Start My Answer

Debt Validation Letter Template

Sarah Edwards | November 02, 2022

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Edwards is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Don't believe a debt collector until they validate your debt.

Summary: When you are contacted by a debt collector for the first time, formally requesting a debt validation can help you protect yourself from aggressive collectors and avoid a lawsuit. Send a Debt Validation Letter to your collector within 30 days of their initial contact, and they must prove the debt is valid before the continue their collection efforts.

If you’ve received a letter from a debt collection agency, you’re likely wondering what to do. Debt collection letters are often unexpected, and many consumers don’t recognize what the debt pertains to or if it’s even theirs.

Sometimes debt collection agencies use negative language in their communications, which can leave consumers fearful of what will happen if they don’t pay the agency.

Your first step following receipt of a letter from a debt collection agency should be to send a Debt Validation Letter. This letter challenges the collection company to provide clear-cut evidence of the debt and prove it belongs to you. You should send your letter within 30 days of notification that a debt is in collections.

Once the debt collection agency receives your Debt Validation Letter, they must send the appropriate documentation concerning the debt. They must prove that they now own your debt and provide specific details, such as your account statements and the amount due according to their records.

If a debt collection agency can’t validate your debt with the proper supporting evidence, it’s likely you won’t hear from them again. They will cease all collections activities and cannot report any negative information to the credit reporting bureaus.

Make your own Debt Validation Letter in minutes with SoloSuit.

Why is sending a Debt Validation Letter important?

Sending a Debt Validation Letter is crucial if you intend to protect your rights against a collection agency. The FDCPA requires all debt collection agencies to give their clients 30 days to dispute or validate a debt from the time they make first contact with the consumer.

If a consumer fails to send a Debt Validation Letter, the collection agency will use all the tools at their disposal to collect money. They’ll call you at home and work, send you letters, contact you via email, and potentially reach out via your social media accounts.

When weeks go by and you don’t respond to their efforts, they may try to sue you in court. If the court rules in their favor, a debt collector can garnish your wages, freeze your bank account, and seize your property.

Sending a Debt Validation Letter stops all collection activity immediately. The debt collector must provide the necessary information proving that you owe the debt. If they can’t come up with the evidence, they will stop contacting you and dismiss the claims against you.

According to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey, 53% of consumers receive debt collection letters concerning debt they don’t believe they owe.

No one wants to pay money for debts that aren’t theirs. It’s not fair and creates an unwanted burden on the consumer. They must then prove they don’t owe the debt or risk adverse credit reporting and a potential lawsuit.

The graphic below illustrates the timeline of when is best to send a Debt Validation Letter to collectors:

Debt Validation Letter Timelines

What should I include in my Debt Validation Letter?

When writing your Debt Validation Letter, remember the purpose of the communication. A Debt Validation Letter tells the debt collection agency to either prove you owe the debt or cease their collection efforts. You’ll want to ask for all of the following information:

  • Proof that the debt is yours
  • The total amount of the obligation
  • How old the debt is
  • The debt collector license number and proof they can collect in your state
  • A complete calculation proving that the statute of limitations is still in effect
  • The last action taken by you concerning the account

Even if the debt collector can validate the debt, you can request that they stop communicating with you unless they intend to sue you.

Suppose the debt collection agency has broken any FDCPA rules, like repeatedly calling you at odd hours or harassing you at work. In that case, you can threaten legal action against them in your Debt Validation Letter.

The sooner you send a Debt Validation Letter to the debt collection agency the better. The FDCPA provides all consumers 30 days to ask for further verification of debt before a debt collection agency can pursue further legal activity.

How do I write a Debt Validation Letter?

Writing a Debt Validation Letter is more simple than you might expect.

You should start like any other business letter: with the contact info for both parties (you and the collector). Next, address them and lay out the basics, including:

  • Specify how you were contacted.
  • Give enough info to help the collector identify the debt.
  • State that you dispute the debt.
  • Request not to be contacted except to validate the debt.
  • Report to the credit bureaus that the debt is disputed.
  • Request that they provide the following information to verify the debt: proof of the amount owed, the age of the debt, their ownership of the account, their debt collector license, the last action taken on the account, etc.
  • Request that they only contact you to notify you of a lawsuit if they are able to validate the debt.
  • Close by threatening legal action.

