So the phone rings. You answer it.
“Is this (insert name here)?”
You say “Yes it is”.
The person on the other end says, “My name is Dick McTrickle and I am from the debt collection agency Dewey, Screwem, and Howe. Just so that you know, I am calling you about a debt you owe us and I am a debt collector. As you probably know, this phone call may be recorded”.
You think to yourself, “Oh shit”.
You try to get through the phone call by telling them you don’t have money to pay them right now. But, as is their way, they are persistent and even rude.
They call you names, refer to you as some derelict who doesn’t pay their bills and you have a hard time hanging up.
Finally, you get off the phone.
Your heart is racing, you may cry, you certainly are frustrated and then you call your significant other.
The day is ruined. All you can think about is that damn phone call. You may or may not owe a debt, it may be time barred,but nonetheless, you do not have the money to pay it.
The next day they call again. You did not learn your lesson and you answered the phone call. This time you hang up.
The next day they call again. They know the situation but they won’t listen.
How do you stop this?
Maybe you stop answering all phone calls.
Every time the phone rings your heart races and all you have are negative thoughts. (I once had a client who contemplated suicide).
Can this be stopped?
It is known as Cease and Desist.
In the credit world, it is specified in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
ONCE THEY RECEIVE THIS LETTER, THEY MUST STOP.
They must Cease and Desist from their actions.
Stop the phone calls, stop their harassment campaign.
They can now send you one of two letters: one to acknowledge receipt of the letter you sent or (2) a change in status. This change of status may indicate that they are closing the file, or if they are taking you to court, a notice of such. Most of the time they will not take you to court. And the phone calls stop.
In fact, when you have them on the phone, tell them that no further conversation with them is acceptable, and they must stop calling you. Here is an example of a cease and desist letter:
PO Box 480020
Minneapolis, MN 55448
Dewe, Screwem & Howe
45 Kumquat Ln.
Crapstone, IL 60187
Re-your phone call to 612.216.4910
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to my rights under the Fair Debt Collections Act (FDCPA) , please cease and desist communication with me, as well as my family and friends, with regards to this and all other alleged debts you claim I owe.
You are hereby notified that if you don’t comply with this request, an option is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and/or the (your state) Attorney General’s office.
Also, remember that after they make their first phone call to you, they must send you a Dun letter within five business days of the first phone call. If they do not, they are violating the law.
“Credit so Clean, people want to steal it”