How can I stop debt collectors from contacting me?

You have the right to tell a debt collector, in writing, to stop communicating with you. 

Once a debt collector receives your letter, it may not contact you again except to:

  • Tell you there will be no further contact
  • Tell you that it or the creditor may take other specific actions it is legally allowed to take, such as filing a lawsuit against you

The creditor or the debt collector also may make a negative report to a Consumer Reporting Agency, affecting your credit report and credit score. (In some cases, the debt may be too old to affect your credit report or credit score.)

If the collector continues to call after receiving the letter, it may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

You should make a copy of your letter and send the original to the debt collector. It is generally a good idea to send the letter by certified mail. If you pay for a “return receipt,” you also will have proof the debt collector received your letter. You may also send the letter by fax, just be sure to keep a copy of the fax receipt.

It's a good idea to keep a file of all letters or documents a debt collector sends you and copies of anything you send to a debt collector. Also, write down dates and times of conversations along with notes about what you discussed. These records can help you if you have a dispute with a debt collector, meet with a lawyer, or go to court.

You can also sue the debt collector violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you sue under the FDCPA and win, the debt collector must generally pay your attorney’s fees, and may also have to pay you damages.

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