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How to Keep a Debt Collector From Ruining the Holidays

1. Ask for Written Verification of the Debt

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires a debt collector send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe and the name of the creditor within five days of contacting you. Being proactive about r equesting this information enables y ou to verify, for instance, that you are dealing with a legitimate debt collector — and not a scammer — and also confirm that the collector isn’t trying to get you to pay more than you actually owe.

You also have the right to dispute the validity of the debt in question. Doing so can be ” a terrific way to make sure there are no games being played in the background,” said Troy Doucet , a consumer attorney in Columbus, Ohio.


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