You can make debt collectors stop.
You have a solid legal right to be free from harassing debt collection. All it takes is a letter to the collector.
We’ll show you how to write that letter and exercise your right.
If you live in California, that letter will not only stop professional debt collectors, it will stop the creditor itself from nearly all contact about the debt.
Understand, this right doesn’t make the debt go away. It doesn’t keep the creditor from suing you. It keeps them from using all their weapons to get you to pay without suing you.
Suing you is time consuming and expensive to the collector. They want to harass, shame, or frighten you until you pay just to get them off the phone.
Write a do-not-contact letter
Here’s a template letter invoking your right to be free of collection.
Please take notice that I elect to exercise my rights not to be contacted by you about this alleged debt as provided by the federal Fair Debt Collection Act (15 U.S.C. 1692 b. )
Do not contact me further about this debt except in strict compliance with the law.
Very truly yours,
California residents have more rights
While the federal FDCPA applies only to collectors hired by your creditor, California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act goes further. It applies the same do-not-contact rules to the original creditor as well.
So, in California, you can add a reference to California Civil Code Section 1788.17, which is where the Rosenthal Act is found.
Make the creditor give up
You may want to add a paragraph to your letter if there are facts that suggest that there is no point in suing you to collect.
This letter only says they can’t harass you by phone or by mail; they still have the right to sue you. You just want to give them facts that suggest that a judgment against you is worthless.
So, throw in any relevant facts such as your age, employment, health, or family situation that support your contention that you’ll never be able to pay.
I’m 68 and living on Social Security.
I’m permanently disabled.
I’m the sole support of a handicapped child.
You get the idea.
I suggest that people with tax problems make clear to the collector that paying the taxes comes first.
Make a record
Your case is strengthened by a line that identifies the debt you’re talking about.
It’s also strengthened by sending it to a named individual, preferably the President of the collector or of the creditor. Nothing keeps you from sending copies to the name the collector is using (it’s often not their real name) AND to officers of the collector.
Keep a copy of the letter. Send it by means that will get you a receipt showing that it was delivered.
Then if you get communications that are not consistent with the rights you’ve claimed, keep notes about phone calls or copies of letters. Those documents can support your claim to statutory damages and payment of your legal expenses.
Enjoy peace at home and at work.