Debt validation is the process of confirming the true and accurate amount that you owe a creditor. Usually, debt validation letters are used with collection agencies, because once the original creditor sells the debt to an agency the amount can get fudged or inflated. However, there are situations when you might want to validate your debt with your original creditor, such as after a bank merger or other administrative change in which your debt might get lost in the shuffle. You might also want to validate an unfamiliar debt that appears on your credit report.
Get the correct mailing address for your debt validation request. Many credit card companies have numerous addresses. There is no guarantee that your request will be received by the proper department if you send it to the wrong address. Usually, the address creditors use on your credit report is an appropriate address for a debt validation request. Another place to look for valid contact information is on your most recent credit statement. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau or visit its website to find contact information on your creditor.
Write a letter to the original creditor. Request that the creditor validate the debt in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Since the Federal Trade Commission requires creditors to comply with all such requests, they should be well aware of what you mean by simply asking for debt validation. However, if you want to write a more detailed letter, you can ask for specific information such as the current amount of your debt and your legal rights regarding the dispute of the debt, if applicable.
Review the response from the creditor. The Federal Trade Commission requires creditors to respond to you within five days of your communication with a detailed listing of your debt. The response you receive must contain the amount you owe, the creditor you owe it to and a statement that the debt will be considered valid unless you dispute it within 30 days.
Dispute the debt in writing, if you find it to be invalid. You have 30 days from the time you receive your debt validation to dispute it. Upon formally disputing your debt, your creditor cannot attempt to collect the disputed debt until it provides you with verification of the debt in writing.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA, John Csiszar earned a Certified Financial Planner designation and served 18 years as an investment adviser. Csiszar has served as a technical writer for various financial firms and has extensive experience writing for online publications.