However, debt collectors have far, far less pwoer than they want you to believe they have and, in addition, while the law can be used to assist them in collecting a debt it can also be used to stop their harassing tactics and even prevent them from contacting you again.
There are two main laws you need to be familiar with, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The links will take you to the text of those laws (but please finish this article before leaving the website to visit them). In addition, both of these federal laws may also often have state counterparts.
One of the most useful tools that the FDCPA provides is a way to force a "debt collector" (as that term is defined in the act) to stop contacting you. The act specifically provides that if you notify them, in writing, that you no longer wish for them to contact you then they must stop. The best way to do this is via a letter sent certified mail, return receipt requested, with language like the following in the letter:
“Please be advised that, as I have informed you, I dispute the validity of this debt. Pursuant to the state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(s) I hereby instruct you to cease all communications with me regarding the alleged debt. Any further attempt by you to contact me will be construed as an intentional violation of the law.”
After they receive this letter then they are only allowed to contact you once more to tell you that they are filing a lawsuit against you.
Most debt collection companies never file a lawsuit. Occasionally one will, but even if you are sued it is still possible, perhaps even likely, that you can beat the lawsuit by using the law. Not tricks, as some websites suggest, but by using the law exactly as it is meant to be used.
The methods to stop debt collectors cold, and also the ways to both avoid a lawsuit and to win one if you are sued, are all contained in our #1 Amazon bestselling e-book The Guerrilla Guide to How to Fight a Debt Collection Lawsuit. The inexpensive and instantly downloadable e-book is available in PDF, Kindle and Nook format.