest, and seek removal, of an inaccurate item on a credit report - because many credit reports contain glaring errors that could be seriously impacting your credit score. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 1-in-5 consumers could have errors on their credit reports. This means that close to 20 percent of Americans may have unnecessarily-low credit scores because of an oversight or mistake on their credit report. If that was not bad enough, some credit specialists believe the frequency of credit inaccuracies is significantly higher and more common.

The Efficacy of a 609 Dispute Letter

Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that a 609 dispute letter will work and trigger the removal of negative or inaccurate information from your credit report. Nevertheless, if you are attempting to repair your credit and your outreach to the big credit bureaus has been unsuccessful, submitting a 609 dispute letter may be worthwhile. Many people have reported positive results after submitting a 609 dispute letter to the big credit agencies.

Though, it is worth mentioning that, even if a 609 dispute letter leads to the removal of an inaccurate item from your report, that item could be reinserted if the creditor can subsequently verify the challenged information on your credit report.

Use SoloSuit to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in 15 minutes.

Other Ways to Challenge Errors on Your Credit Report

In addition to 609 dispute letters, you have the option to challenge an inaccurate item online through each credit agency's website. When you determine there is a specific item or piece of information appearing on your credit report or reports that is legitimately incorrect, you can usually complete an online dispute form where you can describe the issue with the inaccurate item and submit the challenge directly to the credit agency. In addition to submitting an online dispute form, you may be able to contact a credit agency on the phone via a customer service line.

If you are attempting to repair your credit, utilizing a 609 dispute letter may be helpful in potentially removing a negative or inaccurate item from your credit report. Even if the item on your report is yours, under the FCRA, creditors are legally required to document this fact and be prepared to prove it in response to your letter.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

Get Started

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance

How to Answer a Summons for Debt Collection Guides for Other States

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on How to Beat Every Debt Collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.

Win Against Credit Card Companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get Answers to These FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendant's Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

You're Drowning in Debt — Here's How to Swim

Help! I'm Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Here's What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review