Sample Cease and Desist Letter for Debt Collection Agencies

Cole Mayer  | 

How to Stop Debt Collectors From Calling

Collections agencies are dogged and merciless in continually calling and mailing letters in an attempt to collect on a debt. Despite this, stopping debt collector calls is surprisingly easy.

After their first contact with you, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows for you to send a Cease and Desist Letter to stop further contact. There is a caveat: They are allowed to contact you one more time after receiving the C&D, to inform you of their response. We’ve provided a sample letter below, along with some tips and further information that will be helpful.

Sample Cease and Desist Letter for Debt Collection Agencies

[Your Name]

[Address]

[City, State, Zip]

[Date]

 

[Collection Agency’s Name]

[Address]

[City, State, Zip]

 

Re: [Account Number]

Dear Sir or Madam:

Pursuant to my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I am formally requesting you cease and desist communication with me, as well as my family, friends, and place of employment in regards to this and any other alleged debts.

Should you fail to comply, I will immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [Your State] Attorney General’s office and pursue civil and criminal claims.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Downloadable Cease and Desist Letter Templates for Debt Collections

Cease and Desist Letter Template

What You Need in a Collections Cease and Desist Letter

Remember to not just copy and paste the letter, but customize it. Use your own wording, but do not admit to any debts being yours. If you are disputing the debt as not yours, be sure to also send a dispute letter, as well. You can also request the collections agency not contact you at work, or that they only contact you during certain times of the day.

Do not mention paying the debt. Even if the debt is yours, promising to pay will do more harm than good. Doing so could restart the statute of limitations, giving the agency more time to force you to collect.

Send the letter via certified mail and request a receipt, so you are sure the collections agency received the letter.

You Do Not Need a Lawyer to Send a Cease and Desist Letter to Collections Agencies

While a lawyer will help if a collections agency is harassing you or fails to comply with the C&D letter, you don’t need one to send a letter. You also don’t need to use legal language — the collections agency knows the law already.

A lawyer can help if, instead of responding to your cease and desist letter, the collections agency sues you for the money owed.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Stopping Collection Calls

As noted, you can request collection agencies stop contacting you, whether the debt is yours or not, after the first time they contact you. This does not mean they have to stop trying to force you to collect, as they can still sue you. It just means they can’t call you or send you letters.

It’s important to note that, if the debt is old or small, chances of a lawsuit are small, as it won’t be worth the agency’s time. However, you will still take a hit to your credit score. While there are ways to get a paid overdue debt off your credit report, it’s nearly impossible to get a debt you owe that is legitimately yours removed. Either way, be prepared, as the agency suing you is still an option until the statute of limitations runs out.

Keep a record of any letters or calls from collection agencies, both before and after a C&D letter. In a worst-case scenario, this can prove they are still contacting you after you send your letter. The agency can only contact you a single time after your letter, to inform you of how they are responding.

How Credit Repair Services Can Help Remove Collections Accounts From Your Credit Report

If you still have bad or fair credit, or just want someone with experience to write and send the letter for you, consider hiring a credit repair service. They can help you repair your credit or dispute fraudulent, erroneous, and other negative items from your credit report. Need more writing tips or other letter templates? Visit our credit and collections letter template resource center.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

A former newspaper journalist, Cole spends his free time reading, writing, playing video games, watching movies, and learning about every subject under the sun. He lives with his wife and daughter in Idaho. Follow Cole on Twitter: @ColeMayer42

This post was updated May 8, 2018. It was originally published April 15, 2018.