Whenever you are contacted by a debt collector, the initial letter will state that you have the right to request validation of the debt within 30 days. Why do you care?
Debt validation requests serve several purposes. First, by making them validate the debt, you stop all collection activities. The debt collector cannot continue its efforts to collect the debt until it provides you with validation. So, you can get some time to figure things out while the collector looks for validation.
Second, sometimes there is no validation. If the collector cannot validate the debt, the collector cannot collect the debt from you. Its a simple method to end the collection efforts.
Requesting debt validation can go a long way towards helping you resolve a dispute with a collector. But you must make sure you ask for the validation immediately.