Are you being pestered by debt collectors? Are they calling you non-stop and leaving messages on your voicemail? If you’re at your wit’s end, there is a simple phrase you can use to make them go away- at least for a little while.
The next time they call, simply tell them this: “Please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately.”
Few things are more frustrating than debt collectors who won’t leave you alone. When a debt collector calls, the response common among consumers is to ignore them. However, this can often make the situation worse. The collector may become more persistent, call more frequently, or even take legal action against you.
So instead of ignoring. Why not find out if the debt is actually yours and if the statute of limitations is still active. But one thing you must never do is to confirm the debt is yours. This can be used against you in court.
Here are a few other tips on
How to deal with debt collectors
1. Keep a record of all communication with the debt collector
This includes phone calls, letters, and email communications. Note the date, time, and content of each interaction. Most importantly, if the debt collector uses abusive or threatening language, note it. This can be used as evidence in a counterclaim against the debt collector.
2. Write a cease and desist letter.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to send a cease and desist letter to the debt collector. A cease and desist letter is a notice you send to the debt collector ordering them to stop contacting you.
The moment they receive this letter, they are legally obligated to stop all communication with you- with a few exceptions. This includes calling you, sending you letters, and visiting your home or place of work. However, note that while a cease and desist letter can help stop the harassment, it won’t make the debt go away. The debt collector can still take legal action against you.
3. Explain the debt is not legitimate
If you believe the debt is not yours or the statute of limitations has already expired, you can openly tell the debt collector. Include any relevant documentation to support your claims, such as court documents or a credit report. If your reasons are valid, the debt collector may agree to stop trying to collect the debt from you.
4. Review your credit reports
You are entitled to a free credit report from each major credit bureaus- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Review these reports carefully and look for any accounts you are unaware of. If you find any, dispute them with the credit bureau.
5. Explain that you cannot afford to pay the debt
If you truly cannot afford to pay the debt, explain this to the debt collector. While this does not mean they have to stop collections, it may push them to move on to another customer.
However, while explaining your financial situation to the debt collector, avoid admitting that the debt is yours. This can restart the statute of limitations and give them more time to collect the debt from you.
6. Give the debt collector your current address.
Although It’s tempting to change your phone number or move to a new address to avoid debt collectors, this can do more harm than good. If you move, update your address with the debt collector. That way, you can ensure that you receive any important correspondence from them, such as a summons.
If the debt collector does not have your current address, they may not be able to send you a court summons or other vital documents. This can lead to a default judgment against you, resulting in wage garnishment or money being taken from your bank account.
What not to do when talking to a debt collector
To a debt collector, anything you say can and will be used against you. So, it is important to be very careful about what you say when talking to them. Here are four things that you need to remember:
1. Do not give out your personal information
Be sure not to give the debt collector any personal information, such as your bank account number or social security number.
2. Do not make any promises
Do not make any promises to the debt collector, such as agreeing to make a payment. This can restart the statute of limitations and give them more time to collect the debt from you.
3. Do not admit that the debt is valid
Never admit that the debt is yours or that you will pay it. This can be used against you in court.
4. Do not offer a small payment
Do not offer the debt collector a small payment, even if it is to “get them off your back.” This can restart the statute of limitations and give them more reason to collect the debt from you.
Dealing with debt collectors can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Snubbing them may seem like the best course of action when you’re being hounded by debt collectors. But it is generally not the best idea.
Remember, debt collectors, are relentless and will not stop until you pay them. But, by following these tips, you can hopefully make the process a little less stressful.