I received a debt collection call a few months ago from a professional debt collector for a debt I didn't recognize, followed by a written notice. I wrote back that I dispute the debt and requested verification. Now I've received a verification letter, and I'm not sure what to do next.

The verification letter has my name and some correct information about a hospital stay in 2019. It names the "assignor" as a medical services company I've never heard of. Googling shows they are a specialist company for a specialty unrelated to my hospital stay. The letter includes brief documentation about my hospital stay, but nothing listing any work done by the assignor company or naming them at all. The documentation lists my insurance information correctly, but my insurance company has no record of any claim being filed. I never received a bill from the assignor.

In short, although they have some of my personal medical information, I don't believe that they ever performed any service for me, and the documentation the debt collector has provided certainly does not show that they did.

I've read about the FDCPA, but all the info I've found gets pretty vague after requesting the validation letter. The letter I received correctly identifies me, but the documentation doesn't in any way show that a debt was incurred, and I don't believe one was.

My inclination is to write back pointing out that there's nothing in their documentation to indicate that any work was done or that any debt is owed. The amount of the debt is only $600, so if there's anything useful I can do before the "get a lawyer" step, that would be preferable. Both me and the debt collector are located in California, USA.

What do you do when a debt collector's verification letter correctly identifies you, but does not appear to identify or support a claimed debt?

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