There is a difference between disputing a debt and requesting verification of a debt. To dispute a debt, you can inform the debt collector that you are disputing a debt verbally or in writing. However, if you tell a debt collector that you dispute a debt verbally, such as over the telephone, the collector is not required to provide you with verification of the debt.
If you wish to dispute a debt and want the debt collector to verify the debt, you must inform the debt collector of your request in writing. Your written request does not have to use the word “dispute” to require the collector to verify the debt, but the request must clearly show that you are contesting the debt.
Also, although a debt collector can choose to provide verification to you any time you request it, a collector is required to respond to your request for verification if you provide it to the collector within 30 days of the date you receive the validation notice. A debt collector does not have to respond to your request for verification if you send it after this 30-day period.