Sample Letter For Telling A Debt Collector To Drop Dead

Is a debt collector calling and calling or sending you letter after letter? Clark Howard has a quick and easy sample letter on his site you can use to tell them to swallow a fork.

Under Federal Law, you can tell them stop. They do not have the right to keep contacting you simply to try to get you to pay. That’s called harassment.

If they still keep contacting you, you can sue them and win in small claims court and win cashola. Which you can then use to pay off your debts. Nice.

Drop Dead Letter [The Clark Howard Show]
(Photo: Interpunk)

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  1. Lewis says:

    Please please please do all of your homework first. Maybe even contact an attorney if you like – most local bar associations offer very low fee (usually less than $50) initial consultations. Many law schools offer legal clinics. Also, Creditboards.com is one good place to start – there are others.

    I am not a lawyer.

  2. blue_duck says:

    I’m glad you guys posted this~ I used to “collect” but it wasn’t late or charge-off payments I did, just on time things~ and so few people know that they can’t legally contact you once you tell them not too!

  3. drrew says:

    They may not be able to contact you after receiving this letter, but they certainly can still sue you.

    If the debt is legit, try to work something out because these things don’t often just go away, if it’s not legit, tell them to go to hell.

  4. HOP says:

    wish i had seen this earlier…..

  5. HOP says:

    wish i had seen this earlier

  6. PandemicSoul says:

    Dear god, please stop posting these absolutely foolish and incomplete posts about debt. No, it’s NOT harassment if a company continues to write you after you’ve asked them to stop calling. In fact, even after you tell them to stop calling they can call you once more to tell you how they’re going to proceed in collecting your debt. And as Drrew says, they can still sue the hell out of you, even if you ask them only to write you, and then you decide to start throwing the letters away.

    This kind of nonsense is part of the problem — not the solution. Articles like this give people who’ve overspent their means the false idea that if they demand the collection stops, that it will. It won’t. And you’re still liable for your debt. And they’re still going to attempt to collect from you.

    Please stop writing articles that mis-inform or mis-construe the facts. They don’t do the consumer any justice.

  7. homerjay says:

    @PandemicSoul: Seconded.

  8. XianZhuXuande says:

    I would not suggest this letter. Anyone experienced in handling debt collectors would probably never resort to a letter of this sort (and certainly not as the first correspondence) and someone unfamiliar with debt collectors may only get themselves into trouble by using this.

    As alluded above, this letter basically tells a debt collector they have the following choices: 1) Violate the law and continue correspondence; 2) Sell or forward the debt to another collection agency; or 3) Take you to court.

    #3 would be a likely outcome to this letter, and that is something an unexperienced person would not want to handle without a lawyer.

  9. star_ says:

    I won’t waste time writing why this article is wrong. No offense Ben but you when you post articles regarding credit/debt they are usually full of misinformation or outright wrong.

    It’s great you have an interest in credit/debt but please do more homework before you write these articles.

    A C&D letter won’t make a collector drop dead. And if it’s not mailed CMRRR, they can just pretend they never received it.

    In fact, sending a C&D and nothing else can end up being a fast-track to them filing suit. Tread carefully if it’s within SOL. Better yet, pay your debts. If it isn’t truly yours, make them prove(validate) it.

  10. star_ says:

    I agree with PandemicSoul too.

  11. azntg says:

    @PandemicSoul: Quite agree. Pay up your damned debts, people!

    Admittedly though, this would come in very helpful to me if I have to deal with a jackarse collector.

    My family has no debts (not including my extended relatives, but the ones that live in US all have different last names anyway), but its seems like all collectors make it a routine of calling my house first if the debtor has a surname of “Lee” and they live in New York City. I kid you not.

    I’ve received no less than 10 “unique” calls this year alone asking if ______ Lee lives at the household.

    Some of the collectors are extremely rude and the “This call is for ____ Lee. This is not a sales call. Call 800-xxx-xxxx” messages are really annoying.

    So far though, whenever I call them back and tell them that the person that they’re looking for doesn’t live at my house, most are nice enough to apologize and all of them stopped calling my house.

  12. Nytmare says:

    I agree with what I am posting. I second myself. Ditto. I’m posting the same thing that I’m writing. Me too. What I said.

  13. Articles like this give people who’ve overspent their means the false idea that if they demand the collection stops, that it will.

    @PandemicSoul: I disagree. It is clear that the article is addressing collection calls, not the collection itself.

    Furthermore, just because you want someone to stop calling every ten minutes does not mean you don’t have the intention of paying. It doesn’t even mean that you haven’t already worked out a payment schedule. You just want the phone to stop ringing off the hook.

    As alluded above, this letter basically tells a debt collector they have the following choices: 1) Violate the law and continue correspondence; 2) Sell or forward the debt to another collection agency; or 3) Take you to court.

    @XianZhuXuande: You forgot the fourth option: Stop calling and just take the payments based on the schedule you already agreed to with the debtor.

  14. Sam Glover says:

    I’m not sure where the posters above me got their law degrees or experience with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but Ben is right. You can ask debt collectors not to contact you. And if they do contact you after you demand they stop, you can sue them. Although since you can recover attorney fees, I would suggest that a federal lawsuit may be more appropriate than small claims court.

    Many debt buyers have no proof that they even own the debt, much less that the consumer in question owes it. They are basically guessing and hoping they reach a gullible consumer. It is quite common for a consumer to pay a debt collector, thinking the matter is resolved, only to be contacted by another debt collector a month later about the same debt.

    Demand validation and feel free to ask not to be contacted. But as others correctly pointed out, that may land you in court with the debt collector. Of course, if the debt collector has bought the debt, they probably can’t prove anything, anyway.