Collection Dispute Letter: What is it and How to Write It? [+ Samples]

23 April, 2023
15 mins
Brett Johnson, AVP, Global Enablement

Table of Content

Key Takeaways
Introduction
What Is a Collection Dispute Letter?
How to Dispute a Collection Letter?
What Parameters Should You Include in a Collection Dispute Letter?
Sample for a Debt Collection Dispute Letter
What Not to Do When You Receive a Collection Letter?
Conclusion
FAQs on Collection Dispute Letter

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Key Takeaways

  • Understand the significance and impact of a collections dispute letter
  • Learn how to strategically approach and respond to a collections letter 
  • Know the dos and don’ts while compositing a collections dispute letter
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Introduction

Imagine your business has paid for a critical service from a vendor, but upon reviewing the invoice, you notice discrepancies or errors that raise concerns. What can you do about it? Well, in such situations, a collection dispute letter becomes a valuable tool. It can help address these billing inaccuracies and resolve payment disputes.

Just like credit risk is a concern when providing loans, most companies also encounter instances where billing errors or misunderstandings arise. These discrepancies may lead to outstanding payments labeled as “collections,” impacting your business’s financial standing and vendor relationships.

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of a collection dispute letter, its role in effectively addressing billing discrepancies, and how it empowers your company to protect its financial interest

What Is a Collection Dispute Letter?

A collection dispute or debt dispute letter is a letter that demands the collection agency to show proof that you owe a certain amount of money to the mentioned account.

As per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the consumer gets a 30-day window from the day of receiving the letter to respond to it. 

In most cases, the dispute gets resolved within the stipulated time. A copy of the dispute letter can also be sent to leading credit reporting agencies to notify them about the matter. This will help you maintain your business credit score intact. If your business credit score has been negatively impacted due to erroneous collection letters, you need to send the credit agencies a separate dispute letter to rectify the mistake.

How to Dispute a Collection Letter?

If you’ve received a collection letter that you believe is inaccurate or unfair, taking prompt action is crucial. Ignoring the letter won’t resolve the issue and may worsen the situation. So, what should you do?

  1. Stay Calm: Receiving a collection letter can be overwhelming, but remember your consumer rights. Take a deep breath and gather your thoughts.
  2. Review and Compare: Carefully examine the collection letter and cross-check it with your records. Verify the accuracy of information, such as the owed amount, debt date, and creditor’s name. If errors are found, gather evidence to support your claim.
  3. Write a Dispute Letter: Craft a collection dispute letter to the creditor or collection agency, explaining the inaccuracies and providing evidence. Be specific, include your contact details, and request validation of the debt.
  4. Invoke FDCPA: Mention that the dispute is made under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which mandates accurate information provision and halts collection activities during disputes.

By following these steps, you can effectively dispute a collection letter and assert your consumer rights when facing unjust or inaccurate debts. Remember, taking action and advocating for yourself is vital in such situations.

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What Parameters Should You Include in a Collection Dispute Letter?

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The collection dispute letter to debt collectors should include the following information:

  • Your details – name, address, official email address, etc.
  • Request for more information about the creditor
  • Amount of debt owed
  • A request note to not report the matter to the credit reporting agency until the matter is resolved

Sample for a Debt Collection Dispute Letter

Let’s take a look at some collection dispute letters that assert your rights as a consumer and provide evidence to challenge inaccuracies or unjustified claims.

Remember, taking action with a well-written dispute letter can protect your financial interests and ensure fair treatment in the debt collection process.

Sample Collections Dispute Letter Template:

[Your name]

[Your address][Date]

[Collector’s name]

[Collector’s address][Date]

Re: [Account number for the debt]

Dear [Debt collector’s name],

I received your [phone call/mail] on [date], claiming that I owe a sum to [name of creditor] as payment for [goods/services] received. Please help me verify the debt that you are claiming against me by providing the following information:

What is the amount of debt I owe to [name of creditor]? Please mention the address of the creditor along with the date of the transaction.

