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What if I dispute a debt but they still come after me?

If you don't agree that you owe a debt, you must first notify the creditor or collector in writing. In your notice request copies of any proof that you owe the debt, such as a signed contract or promissory note.

If the debt is part of an open-ended charge account such as a credit card, and if you contact the creditor within 60 days of receipt of the bill, then certain rules apply under the Fair Credit Billing Act that can work to your advantage.

Issues that do not revolve around a charge account, or those wherein the 60-day period has expired, the creditor is not required to forward proof of the debt. Many creditors, however, will send the proof anyway.

Bear in mind the burden of proof is not yours. The creditor must prove that the debt is yours, and if you refuse the pay the debt they will either write the debt off or sue you in a court of law. Once in court, the creditor must produce the documentation to prove that you in fact owe the debt. In the meantime, the creditor will probably damage your credit rating. This can give you the power to bring a lawsuit against the creditor for wrongly damaging your credit even after you informed them that the debt was not owed.