Q: How can I find out if someone calling to collect on a debt is legitimate?
I requested a letter of validation over the phone. They sent me an email, but it doesn't have a physical address for the collector on it. Things just seem a little off. They are collecting on an old payday/online loan, the lender wasn't licensed to lend in my state, does that void the contract? They also say I owe over twice what the original loan amount was and there were payments made on it.
You are right to be wary about debt collectors. There are many unscrupulous and downright fraudulent collectors out there.
Unfortunately there is database of debts out there. If you believe that you legitimately owe this debt and they are the legitimate holders of that debt, by all means feel free to pay it. However, if you are requesting verification that they hold the debt and they are neither providing any documentation or physical address, you are right to be skeptical. If they cannot provide evidence that they are the debt holder, you may want to hold off and investigate further.
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