By: Robert J. Nahoum
Whether itâ€™s mounting credit card debt, unexpected medical bills or even defaulted student loans, when you fall behind on your bills, the debt collectors will harass you.
Understandably, anyone who has dealt with debt collectors feels abused, harassed and bullied.Â This is due in large part to the heavy-handed tactics of the debt collection agents.Â Most debt collection agents are motive by commissions – the more they can get from you, the more money they make.Â This is a recipe for abuse and harassment.
Hereâ€™s one way to stop the harassment:
Federal debt collection laws, known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA for short), regulates the conduct of third party debt collectors.Â The FDCPA generally prohibits debt collectors from using abusive debt collection tactics that are false, misleading and harassing.
Under the FDCPA 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, the debt collector must stop all further communicates with the consumer, except – (1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector’s further efforts are being terminated; (2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies.
There are no magic words that need to be used in a cease and desist letter so long as it is made clear that the consumer is refusing to pay or demanding a stop to all communications.Â Here is a sample:
Collection Agency Address
RE: Account #_______
Dear Debt Collector,
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 805(C), it is my right to request that you cease communications with me. I am exercising my right to do so with this letter. I request that you immediately cease and desist all contact with me.
Be sure to send the letter by certified mail/return receipt requested so that, if necessary, you can prove that you demanded a stop to the debt collection.
A word of caution, just because you demanded a cessation of the debt collection does not mean that the debt is gone.Â The creditor can and probably will send the debt to another debt collector or might even sue you.Â The cease and desist is a temporary means to stop the collection harassment but it is not a permanent fix to the debt.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
If a debt collector has ignored your cease and desist demand, you can sue for violating the FDCPA.Â If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you can recover statutory damages up to $1,000.00, actual damages (like pain and suffering) and the debt collector may have to pay for your attorney.
If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you.Â With office located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Rockland County, the Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum defends consumers in debt collection cases throughout the Tristate area including New Jersey.
The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C