Depending on your situation, there are many different ways to respond appropriately. You can consider using the following sample letters if you’re experiencing common problems that may come up with debt collectors and you need help responding. Letter #2 is the most powerful and the one I recommend using first in most situations.
- I do not owe this debt. This letter tells the debt collector to stop contacting you unless they can show evidence that you are responsible for this debt. Stopping contact does not cancel the debt. So, if the debt collector still believes you really are responsible for the debt, they could still take other action. For example, you still might be sued or have the status of the debt reported to a credit bureau.
- I need more information about this debt. Send this letter as soon as you can and if at all possible, within 30 days of when a debt collector contacts you the first time about a debt. Even if 30 days have passed, and a debt collector isn’t legally required to give you certain information, you can still ask for it.
- I want the debt collector to stop contacting me. Generally speaking, federal law says that a debt collector must stop contacting you after they get a written request to stop contacting you. They can, however, contact you to tell you that they won’t contact you again, or to notify you that the creditor or debt collector could take other action (for example, filing a lawsuit against you).
- Stopping them from contacting you does not cancel the debt. You still might be sued, or have debt reported to a credit bureau.
- You can ask a debt collector to stop contacting you at any time, so keep in mind that you could ask them for more information before deciding whether to tell them to stop contacting you.
- I want the debt collector to only contact me through my lawyer. If a lawyer is representing you about the debt, then the debt collector should generally contact the lawyer instead of you. Use this template letter to tell the debt collector to contact your lawyer.
- I want to specify how the debt collector can contact me. Under federal law, debt collectors can’t contact you about a debt at a time or place they know is inconvenient for you. They also can’t contact you at work if you let them know that your employer prohibits it. Use this letter if you want to specify and restrict how a debt collector can contact you. But be careful about over-doing it: if you want to work something out, you don’t want to make it too hard for the debt collector to reach you.
If you use any of these letters, it’s important to do so as soon as possible after you are contacted, and to keep copies of any letters you send. In certain situations, you only have 30 days after you’re contacted to ask for certain information, but even if more than 30 days pass, it’s still a good idea to ask for what you need. read it repair credit
These letters are not legal advice. If you’re being sued or think you will be sued, contact a lawyer.
These letters should not be used with a credit card company or your original lender. These letters are written to be used with debt collection companies or companies that purchased your debt from the original lender in order to collect it from you.