You are here

How to stop calls from debt collectors

Share this page

Behind in paying your bills? You might find a debt collector calling. But the law says how and when they can do that. For example, they can’t call before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or while you’re at work if the collector knows that your employer doesn’t approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you or lie when they try to collect a debt. And, if you ask them in writing to stop calling, they have to stop.

Even if a debt collector stops calling, the debt is still there, and you still need to deal with it. So, if a collector contacts you about a debt, you may want to talk to them at least once to get the story. See if you can resolve it – even if you don’t think you owe the debt, can’t repay it immediately, or think that the collector is contacting you by mistake. The collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. The notice must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money.

If you don’t want the collector to contact you again, ask for the collector’s mailing address and tell them – in writing – to stop contacting you. Keep a copy of your letter for your files. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what the collector received. Once the collector gets your letter, they are not allowed to contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact, and the collector can be in touch to tell you that they (or the creditor) are going to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit.

Sending a letter to a debt collector you owe money to doesn’t get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.

Learn more about dealing with debt collectors — and how you can regain control of your finances.


Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I work in a Leasing Office. We get calls from debt collectors regarding past staff and tenants. I tell them we do not take calls for either and we do not give out information including whether or not they are staff or tenants without permission from the person in question. I also ask them to never call us again. They still do. Isn't there any law forbidding them from calling people's employers and other unrelated people?

Can these companies be fined for this behaviour?

Under federal law, debt collectors may contact third parties – but only to find out a debtor's  address, home phone number, and where the person works. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once.

Report problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.

I ordered AT&T U-verse and was told I had 30 days to cancel if I was not satisfied. I cancelled and the services continued for an additional 30 days. When the bill arrived I contacted AT&T and explained that I called and cancelled the service. They never cancelled the service and now asking me for the money. Because they had an error by not cancelling the service am I obligated to pay?

You could call the company again and explain what happened. Here are more ideas for solving consumer problems.

We had a disputed credit card payment. The credit card service contacted the vendor and gave them 60 days to respond, they did not. The credit card company credited our account back the money.. Now the vendor is saying we owe them and has turned it over to a debt collector who will not leave us alone even after we have explained what happened. We do not owe this debt. Help.

You have rights when you deal with a debt collector. Within five days after they first contact you, a legitimate debt collector has to send you a written validation notice telling you how much money you owe. 

This debt collection article explains your rights and what the debt collector must do. You may want to get copies of records from your credit card company related to the payment dispute.

Btw any debt collector spoofing or using a phone number not their own violates the protection act!!!! Each time they call you from a number not their own is a $1,000 that you can get. Remember each violation is at least $1,00 and consumers don’t even know this.

Problem is these debt collectors use a battery of autodial numbers that are very hard to trace and prove that they are theirs. Identify theft is very real so if called ID is UNKNOWN NAME and does not leave a message you have to cautious. Do not answer the call. Debt collectors are notorious for autodialed robocalls and violating FDCPA regulations even when you send them a CEASE & DESIST Certified Return Receipt notice.

credit control has called me every day for 6 months. they never leave a message.

1-888 4019026 11:54 am feb. 26 2018

I have a credit card balance. I wrote the company telling them my husband lost his job and pay them $30.00 monthly which I can afford. I have been doing this and am now getting calls from collection agencies and lawyers. I am paying every month, but cannot afford anymore then this.

I am scared that the debt collectors have my SSN. I have been fighting identity theft and fraudulent charges on my credit card for years now, but I didnt think that the debt collectors were able to possess that information. Is there a way to file paperwork to show this was a fraudulent charge?

If you report identity theft at, you will get an Identity Theft Report. You can send a copy of the Report and a letter to the credit card company to dispute the fraudulent charges.

If you do not have an Identity Theft Report, you can use this Sample Letter to a Debt Collector. You can add details about your situation to the sample letter.

Read more about your rights as an identity theft victim.

I was in negotiation with a hospital regarding a medical bill and would speak to the service representative. Who would say the patient advocate would call me back to discuss the discrepancies in the bills, but I would never get a call back. Now I am getting calls from bill collectors. Is there anyway to find out why the bills are larger than I can justify?

Within five days after they first contact you, the collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe. This notice must tell you the name of the creditor you owe money to, and what to do if you don’t think you owe the money.

The debt collector who keeps calling and harassing me by cellphone and called my job 1 time with a nasty attitude to my boss. I didn't like that. It's a car leasing company that only wants money and not turning my car back on. What can I do?

i got a letter from a debt collector. it said due to the age of the debt we can no longer sue you for the debt. confused!!


Leave a Comment