How should I proceed in disputing a debt and where do I start? 8 Answers as of August 21, 2015

If I send a certified letter to a collector asking them to verify a debt (which I don't have record of and is not on my credit report), and they file a case against me in court before responding to my letter, what should I do?

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The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Defend it in court and attack the statute of limitations if it is old debt.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/21/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Find a lawyer who specializes in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases. Do it ASAP.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Validating a debt (not verifying) is something you do to deal with your credit report. When a lawsuit is filed, you either defend yourself from it by filing an Answer or you will lose the suit and have a judgment entered against you.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/19/2015
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Defend the court case. You have 30 days to file your response or the debt collector will take your default and get a judgment without your participation. Go see a knowledgeable local debt defense attorney for at least a consultation and help with responding to the lawsuit. You may also benefit from seeing a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act attorney. They may be able to file a response and a counter claim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/19/2015
Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
It would be a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation for them to sue without verifying, but all they have to do is put it in the mail. Consider whether you want to just send a letter stating that you dispute the debt and decline to pay; otherwise, they may collect evidence that they otherwise would not.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/19/2015
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    Pay the "answer" fee and file an answer disputing you owe the money. They will have to provide proof of the debt. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Law Office of Joshua R.I. Cohen
    Law Office of Joshua R.I. Cohen | Joshua Cohen
    You should hire an attorney because they can't do that.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    In any situation where a debt collector has filed a lawsuit against you, you will need to answer the complaint and have competent representation to raise any and all defenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2015
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