What information does a debt collector have to give me about the debt?

Answer: A debt collector must tell you the name of the creditor, the amount owed, and that you can dispute the debt or seek verification of the debt.

Any debt collector who contacts you claiming you owe on a debt is required by law to tell you certain information about the debt. That information includes:

  • The name of the creditor
  • The amount owed
  • That you can dispute the debt
  • That if you don’t dispute the debt within 30 days the debt collector will assume the debt is valid
  • That if you dispute the debt in writing within 30 days the debt collector will provide verification of the debt
  • That if you request the name and address of the original creditor within 30 days, if different from the current creditor, the debt collector will provide you that information. 

If the debt collector doesn’t provide the above information in the initial contact with you, the debt collector is required to send you a written notice including that information within five days of the initial contact.

We have prepared sample letters that you can use to respond to a debt collector who is trying to collect a debt along with tips on how to use them. The sample letters may help you:

  • To get information about the debt
  • Inform the debt collector that you do not owe this debt
  • Set limits or stop any further communication by the debt collector
  • Request the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. 

If you dispute all or part of a debt in writing within 30 days of when you receive the required information from the debt collector, the debt collector cannot call or contact you to collect the debt or the disputed part until the debt collector has provided verification of the debt in writing to you. Always keep a copy of your letter for your records.

When you get the requested information or the response to your dispute from the debt collector, see if you own records agree with the information the debt collector provided. 

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