There’s no doubt about it – debt collection calls are annoying and can be downright stressful. You know you have the debt and you’re likely doing your best to take care of it. Threatening phone calls aren’t going to make money appear or make things better for you. In fact, they often make things worse.

If you want to stop debt collectors from calling you, check out the following tips.

Request Communication in Writing

Your first step, which may or may not work with all collectors, is to ask for all communication in writing. This does require you to talk to the collector at least one time, but that should be all it takes. Just tell them you prefer communication in writing so you have written proof of the situation. You can also ask for proof that the debt belongs to you. During your communication, never admit the debt is yours or that you agree to anything – simply ask for all communication in writing to stop debt collectors from calling.

Send a Cease and Desist Letter

If debt collectors don’t stop calling even after your verbal request, it’s time for a written request. This request is actually a request to stop all communications. This letter, which is legal and would hold up in court, simply needs to state the following:

  • A statement requesting that debt collectors stop calling
  • Be specific about where and when the collector should not call if you only want them to stop calling your work or stop calling during certain times of the day
  • The name and address of the debt collector
  • The date
  • Your signature

At the bottom of the letter, let the collector know that if they don’t comply with this request that you’ll bring it up with the Federal Trade Commission.

Be Honest to Stop Debt Collectors

The collective reaction to debt collectors is often to run and hide. While their phone calls can be annoying and frustrating, don’t hide from them. Be upfront with the collector about your desire to have all communication in writing to stop the phone calls.

If you can’t afford the debt, which you probably can’t or you wouldn’t be in this situation, be honest with the collector. If you tell them that you can’t afford it right now, they may just leave you alone. This doesn’t mean they won’t try again in the future or that your debt won’t get sold to another debt collection agency, but you can just use the same tactics all over again.

If you want to stop debt collectors from harassing you, know your rights. If you feel they’ve been violated, contact the Federal Trade Commission or state’s attorney general. Debt collectors have strict laws they must follow and if they violate them, the proper authorities need to know. While you’ll owe the debt one way or another, there’s no reason to feel threatened or attacked because you’re facing financial difficulties.