When served with a debt collection letter, individuals can respond in a few different ways, depending on their particular situation, advises the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The response letter should address each claim alleged in the collection letter, and the writer should respond within 30 days of receiving it.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, individuals don't have to pay a debt if the debt collector cannot prove the debt is owed, explains Bankrate. If the individual who receives the debt collection letter disputes the debt, he can write to the debt collector and ask the company to verify the debt and prove they can collect it, explains All Law.
A dispute letter should state that the alleged debtor disputes the debt. Generally, the letter should state that the debt is not recognized, and the amount of the debt alleged to be owed is incorrect. The alleged debtor may still want to verify that the collector actually owns the debt it's trying to collect, even if the alleged debtor legally owes the debt. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, individuals who have no reason to contest the validity of the debt still have the right to collect verification, All Law reports.