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Don't Be Bullied! How to Dispute a Debt with Debt Collectors in Wisconsin pen_spark

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Jun 05, 2024

Debt collectors can be persistent, and sometimes, they come knocking with a debt you don't even recognize. In Wisconsin, you have rights! Here's how to fight back if you're facing a debt collector for a debt you believe is wrong.

Know Your Window of Opportunity

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from unfair collection tactics. In Wisconsin, you have 30 days from receiving the initial debt collection notice to dispute the debt. Don't miss this deadline!

Taking Action: Disputing the Debt

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Send a Dispute Letter: Write a clear and concise letter to the debt collector stating you dispute the debt. Explain why you believe it's wrong. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.
  2. Be Specific: Mention details like the account number, original creditor (if different), and why you believe the debt is inaccurate. Did you never have an account with the creditor? Are there charges you don't recognize?
  3. Request Verification: In your letter, demand written verification of the debt from the original creditor. This should include details like the amount owed, your billing history, and proof you are legally obligated to pay.

Debt Collector's Obligations

Once you send your dispute letter, the debt collector must:

  • Stop Collection Activities: They are legally obligated to halt all collection efforts until the debt is verified.
  • Provide Verification (or Cease Contact): If they can't provide verification within a reasonable time frame, they must stop contacting you about the debt.

Keeping Records is Key

  • Maintain copies of all communication with the debt collector, including your dispute letter and any responses you receive.
  • If they continue contacting you after you dispute the debt, document it with dates, times, and details of the interaction.

When to Seek Additional Help

  • If the debt collector violates the FDCPA with harassing calls or misleading information, consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( or the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (
  • For complex situations or if you're unsure about your rights, consulting with an attorney specializing in consumer law is highly recommended.

Remember, you have rights! Don't be afraid to dispute a debt you believe is inaccurate. By following these steps and keeping good records, you can protect yourself from unfair debt collection practices in Wisconsin.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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