Learn How To Legally Stop Debt Collectors
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How To Stop Collectors

It's never pleasant to receive a phone call from a creditor. You know the drill. You get "the phone call." It's not a friend or family member because the caller ID displays an 800 number or, worse, "Unknown Number." You dare not answer it, but it doesn't really matter. The caller leaves a message. It's a debt collector. He wants money - money you don't have. You know what you must do. You must stop him, but how?

Request Debt Validation

If you've been receiving phone calls about a debt, the last thing you want to do is avoid the collection agency. Meet the company head-on. Make a request for debt validation first.

For example, you might write a letter that goes something like:

Dear Debt Collector,

I just pulled a copy of my credit report. I noticed that your agency is reporting that I owe you a debt. I also understand that previous correspondence with me concerned this debt. I was not aware of this debt until now, and under my rights under the FDCPA, I request that you validate this debt.

[Your Name]

"Zombie" Debt Letter Of Terminiation

If you believe the debt is erroneous, and you do not owe the debt that the creditor claims you owe, you may demand the collection agency stop reporting the debt.

This can be done with a simple letter:

Dear Creditor,

I am continually being harassed on the telephone by your company over an alleged debt in the amount of (the dollar amount). According to the information given you've given me, the date of last activity by the original creditor was (date). In the state of (your state), you may not report this debt for more than (number of years that constitute the statute of limitation in your state).

Since the debt is out of the statute of limitations, you must stop reporting this zombie debt.

The exact statute is: [15 USC 1692e]

  • (2) The false representation of --.
  • (A) The legal status of the alleged debt.
  • (B) Any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.

It's questionable whether you have adequate documentation to prove that you have the right to report this negative information on my credit report. Therefore, I demand you stop collection activities until an investigation has been completed.

If you cannot prove you are somehow legally entitled to collect this debt beyond the statute of limitations, you must remove this account immediately from my credit report. Failure to do so will result in legal action. Non-compliance with this request under the FCRA and the FDCPA allows me to collect $1,000 from you for each violation.

[Your Name]

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 805 (C)

If you've tried validating a debt, and you can't seem to get a creditor to stop nagging you for a debt you don't owe, you can banish them from your life forever with one simple letter. Of course, you can tell a debt collector to stop calling you, but that doesn't carry much weight in a court room. To force the issue, you must write a letter. If you do this under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, sec. 805 (C), the creditor must stop contacting you unless:

  • The company needs to advise you that its further efforts are being terminated.
  • The company needs to notify you that it may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor
  • Where applicable, to notify you that it intends to invoke a specified remedy.

That's it. It may not contact you for any other reason. It's important that you draft a letter that makes it explicit that you do not wish you be contacted anymore. For example:

Dear Collection Agency,

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 805 (C), I am requesting that you cease all contact with me. With this notice, under the law, you can now only contact me:

  1. To advise me that your company's further efforts are being terminated.
  2. To notify me that your company may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor.
  3. Where applicable, to notify me that your company intends to invoke a specified remedy.

Thank you,
[Your Name]

A short, and simple, letter like this will stop all correspondence. Send the letter certified mail with a return receipt. This way, the company cannot claim it did not receive the request.

Remain Vigilant

Throughout the process, remain vigilant. If you receive nonsensical response letters to your requests, send another letter reminding the debt collector of your rights and insist that he stop collection activities or validate the debt. The debt collection agency must comply with your request, eventually. It might take you several months of back-and-forth correspondence but you should eventually get a resolution to the problem. As always, remain civil and business-like. Do not get emotional in your responses. Stay focused, stick to the facts, and demand a quick resolution to the problem. This will keep you out of legal trouble and avoid unnecessary correspondence with the debt collector.