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What is a debt dispute letter?
A debt dispute letter is a formal, legal letter you can send to creditors informing them of an error on your credit report. This is virtually the only way to properly dispute the debt and have it removed from your credit. A debt dispute letter is required in many situations. For example, if you've been the victim of identity theft you'll need to employ this method to correct your credit report.
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How to write a debt dispute letter
Knowing how to write a debt dispute letter can be easy once you know the format to use. Here's a guide to help you get started.
This is the format you're going to use to write a debt dispute letter:
Your Name, Your Address, Your City, State and Zip Code
Complaint Department, Reporting Agency Name, Address, City, State and Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
Here you'll want to state that you're disputing information on your credit report. List the information and describe why it's inaccurate, or if it's incomplete. Formally state that you'd like the information deleted or changed.
Next, state that you're enclosing documentation to prove your dispute. Some important information would be payment receipts or records, court documents, or identification.
Enclosures: List the documents you're enclosing
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What happens after I send the letter?
After you mail your letter, the company must investigate. They'll forward all the information you send them to whatever organization provided the information originally. The organization will also do an investigation and report any results back to the reporting agency you wrote. If the organization finds that the information is, in fact, incorrect, they are required to notify all three reporting companies. You'll be given a copy of the results in the mail and a free copy of your credit report showing any changes. Additionally, you may request the reporting company to give anyone that has received your report in the last 6 months notification of the corrections, or within the past 2 years if the report was received for employement purposes.
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Some more tips
Make sure you include only copies of your documents, never the originals. You won't be getting them back and you're just proving the debt is inaccurate. Make sure you include a copy of your credit report with the incorrect information clearly circled as well. It's also very important that you make a copy of the letter and anything else you're sending to the company. This may be needed later on as proof. Always send your letter and documents by certified mail, "return receipt requested." Doing this allows you to document exactly when the company receives your information.
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"How to Dispute Credit Report Errors." FTC.Gov. September 2008. 05 May 2009. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm