How to stop calls from debt collectors

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


Fine and dandy advice but I wish you had gone to the trouble of a) explaining that the original creditor is not bound by all the rules as a "debt collector" and b) that these rules only apply to debts obtained for personal family or household, that is Consumer, purposes. This incomplete summary will only add to the confusion and nuisance complaints that creditors and commercial collectors have to face.

Yep these sorry people call saying they are the NRA And the caller ID said the NRA all WRONG, OFF WITH THEIRS HEADS

I need help correcting a mistake I made when trying to register for the do not call registry. It said to enter 3 phone numbers which I did. I misunderstood and put in 3 phone numbers of recent scammers and telemarketers. I realized after I confirmed those 3 numbers that they wanted my phone number. I called my number in but do not know how to remove these 3 numbers as they are not my numbers. The numbers are 202-154-1973 and 202-657-6869 and finally 407-368-7857. The only number I should have put in is my own phone number, apparently. That number is . Those other numbers are scammers and I do not want them calling me again. Could someone please call me and tell me what I need to do to fix my mistake?? Please!!!! Thank you for your time and assistance.

PJ - There is nothing you need to do since it does not hurt you one way or the other. You should not post your phone number on public forums. It can lead toward more unwanted phone calls. If these comments are moderated, hopefully your post will be removed or edited.

I filed a complaint against Discover Bank & Smith, Debnam,... for harassment, intimidation,threats, & bullying with the CFPB because I was getting my debts consolidated, paid down, and paid off. When I filed the complaint with the CFPB, Discover Bank & Smith,Debnam,... filed a judgement against me because I complained. I feel my rights to Free Speech and the right to petition the U.S. Government were violated because I complained to the Federal Government. Can I take legal action against Discover Bank & Smith,Debnam for violating my rights as a U.S. Citizen or should the U.S. Justice Department take Discover Bank & Smith, Debnam to court?

If you believe a debt collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Pratices Act, you can file a complaint with the FTC at You can also contact your state Attorney General’s office.

If you have a complaint about a lawyer, you can contact your state bar association and the bar association in the lawyer's home state. This state-by-state list from the American Bar Association can help you find the association you need.

I'm having issues with up to 12 noticed a day of "checks" being sent to me to accellerate my structured settlement income from a lawsuit which is supposed to be a lifetime thing. I'm not even 50 yet, how can I stop this? I don't want some thief to figure a way to get into my income. And the One account I do have with JG Wentworth? They're sending me credit cards with my account # listed next to my name on address! How do I stop THIS? I'm not using this way of taking care of issues again... I'm trying to figure out a way to finish remodel of lake TH I bought with my Ex for $30K 20 years ago but I can't find a decent crew to do the work. That's a whole 'nuther issue until I can locate employment to Pay for divorce. I'm just trying to protect my identity from thieves right now.

This FTC article explains what to do to stop unsolicited mail, phone calls and email.

If you're getting mail you don't want from your bank, or from a company affiliated with your bank, contact the bank and tell them you don't want to get the offers.

Shortly after I received my new phone through safe link I started receiving numerous calls from debt collectors asking for the same person every time. I've been a victim of identity theft and at first thought the number used to belong to the man they kept calling for however I recently received a calk fr capitol one asking for the same man I asked her the address she had on file and she proceeded to give me the last four digits of the s s number on the account which turned put to be my daughters last four as well. Then on Monday the man calls me this is scary and who do you report this stuff too because I can seem to get anyone to take me serious but scared now that this man has my number along with everything else. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

You could contact your phone carrier and tell they you're getting calls that don't belong to you. When you get calls that aren't for you, you can tell the callers you can't help them. Don't tell them your personal information or your daughter's information.

If you have caller ID or an answering machine, you can use them to screen the calls.


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