Stop Bill Collectors: The No Bull Guide to Outwitting Bill Collectors by Janice Strong - Read Online
Stop Bill Collectors
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Summary

Your 5 Day Plan to Stop Bill Collectors dead in their tracks and give you your life back. Includes a 5-Day, failsafe, easy-to-follow plan that will stop harassing phone calls and letters from bill collectors.

Published: Andale LLC on
ISBN: 9781452368115
List price: $9.99
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Stop Bill Collectors - Janice Strong

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Highlights:

A 5-Day, failsafe, easy-to-follow plan that will stop harassing phone calls and letters in less than 5 days, guaranteed.

5 vital facts you didn’t know about cease and desist letters.

Cease and desist letters tailored to your specific situation.

FCDPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act): full content in plain English.

3 ways to stop bill collectors from finding out your new phone number.

Stop bill collector calls using the "Ol’ Switcheroo."

The foolproof way to change your address so that bill collectors can never contact you again.

Day 1

Pick up the Phone

If you want to stop creditors from calling, you’re going to have to pick up the phone and talk to them. That may seem counterintuitive, but you–like them–are going to follow a script that’s guaranteed to have them stop calling you. Peace is just a few phone calls away.

If you are being harassed by collection agencies, you’re not going to know who they are unless you talk to them. That debt you once owed Citicard, or Bank of America, or Discover, has long since been sold to a collections agency. That’s right: sold. Don’t be fooled into thinking that when you are sending money to a credit collections company that you are paying off your original debt. You’re not: you are paying someone else (the collection agency), who purchased that debt (from your original creditor or even another collection agency) for pennies. You’ll have no idea who that company is (or where, exactly, that company is located) until you talk to them.

Step 1: Turn your ringer on and pick up the phone. When you get a collections call, follow this script exactly:

"I’d like to send you something in the mail. May I have your address?"

Don’t let them enter you into a conversation. Don’t let them pin you down to an amount, a payment schedule, or anything else. If they don’t give you the information, repeat the question, and then ask to speak to a supervisor. The collections agent won’t want to refer a customer who is offering to send something in the mail to a supervisor. He’ll give you the address.

Step 2: Write down the address. Say: You will have something within the week and hang up.

Step 3: If the same agency calls back (they might, especially if it’s one of the bigger collection agencies known for hounding consumers), tell them you just sent them something. And hang up again.

Step 4: Repeat the above steps (1 through 3) as many times as necessary. Sure, you’ll be wasting a lot of time speaking to collections agents, but you’ll have a list of names of creditors to send those cease and desist letters to in day 2 (Cease and desist notice serve as a legal way to stop creditors from calling you for the price of a postage stamp and a couple of bucks extra at the post office).

Note: If you use an answering machine, make sure you promptly return the phone call and start at Step 1.

Caution: Never give the bill collector any personal information. Don’t verify any information, like your name, date of birth, account number or social security number. Ask for their address, and that’s it. If they won’t give it to you, politely ask for a supervisor. If that doesn’t work, call them back. You’ll get a different agent—one who will likely be more helpful.

Use the tracking sheet on the next page to keep track of where and when creditors contact you.

Day 2

Cease and Desist Letter

Writing an effective collection agency letter seems like a daunting task. However, armed with a few facts about fair debt collection law, you really only need to write one paragraph to stop all collection calls and mailings dead in their tracks.

These letters can be handwritten, but if you have more than a few creditors you’ll probably find it easier to print off a few copies. (Don’t have a printer? Try your local library—our local library allows you to print out 6 sheets a day for free: that’s 12 letters if you divide the page in half.)

You do not need an account number or anything else on the letter. Your phone number and address are in their system, However, an account number (if you have it) will make it easier for the agency to match your name and address with the account number they have on file. But there’s no law that says you have to have specific bits of information on the letter. You just tell them to stop, and once they receive this letter, they are required by law to stop contacting you. Easy!

Here’s a simple letter for you to copy:

Sample Cease and Desist Letter

Agency Name: _________________________________

Agency Address: _________________________________

Date: _________________________________

Account # (if known): _________________________________

RE: Debt Collection Against (name): _____________________

Dear _______________________,

I am writing to you concerning Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692c(c), and request that you cease and desist all communication to me immediately.

In the event that you fail to honor this request, be advised that a log of all written contacts made by you will be recorded. In addition, this letter serves as notice to you that all future telephone calls to me will be recorded.

Sincerely,

(Sign here)

Your Address: _______________________________

Other Letters

If you have an unusual situation, refer to the free Cease and Desist letter section of this book (in Appendix C). You’ll find dozens of letters tailored to your specific situation, so you can specify exactly what behaviors you won’t tolerate. Some examples of situations that warrant a tailored letter:

Creditors are calling you on your cell phone

Creditors are calling your work

You are judgment proof (i.e. even if they sue you, you don’t have anything to take)

It’s not quite as simple as writing a letter to your creditor telling them to stop calling you. Here are 5 vital facts you need to know before you send the cease and desist letter to stop creditors from hassling you.

5 Vital Facts About Cease and Desist Letters

Cease and desist letters can’t be sent to original creditors

Cease and desist letters only apply to third party collection agencies. That means if Sallie Mae is calling you about your student loan every week, Bank of America is calling you every day about your overdue mortgage, or Citibank is calling you ten times a day about your overdue account, there’s exactly nothing you can do about it. You’ll have to wait until the original creditor turns your account over to a collection agency (usually in about six months).

You ust send the cease and desist letter by certified mail.

Otherwise, the credit collections agency will keep calling you, and deny that they ever got your letter. They are trained to ignore non-certified cease and desist letters, so make sure you beat them at their own game.

Don’t give the agency an excuse to say they couldn’t match the letter with an account.

Include the current date, your name, address, phone number(s) where the agency has been calling you, and your account number. If you don’t have your account number, make sure to include your full name and date of birth.

Never put your social security number on a cease and desist letter.

…Even if you don’t know your account name. Chances are, the collection agency doesn’t have your social security, and you do not want them to have it. If the agency gets hold of your social security number, they can use it to locate all of your assets, including bank accounts, property, and cars.

Keep a copy of your letter.

If you don’t, you have no record of what you sent the agency to show in court (should you decide to sue them at a later date for FDCPA violations). The agency could claim you send a check, or another item in that certified letter. That’s another good reason to date your letter!

Cease and Desist Tracking Form

Keep track of the creditors you’ve sent Cease and Desist letters to on the following form. You will need this information to lodge complaints with the court and district attorney, should the credit collections agency continue