After a debt collector has first contacted you, you have thirty (30) days to dispute the debt in writing and stop all collection activities until the debt collector verifies the debt. If you dispute the debt in writing for any reason, the debt collector must cease collection activities until verifying the debt. Once a consumer disputes a debt, the debt collector is required to report the debt as disputed any time that the debt collector communicates credit information about about the debt. So if you dispute the debt and the debt collector then reports the debt to a credit bureau, the debt collector must report that debt as disputed.
Click this link to get a free dispute letter sent to your e-mail address.
You may still dispute the debt orally or outside of the thirty (30) day requirement. The difference is that the debt collector does not need to cease collection activities for oral disputes or written disputes after the thirty (30) day period. The debt collector must still note the dispute any any communications of credit information after receiving the oral or written dispute, including any subsequent reports to a credit bureau.