Debt collectors can not only be annoying, but also abusive. Many people who have had contact with debt collectors over the phone find the experience to be frustrating. Debt collectors will often resort to rude comments and threats in order to intimidate a debtee. There is no law that requires you to communicate with a debt collector over the phone. You can easily prevent future calls from debt collection agents.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Ask the debt collector for the company name, address, and associated account number for the debt they are calling about if you don't already have that information.
Write a "Cease and Desist Letter." The letter states that the debt collection agency should cease and desist any further contact by phone. They will then only be allowed to contact you by mail. An example "Cease and Desist Letter" is below.
Debt Collector's Name Debt Collector's Address
Re: Your Account Number
Dear Debt Collector:
Pursuant to my rights under federal debt collection laws, I request that you cease and desist communication with me, as well as my family and friends, in relation to this and all other alleged debts you claim I owe over the phone.
If you do not comply with this request to stop contact with me or others concerning my debt over the phone, I will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [your state here] Attorney General's office. Also civil and criminal charges will be pursued.
Your Name Your Address
Send the letter certified mail and keep the return receipt for your records.
Report the collector to the Federal Trade Commission, your state's Attorney General's office or the Better Business Bureau if contact by phone continues.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the debt collector is calling between the appropriate times as regulated by law. Debt collectors can only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. your local time. Any calls made outside of those times is a violation and you should report that debt collection agency to the Federal Trade Commission, your state's Attorney General's office and/or the Better Business Bureau.
- Debt collectors are not allowed to be verbally abusive or obscene over the phone, or contact your friends or family to discuss your debt. If they do, file a complaint with the appropriate agencies.
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