Debt collectors often have 30 days to respond to a debt validation letter and verify the debt. The timeline depends on state laws and the type of debt. Getting a response can take persistence.
Details on Response Time
- For credit card or medical debt, collectors have 30 days to verify under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- For older debts, collectors may not respond because verifying very old debts can be difficult.
- If the collector can’t verify the debt, they legally have to stop collections. But persistence may be needed to enforce this.
- State laws may impact the timeline, like in California where collectors have 15 days to verify.
Getting a Response
- Send the letter certified mail with return receipt to prove it was received.
- Call and check status if no response after 30 days.
- Submit complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state attorney general if the collector doesn’t follow the law.
- Consult a consumer rights lawyer for help enforcing the validation request.
With persistence, consumers can often get collectors to verify debts within 30 days as required. But legal help may be needed if the collector still won’t comply.