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Ohio Debt Dispute Lawyer
Are you getting calls about an illegitimate debt?
Debt collectors often call and threaten individuals to collect money they think you owe. LHA can show you how to question if they are valid.
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What Is a Debt Dispute?
A debt dispute occurs when a consumer challenges a creditor or debt collector. Disputing collections can include raising an array of defenses to protect your rights as a consumer.
Some common debt disputes include:
- You don’t really owe the debt.
- You don’t owe the amount of money the creditor is claiming you owe.
- The debt collector does not own the debt.
- You have already paid the debt.
If there are any issues with the debt, you have a right to dispute it.
Topics we’ll cover in the following video:
- What is a debt dispute and when is one appropriate?
- Do you need a lawyer to dispute a debt?
- Can you dispute a debt with an original creditor?
When Is a Dispute a Debt Appropriate?
You can and should dispute a debt if the debt collector does not have the correct info regarding what you owe. The best time to raise a dispute is immediately after receiving a notification.
If you receive a letter from a debt collector or a call from a creditor, you should request validation of the debt. If you have never been contacted by the original creditor regarding the debt and suddenly a debt collection agency calls about money you owe, you should be skeptical. Make sure you validate any debt that someone says you owe.
The debt collector should be able to provide you with the following:
- Name and address of the original creditor
- Amount owed
- A statement allowing you to dispute the debt
If you never receive such information, believe it is false, or do not believe you owe the amount demanded, it’s a good idea to dispute the collection. A licensed attorney can assist you.
Not Just Any Debt Attorney
As a founding partner with LHA, Jeremiah E. Heck is a leader in consumer law and well-regarded for holding large companies accountable for invalid collection efforts.
The Debt Dispute Process
When you receive information about your debt in writing, you have 30 days to dispute it. It is possible to dispute collections after that time, but it’s harder to do so.
The steps to filing a debt dispute:
Dispute the Debt in Writing
Write and send the collection agency a dispute letter. Make sure the letter is sent via certified mail so that you have confirmation that the letter was received. While you can dispute a debt over the phone, this will not make the collection efforts cease. It’s much better to have a paper trail that can be used as evidence in court, if necessary.
Request That the Calls Stop
Once a debt collector receives a letter stating the debt is not yours, they must stop contacting you. However, once they receive evidence that the debt is yours, they can start the collections process again. If your letter requests that they stop all calls and only contact you via mail, they must stop the harassing calls.
Document Contact with the Collector
Save all letters you receive from the debt collector and keep a log of calls if the agency engages in illegal activities.
Present Defenses to Your Debt
If you know for a fact that the debt is not yours, you’ll need to provide evidence. Bank statements can prove that the debt was paid. If you believe mistaken identity was to blame, be prepared to show documents verifying your identity, such as your driver’s license, Social Security number, or credit report.
Defend Your Case in Court
If the debt has been violated and you have not paid it, you can be taken to court. If a lawsuit is filed against you, you must respond to it. If you ignore it, the court could order you to pay additional fees and fines.
Additionally, the judge may allow the debt collector to garnish your wages, freeze your accounts, or put a lien on your property. Read any legal documents you receive thoroughly and follow the instructions. Make a note of deadlines.
Can I Dispute a Debt That Was Sold?
Yes. You can dispute any debt that an original creditor or collection agency claims are yours. Many challenges can be presented to invalidate the debt they say you owe. If you don’t really owe the debt, you should fight back.
How a Lawyer Helps Dispute a Debt
A debt dispute lawyer will evaluate your situation and present you with all of your options for resolving the debt situation.
Resolve Your Debt
Whether you want to dispute your debt or just get rid of it, an attorney can help. In some cases, your lawyer can negotiate a goodwill deletion of the debt, so it is removed from your credit report.
Representation in Court
If a debt collector does sue you, you will need a legal professional by your side to draft legal documents, keep track of deadlines, and defend your position against unlawful treatment by debt collectors.
Create a Debt Relief Plan
If you are in a tough financial situation, you likely have more than one debt that needs to be disputed. A consumer rights lawyer can help you challenge your debt and get rid of as much as possible.