It can be frustrating to deal with their persistent efforts to collect a payment, especially when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
But what if we told you there’s a simple 11-word phrase that can stop debt collectors and give you the peace of mind you deserve?
In this blog, we will share with you the ultimate weapon to shut down debt collectors once and for all.
No more sleepless nights or endless harassment.
With this powerful phrase, you can take control of the situation and end their collection efforts.
So, get ready to learn how to use this magic phrase and take back your financial freedom!
Table of Contents
Why Is A Debt Collector Calling Me?
If a debt collector calls you, it’s likely because you have a past-due debt, and they’re trying to collect payment.
Some creditors have debt collectors that make those calls.
But companies often contract with a debt collection agency or even sell your debt to a collections agency.
Unfortunately, it’s not only you that a debt collector might call.
Collectors may also contact other people in your life — including friends, family members, and even your employer — to locate you.
However, while debt collectors can call other people to try to get in contact with you, they can’t reveal they’re calling to collect a debt.
Laws On Phone Calls From Debt Collectors
If a debt collector is pursuing you, it’s essential to understand your rights and what the debt collector can and can’t do to collect the debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, passed in 1978, was designed to stop abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices.
First, federal law prohibits debt collectors from calling consumers before 8:00 a.m. and after 9 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone unless a court or the consumer has given them permission to.
The debt collector also can’t contact a consumer at work if they know the consumer isn’t allowed to take personal calls or that the employer otherwise prohibits such communications.
Finally, the law prohibits debt collectors from using the following harassing or abusive practices:
- Using or threatening to use violence or other criminal means to harm the consumer, their property, or their reputation
- Using obscene, profane, or abusive language
- Publishing a list of consumers with unpaid debts, except to a credit reporting agency
- Advertising a debt for sale to coerce payments
- Annoying, abusing, or harassing consumers by repeatedly calling them and letting the phone ring continually
- Making telephone calls without properly identifying themselves
- Making false or misleading representations, such as lying about who they are, who they work for, or the amount and status of the debt
- Threatening to take action they can’t legally take in the interest of debt collection
These are just a handful of the rules that regulate debt collectors.
If you feel a debt collector is being abusive or crossing a line — even if their actions aren’t on this list — it’s worth speaking to an attorney to find out if they’re in the wrong.
The 11-Word Phrase To Stop Debt Collectors
In 2017, Larry King interviewed credit expert John Ulzheimer on his talk show.
Ulzheimer claimed there was a phrase that would make it illegal for them to continue calling you if you said it to a debt collector.
While several iterations have floated around online, the most common 11-word phrase to stop debt collections is this: “Please cease and desist all calls and contact me immediately.”
Does The Phrase Actually Work?
When it comes to whether this infamous 11-word phrase actually works, the short answer is: it depends.
Yes, the last does state that a debt collector must cease further communication if you request them to. But there are two important things to note:-
For your request to the debt collector to stop contacting you to be legally binding, the request must be made in writing and doesn’t apply until the debt collector receives the letter.
When you request the debt collector to stop contacting you, any phrasing will do the job.
You don’t necessarily have to use the 11-word phrase above for the debt collector to be required to stop contacting you.
What To Do When A Debt Collector Calls?
When a debt collector calls you, it’s tempting to send a cease and desist letter and forget about it.
But there are a few other things you should also do.
(1) Request a debt verification letter: Before you pay (or ignore) any debt, it’s important to make sure it’s really yours and is entirely accurate.
Upon request, a debt collector must send a verification of the debt and double-check the name and contact information on the debt, the creditor, the date of the debt, the amount, and more.
(2) Keep a record of your communication with the debt collector: In addition to recording each time you speak to a debt collector, make sure to note the name of the person you spoke to, what time they called, and what they said.
(3) Check the statute of limitations: Most states have a statute of limitations on debt (usually ranging, meaning after a certain number of years, a debt collector can’t sue you. Ensure your state’s statute of limitations hasn’t passed before agreeing to pay.
Time periods vary by state but usually range from three to six years.
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What Happens If You Ignore Debt Collectors?
Sure, you can request that a debt collector stop calling you.
But that doesn’t mean the debt itself goes away.
And unfortunately, failing to pay a debt you rightfully owe could result in bigger problems.
If successful, the debt collector could sue you and have your wages garnished until the debt is fully repaid.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent a debt collector from suing you for your unpaid debt:-
(1) Pay the debt: This is the simplest and most straightforward solution to annoying debt collector calls.
However, since this isn’t feasible for all consumers, we’ll share a few additional tips you can try.
(2) Negotiate the debt: If you can’t afford to pay the debt in full, see if the debt collector will negotiate with you for a lower amount.
Collections agencies often buy debts for considerably less than their original amount, meaning they can settle with you without losing money.
(3) Work with a credit counselor or debt settlement company: Not only can these companies help to settle your debts or restructure them in a way that works for you, but enlisting the help of one of these programs can help get debt collectors to stop calling.
(4) File for bankruptcy: While bankruptcy should be used only as a last resort, it’s a viable option for people with overwhelming debt they won’t be able to repay.
Dealing with debt collectors can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be.
Using the right approach, you can end their collection efforts and regain control over your finances.
The 11-word phrase we’ve shared is a powerful tool that can help you do just that.
So, don’t let debt collectors bring you down.
Take charge of the situation and use this phrase to stop them in their tracks.
Remember, you have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully and don’t have to tolerate harassment or abuse.
Use this phrase wisely and watch as your debt collector troubles disappear.
(1) What is a FICO credit score, and how are credit scores calculated?
A FICO credit score is a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness and credit risk.
It is calculated based on payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit used, and recent credit inquiries.
(2) What are my options for credit repair?
Your options for credit repair include reviewing your credit report for errors, disputing inaccuracies with credit bureaus, working with a credit counseling agency, negotiating with creditors, and seeking professional help from a credit repair company.
(3) How do debt settlement companies work?
Debt settlement companies work by negotiating with creditors on your behalf to settle your debts for less than what you owe.
You make monthly payments into an escrow account, which the company uses to negotiate with creditors.
However, debt settlement can negatively affect your credit score and may not be the best option for everyone.