11 U.S.C. Section 1692c(c) requires that a debt collector stop contacting you if you’ve told them you don’t want to be contacted. It says:
If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt…
Can I Stop a Debt Collector from Calling Me?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you the power to stop debt collection calls and letters. In fact, one section (11 U.S.C. Section 1692c(c)) addresses this head-on. Under the law, you can stop a debt collector from calling you simply by sending what’s known as a cease and desist letter. Once the debt collection agency receives your cease and desist letter, they must cut off all contact.
How Do I Write a Cease and Desist Letter?
A cease and desist letter is straightforward. The letter simply has to include the following:
Collection Agency Name
Collection Agency Address
I am asserting my right under 11 U.S.C. Section 1692c(c) and request that you cease communicating with me.
Your Printed Name
It’s important to keep a copy of your letter and to send your letter with a return receipt requested. This is your record that the debt collection agency received your letter.
Can a Debt Collector Ever Contact Me Following a Cease and Desist Letter?
The FDCPA outlines three exceptions to a cease and desist letter. After receiving your cease and desist letter, a debt collection agency may contact you to:
- Inform you that the debt collection agency is no longer going to try and collect the debt;
- Tell you that the debt collection agency may take a specific action, such as suing you for payment of the debt; or
- Notify you that the debt collection agency intends to move forward with that action, such as taking you to court.
Courts have also ruled that one other type of communication is permissible. Let’s say that you sent a cease and desist letter to the debt collection agency, and at a later date asked them to verify information about a particular debt – for example, the amount of the debt or the name of the creditor. Courts have determined that, by asking for information, you waive your request to cease communication. It’s important to note, though, that this waiver pertains only to the verification information. In other words, if the debt collection agency responds only with the information you asked for, they’re not in violation of the FDCPA. However, if they also request payment – either at the same time or at a later time – then they’ve violated this section of the FDCPA.
What if a Debt Collector Keeps Trying to Collect the Debt?
If a debt collection agency continues to attempt to collect a debt after it’s received your cease and desist letter, you have the right to sue them in federal court. If they are found to have violated the law, the FDCPA allows you to recover up to $1,000, plus court costs and attorney fees. Because the law has this fee-shifting provision, Lemberg Law won’t charge you a dime to represent you. The lawbreaking debt collector will be forced to pay our fees.
Lemberg Law attorneys protect consumers from abusive debt collection agencies. If you are receiving unwanted collection calls at work, then you could have a case against the collection agency. Contact Lemberg Law at 844-685-9200 ☎ or complete our online form for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
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