I got a collection letter six months ago. Can I still validate the debt?
You can try, but you are not guaranteed to get a response. We offer debt validation as part of your credit repair program membership, so we can attempt it on your behalf, but the collector does not have an obligation to respond six months after having sent you the collection notice.
Catch Those Letters in Time
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires collectors to validate a debt by providing proof of their legal right to collect, but only if it requested to do so within 30 days of sending the collection notice.
Validation is Always Wise
Debt validation can be a great credit repair tool. Even if you recognize the debt and intend on paying it in full you should ask the collector to provide validation before you pay them. This is just common sense. You would not give money to someone that knocked on your door. Collectors buy and sell debt constantly. Make sure that they are legitimate before you write that check. You will feel better. And you will avert the odd possibility of being approached by another collector in the future collecting the same debt.
A Little Credit Repair Trick
But, to get back to your question, an untimely request for validation may not get a response. Or it may. There is no harm in trying! But here is another credit repair strategy that you can use. Try calling the collector and telling them that you are interested in resolving the issue but you would like to see something in writing first. They will probably be happy to send you a new collection letter. Once you get the letter you can validate the debt in a timely manner. There is another potential credit repair benefit; if you call a collector about an old account they may tell you they don’t own the account anymore. If this happens we can or dispute the account with the credit bureaus and it should come right off.