If debt collection agencies are repeatedly calling you, harassing you with messages, or trying to intimidate you in any way, use a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter to demand that they stop. Below, we provide a strongly worded template to help you make an effective request.
The letter warns the debt collection agencies that you’ll take legal action unless the agencies respect your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Learn more about stopping debt collectors from calling you.
- When Should You Send a Cease and Desist Letter to a Debt Collector?
- How Does a Cease and Desist Letter Stop Debt Collection Harassment?
- Why Use a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter?
- Is a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter Legally Enforceable?
- How to Write a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter
- Sample Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter
- Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter FAQs
When Should You Send a Cease and Desist Letter to a Debt Collector?
You should send a cease and desist letter to a debt collector when the debt collector violates the FDCPA by harassing you illegally or committing other violations. Reasons for sending a cease and desist letter to a debt collector include:
- You don’t owe the debt
- The debt collector is unable to verify the debt after receiving a request for validation or you don’t believe they can
- You did owe the debt, but the statute of limitations has expired (the time has passed when the collector can sue you)
- You don’t want to deal with debt collectors anymore (the debt collector can then only attempt to collect the debt by suing you in court)
How Does a Cease and Desist Letter Stop Debt Collection Harassment?
Once you’ve sent a cease and desist letter to a debt collector, they can then only contact you for two reasons:
- To confirm that they have received the cease and desist letter and there will be no further correspondence
- To let you know that they plan to take legal action, such as suing you in court
If the debt collector contacts you for any other reason, they will violate the FDCPA.
Why Use a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter?
There are several reasons to send a Debt Collection Letter:
- Put a stop to harassing calls from debt collectors immediately
- A quick, easy, and effective way to stop debt collectors from calling you
- If, after sending a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter, harassing calls continue, you will have an additional piece of evidence to help report the collector to the Federal Trade Commission
Is a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter Legally Enforceable?
No, a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter isn’t legally enforceable. It only warns that you’ll take legal action unless their violating behavior stops. Ideally, the agencies will stop contacting you as soon as they receive the letter, but you may need further action if they don’t.
Sending a cease and desist letter won’t forgive your debt, but it should stop the debt collection agency from unlawfully calling you. However, the debt collector can still sue you to collect the money owed.
How to Write a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter
When writing a Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter, you must include several key elements to ensure your letter is impactful. To thoroughly document the problem, we provide simple blanks for you to fill in and provide details about:
- Dates: When the unlawful correspondence took place
- Debt Demand: How much money the debt collectors are requesting, from whom, and from which accounts
- Unlawful Behavior: Details of the types of abusive and deceptive debt collection practices and how it impacts you personally
This letter (and the FDCPA) only applies to debt collection agencies, not the original creditor.
All of the above elements are included in our document builder.
Sample Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter
Here’s what a typical Debt Collection Letter looks like:
Cease and Desist Debt Collection Letter FAQs
How to send a cease and desist letter to debt collectors?
To send your cease and desist letter to a debt collector, you must send the letter by certified mail and the requested return receipt. Although this costs more, you will receive an official notification when the debt collector receives the letter, giving you documentation if you need to file a further complaint or sue the collection agency in court.
What if debt collection agencies keep contacting me?
Suppose the debt collection agency doesn’t stop unlawfully contacting you within 15 days of receiving the letter. In that case, you should submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and/or your state’s Attorney General’s office.
Is it legal for debt collectors to call me?
Yes, in general, it is legal for debt collectors to call you if they are attempting to collect a debt. However, some restrictions are in place to prevent debt collectors from stepping over the line and becoming abusive. The Fair Debt Collection Practices ACT (FDCPA) limits what debt collectors can do when collecting specific types of debt.
Violations of FDCPA include:
- Calling more than seven times over the course of seven consecutive days
- After having a telephone conversation about the debt in question, you are called again within seven days about the same debt.
- Calling before 8 a.m or after 9 p.m.