So lets say you are sitting at home one day and you check your mail. You have a letter from ABC Collection Agency. ABC says that you owe them $2,500 and that you need to send them a check. You ask them to verify the debt. How do you do that?
First, you need to send them a letter telling them that you dispute the debt. You then tell them that they must validate the debt. They then have a legal obligation to respond to you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, and California’s Rosenthal Act (R-FDCPA, Rosenthal Act, or Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) provide that, if a consumer does submit a dispute in writing, the collector must cease collection efforts until it has provided written verification of the debt. This means that they must not try to collect any money from you until they have provided written verification. So if you write to them, and you must to effectuate your rights, they must write back to you.
Collectors ignore consumers written disputes, send no verification, and continue their collection efforts. This is a fairly common problem. When you send in your dispute letter, send it in by certified mail or delivery confirmation so that you have documentation that it was sent, and, more importantly, that it was received.
If you believe a debt collector has violated the law, talk to an attorney about your rights.