There are periods in all of our lives when we fall on hard times. For many that means getting behind on your bills, and eventually being sent to collections. Debt collectors can be a hassle, and their persistent calls can wear you down.
There are ways, however, to get them to stop calling. You can take action to keep the debt collectors at bay so that you can have some peace in your life. Here are the top five methods on how to stop debt collectors from calling you.
Tell Them You Are Going to Pay
When speaking with a debt collector, you should never admit to owing the debt. However, if you want to keep them at bay, temporarily at least, then act as though you plan to pay the debt. In the meantime, you are actually gathering information to perhaps follow one of the following, more appropriate, means of asking them to back off.
Use a script such as, "I need to research to determine if this debt is actually mine, where would I send payment if that happens to be the case?" This will get you their address and keep the phones quiet for a while.
Ask for Proof of the Debt
Part of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act says that the debt collector must provide proof of the debt. Not only that, but there must be proof that you owe the money. When the collector calls you, simply ask for proof, in writing, that this debt was incurred by you.
The debt collector will have to provide proof of the debt and mail it to you. In the meantime you won't be contacted; the collector can't contact you until the debt has been verified.
Hire an Attorney
If you have the means and you don't want to bother with the debt collector, the easiest way to have the collector stop calling you is to enlist the help of an attorney. Your attorney will handle all the communication, and they will be able to dispute any debt with the right legal methods.
As soon as your attorney has contacted the debt collections company, they must cease all contact with you and direct any further correspondence to your attorney.
Send a Cease and Desist Letter
Let's suppose you can't afford to hire an attorney, but you want all contact from the collections agency to stop. You can send your own cease and desist letter to the collections company. As soon as they receive the letter, they can only contact you for two reasons. They can call to tell you that all communication will cease, and they can call to tell you that they are pursuing legal means to collect the debt.
Sending a cease and desist letter is dangerous. You won't know what they are planning to do, and the next communication you receive could be that you're hit with a lawsuit. If you actually owe the debt, then this probably isn't in your best interest.
Pay It Off
Here's the secret to getting debt collectors to stop calling you: pay off the debt. If you actually owe the debt, then you should just pay it. There are a couple of ways to do that, especially if you can't afford to pay the full amount.
First, you can negotiate with the debt collectors. You can ask if they have installment plans available or if they will settle on a lesser amount.
Alternatively, if you are struggling with multiple debts (and multiple debt collectors) you can go through the debt consolidation process. There are a variety of ways to consolidate debt, and one of them might help you get back on your feet.
Struggling with Debt?
Getting out of debt can be a pain. Life keeps happening while you're trying to pay off your bills, and when you fall behind, it sets off a series of events that can push you even further into debt. Don't despair! Use one of these tactics to get the debt collectors to stop calling so that you can focus on earning more money while you get out of debt.