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What should you put in a cease harassment letter?

If you are receiving harassing phone calls from credit collectors, one option you have is to write a cease and desist letter. This essentially tells the creditor to stop contacting you, but it is important to include certain information within the letter for it to be effective.

According to the National Consumer Law Center, the first paragraph of the letter should contain the name of the creditor along with the account number. This will enable the collection agency or collector to look up your account. If you are writing to a collection agency instead of the original creditor, then the next portion is to cite the Fair Debt Practices Act 15 U.S.C. section 1692c(c). You will want to write something along the lines that under the terms of the act, you are telling them to stop contacting you.

The second paragraph should focus on the illegal and harassing behavior that the creditor or collection agency has engaged in. If you have kept clear records of when the calls were received and what was said, this is a good place to provide that information. For example, if you received threats of bodily harm or the collector stated that he or she was an attorney and could have you arrested, you should write word-for-word what was stated. This is a good way to let the collection agency or collector know that you have documented the harassing behavior.

Once you have described the harassment, you can then provide information on why you are unable to pay the debt. This may include the fact that you have lost your job or you are simply financially overwhelmed and are in the process of filing for bankruptcy. Then, the final portion of the letter should state that you are not acknowledging your responsibility for the debt. It should be understood that this post is not intended as legal advice, but merely as general information.

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