Please provide proof of the debt I owe. Please provide copies of the purchase orders, invoices, and delivery slips.

Please provide me a copy of the last billing statement that was generated from the creditor’s account. Also, mention the additional interest charges, if any, applied against the payment.

Do you hold a debt collection license under your agency’s name? If yes, please provide the license number as well as the license holder’s name.

The information mentioned above is required from your end for me to verify if I hold any debt against [name of creditor].

I look forward to your cooperation and early response. 

Regards,

[Your name]

Sample Collections Dispute Letter Template for a Credit Agency:

[Your name] 

[Your address] 

[Date]

[Complaint department name] 

[Complaint department address] 

[Date]

Dear [Name of the credit reporting agency manager],

I am writing this letter to bring to your notice the following information added to my credit report.

The [dispute item] along with the [creditor’s name] are falsely added to my credit report without my prior knowledge. The mentioned details are incorrect and I request you to revise the report after due diligence.

I request you to clear my credit report as soon as possible to help me continue business.

I am attaching the required documents [transaction records and other associated documents] with this letter so that you can verify the details and support my position.

Please look into this matter and do the needful as soon as possible.

Regards, 

[Your name]

What Not to Do When You Receive a Collection Letter?

Knowing what to include in a collection dispute letter is essential, but it’s equally important to know what not to include. Here are some actions you should avoid when you receive a letter from a debt collector.

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  1. Ignore the debt collectors

    Ignoring the debt collectors might put you in a difficult position since they might use it against you during legal proceedings. Whether you owe money or are falsely implicated, you should never neglect their phone calls and always acknowledge their concerns. Reply promptly to debt collectors and dispute any debts that are not yours within 30 days of receiving the collection letter. Keep copies of the debt dispute letter as well as postal receipts for proof.

  2. Lose proof of conversations

    It is better to communicate with the debt collectors via writing (preferably e-mail or physical mail) instead of phone calls to keep a written trail. If you communicate via phone call, don’t forget to record the conversation after informing them of your intent to record and taking the consent of the involved parties.

  3. Fall in the trap of debt collectors

    Not all collection letters are genuine. Confirm with your team if there are any open invoices that need to be paid. If there are no outstanding payments from your end, the collection letter could be a case of fraud. If it is a genuine collection letter and you need more time for repayment, you can always ask for it. But do not agree to any of their demands without double-checking all the details.

Conclusion

Handling a collection dispute requires a thoughtful approach. By knowing what actions to take and what to include in your dispute letter, you can protect your financial interests. Remember, you should never ignore a debt collection letter. Instead, you should take prompt action.

In your dispute letter, be clear, concise, and provide compelling evidence to challenge any inaccuracies or unjustified claims. Doing this will help you navigate the challenges of debt collection and assert your consumer rights confidently.

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FAQs on Collection Dispute Letter

  1. What are valid reasons to dispute a collection?

    Valid reasons to dispute a collection include inaccurate or incomplete information, lack of proof of debt, already paid debt, expired debt, identity theft, or mistaken identity. A collection dispute letter can be sent to the collection agency, requesting proof of the debt and addressing any discrepancies.

  2. What is the proper way to dispute collections?

    To dispute collections, send a letter to the debt collector within 30 days requesting proof of the debt and asking not to report it to the credit agency until the dispute is resolved. Keep a copy of the letter and any correspondence. Seek legal help if needed.

  3. How long does it take to dispute a collection?

    The timeline for disputing a collection can vary and depends on the complexity of the case and the responsiveness of the debt collector. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, consumers have a 30-day window to respond to collection letters. Disputes generally get resolved within this time, but if not, it may take several weeks or months to reach a resolution.

  4. How do you win a debt collection dispute?

    To win a debt collection dispute, ask for validation of the debt, gather supporting documentation, and respond within the 30-day window. Keep a record of all communication and seek legal assistance if necessary.

  5. Does it hurt your credit to dispute a collection?

    No. Acting on dispute items does not affect the credit score. However, if it is found that the negative item on your report is verified, then the credit score might take a dip.

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