If you are in debt and getting harassed by bill collectors, there is a way to help get the debt collector harassment calls to stop. You can send a copy of the letter found below filled out to the collector notifying them of your wish for them to terminate communications with you. This is option is available to you under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act under 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692c (FDCPA).
Under the FDCPA, if a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a bill or that the consumer wants the collection agency to cease from further communication with the consumer the bill collector can no longer communicate with the consumer except for the following cases:
To notify the consumer (debtor) that the bill collector or collection agency may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such a bill collector or credit agency. These include wage garnishment or lawsuit.
To let the debtor know that future attempts to collect the debt will be ended.
Only where applicable, to let the debtor know that the bill collector intends to invoke a certain remedy. If the consumer cease and desist notice is done by mail, it shall be complete upon receipt of the creditor (hint: send the letter by certified mail).
If I Hire A Lawyer Can The Collection Agency Still Contact Me?
Once you hire an attorney all calls from the bill collector must be directed to the attorney. By the statutes of the FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the collector must follow these rules. If you do get a call from a bill collector just let them know that you have retained an attorney to handle the debt for you. Let them know to contact that attorney.
Most collection agencies will back off at this point and just call the attorney. If they do continue to call you, the creditor would potentially be subject to a $1,000 fine for violating the FDCPA. The creditors know this and probably will follow the proper rules.
Sample Cease and Desist Letter
Below, you will find an example of a Cease and Desist Letter to mail to a bill collector. Copy and paste into a word processor to edit it. Make sure that you change it according to your personal information. Then mail it certified mail so that the bill collector gets it and it is acknowledged by a received signature.
(Name(s) on the credit account)
To: (Collection Department, Creditor, Bill Collector – whichever applies)
Since approximately (date when you got the first call), I have received many phone calls and letters from you concerning my overdue account with the above-named creditor.
Accordingly, under 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692c of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this is my formal notice to you to cease and desist all further communications with me.
(Print Full Name)
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