Money and Debt

Getting debt collectors to stop bothering you

If debt collectors are calling you nonstop, what can you do? Read more to see how you can take action, including telling them to stop calling you.

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Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.

There are a lot of restrictions on debt collectors. Federal law says what they can and cannot do. For instance, they cannot threaten you with harm or jail, use obscene or abusive language or lie about who they are or what you owe.

Quick Tips

  • Don’t ignore a debt. The longer you take, the more difficult it will be to fix.
  • Keep records of everything, all contacts you receive and letters you send.
  • If you owe them the money, you can always try and negotiate better terms.

Stopping Contact

You can tell debt collectors to stop calling or trying to contact you. It has to be in writing.

  • Ask the collector for their address and phone number.
  • Use this form for a “Cease Communication Letter.” 
  • Send the letter by certified mail or “return receipt,” that way you will know for sure that the collector has the letter.
  • At that point they are no longer allowed to contact you unless they are going to sue you.

Dispute a debt

If you think the debt collector is mistaken and you don't owe the debt, you can take action to dispute it. 

If the debt collector sues you

Learn about what you can do if the debt collector decides to sue you.

Forms and Letters

Find forms and letters that you can fill out yourself.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.