By Sergei Lemberg
Sergei is a guest blogger and you can learn more about his services at
There are few things more daunting than being on the receiving end of a bill collectors’ phone call. Although the law is explicit about what bill collectors can and can’t do during a phone call, the reality is that most debt collectors routinely cross the line into illegal behavior. They seem to believe that, with enough pressure and intimidation, they can get consumers to pay. Unfortunately, this is all too often the case.
If you want to stop bill collectors’ phone calls, there are two ways to go about it. The first is the do-it-yourself route. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that, if you send a debt collector a cease and desist letter, they can’t contact you again unless they wish to notify you that they are no longer trying to collect the debt or that they are taking legal action.
What’s a cease and desist letter? It’s a letter that you write to the debt collection agency saying that you want them to cease communication with you under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In your letter, tell them specifically that you want them to stop calling you, that you want them to stop sending you letter and email, and that you do not want them to call family members, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. In addition, tell them in no uncertain terms that you know you rights, and that if they continue to harass you, you will pursue legal action.
If you write a cease and desist letter, it’s important to keep a copy, as well as to send it certified mail with a return receipt. If they contact you again after receiving your letter, you’ll have proof that they violated the law.
The second course of action is to engage the services of an attorney. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that, once you have an attorney, a debt collector can no longer contact you directly; all communication must go through your attorney. When they hear this, most people think, If I had the money to hire an attorney, I’d have enough money to pay the debt. What they don’t know is that hiring a fair debt attorney shouldn’t cost you a dime. This is because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that debt collectors who violate the law have to pay consumers’ attorney fees. In other words, your fair debt attorney will be paid when the court orders the debt collection agency to do so.
Once the bill collectors’ phone calls have stopped, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Knowing your rights under the law – and the specific actions to can take to stop debt collection calls – is an important first step.