Stopping Harassment for a Debt You Don’t Owe

Debt collectors purchase debt from original creditors for pennies on the dollar and then attempt to collect the debts. However, they don’t typically research whether a consumer actually owes a debt before attempting to collect it. The result of this is that debt collectors routinely harass people about debts they don’t owe. If you’re being hounded by a debt collector about a debt you don’t owe, below are some steps you can take to make it stop.  

Dispute the Debt

The first thing to do when receiving calls or letters about a debt you don’t owe is to dispute the debt. However, you should do so within 30 days after you receive written notice from the debt collector. To dispute a debt, you should put it in writing and send it via certified mail to the debt collector.

Obtain Verification of the Debt

After you dispute the debt, the debt collector will send you verification of the debt. No further collection efforts may be made until the debt collector has done so. Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, in order to verify a debt, a debt collector should provide you with the name and address of the original creditor or a copy of a court judgment stating that you owe the debt.

Request That the Debt Collector Stop Contacting You

If you don’t believe that the verification proves the debt is yours, you can tell the collector in writing not to contact you anymore. If you do so, the debt collector is required by law to stop contacting you about the debt. 

Respond Immediately if You are Sued

Finally, if you are served with a debt collection lawsuit, you should respond to it immediately. The documentation you receive will contain the date by which you should respond. If you fail to respond by this date, the debt collector will win by default, and you will be required to pay what the debt collector claims you owe. In most cases, the deadline for responding to a debt collection summons is 30 days after receipt. However, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to do so. Instead, you should contact a California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney as soon as possible for assistance. 

Contact a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney 

If you are being harassed or have been sued by a debt collector in California, you should have an experienced California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney on your side. At the Fullman Firm, our experienced debt collection lawsuit defense attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience protecting the rights of consumers, and we are here for you. When you come to us for help, we will guide you through the legal process and do everything we can to ensure that your case has a successful conclusion. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.