Check out this video to learn more about how to write a Debt Validation Letter:

Use this Debt Validation Letter template

The best and easiest way to write a Debt Validation Letter is to use SoloSuit. All you have to do is respond to a few questions about your debt and the letter will be automatically generated for you that is customized to your case and circumstances. That's it. It's really that simple. Alternatively, here is a Debt Validation Letter template:

Debt Validation Letter template

Will the debt collection agency respond to my letter?

A debt collection agency may or may not decide to respond to your letter. Some debt collection agencies won’t have the information they need to validate your debt per FDCPA regulations. If they can’t prove you owe the debt, you won’t hear from them again.

Other debt collection agencies will have the details necessary to pursue collection activities against you. If they send you the required information to validate your debt, they can continue contacting you unless you explicitly ask them to stop. If you ask them to stop reaching out to you, you should hear from them only if they decide to file a lawsuit against you.

Should I pay the debt collector if they validate my debt?

If the debt collection agency proves you owe the debt, you have a decision to make. You can pay off the amount in full, offer a settlement for a partial amount, or do nothing.

If your debt is old enough to go to collections, chances are that the original creditor has reported it negatively to the credit reporting agencies. You’ve likely already suffered a decreased credit score from the account. Thus, even if you pay the debt in full, it’s unlikely to significantly help your credit.

However, sometimes paying the debt in full makes sense. Some creditors won’t accept a reduced payoff for outstanding obligations. In that case, you’ll need to either set up a payment arrangement you can stick with or pay the debt in its entirety.

You can offer to settle outstanding debts by providing a one-time lump-sum payment. Since debt collection agencies usually purchase debts for a fraction of the original cost, they’re typically willing to accept a payoff that is less than the initial value of the debt.

Start your negotiation low if you decide to offer a settlement to eliminate the debt. You can begin as low as 15% of the value of the original debt.

Depending on the extenuating circumstances of the debt, like its age and value, the debt collection agency may accept your offer or counter you. In many cases, debt collection agencies will accept 50% of the original value of your debt to settle the matter, but they may go lower.

To learn more about how to reach a debt settlement, check out this video:

If the debt collection agency validates your debt and you don’t take any further action, they may try to sue you. As long as the statute of limitations hasn’t expired, they will be within their rights to do so. Thus, if you have a debt that hasn’t passed the statute of limitations, you may receive a court Summons in the weeks following debt validation.

Can I dispute my debt even if the debt collection agency validates it?

Yes, you may dispute your debt even if the collection agency validates it. However, if you decide to do so, you’ll need a credible excuse. Once the debt collection agency proves you owe the debt, your defenses are fewer.

A few potential defenses are:

  • You are the victim of identity theft.
  • The statute of limitations expired.
  • You’re only an authorized user on the account.
  • You don’t have a business relationship with the debt collector.

Obviously, identity theft victims shouldn’t have to pay debts they didn’t take out. To prove identity theft, send evidence of your claim to the debt collector. You should have copies you made of your report to the FTC and local law enforcement concerning identity theft.

If the statute of limitations expired on the debt, then the debt collection agency can’t take legal action against you. However, they can continue negatively reporting your account to credit bureaus, send you letters, and call you.

If you’re an authorized user on the account, you didn’t sign the initial credit agreement. Thus, you shouldn’t be responsible for paying off the charge.

Finally, you may dispute an account by advising you don’t have a business relationship with the debt collection agency. This is a true statement if the original credit arrangement was between you and another creditor.

However, the debt collection agency will likely argue that they became the account owner after the original creditor transferred it to them.

Can I still send a Debt Validation Letter after 30 days?

Yes, you can still send a Debt Validation Letter after 30 days. However, you may give up some of the protections afforded to you by the FDCPA. After 30 days, the debt collector can assume that their collection notice is valid and use all available options to collect the debt from you.

Instead of being fearful of the debt collection notice and not responding, send the Debt Validation Letter as quickly as possible. Doing so puts the burden of proof on the debt collection agency. They’ll need to come up with the evidence to prove that you owe the debt.

Many debt collection agencies will simply let the debt go, especially if it looks like a lot of legwork is involved in collecting anything from you. However, you won’t know whether you’ll get lucky or not unless you choose to challenge the collection agency.

Make a Debt Validation Letter in minutes with SoloSuit.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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

We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.

Ask a Question

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

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

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? Were 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 Defendants 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 Spouses 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

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im 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? Heres 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

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court