There are many situations in which a Cease and Desist letter would be appropriate, but ultimately, the goal of this letter is to ask the recipient to stop doing something. A cease-and-desist letter may be sent by someone looking to safeguard their intellectual property, real estate, or business or by someone wishing to end unwanted harassment. You might be surprised by how many legal situations this document can cover.
A cease-and-desist letter can be used to stop any behavior that you feel is illegal or inappropriate. It has the same effect as a formal demand letter would in court. It explains the problem and suggests a way for the sender to protect their rights without going to court.
Cease-and-desist letters can be an effective way to request a debt collector to stop harassing you. If you send a collector a written letter telling them to stop contacting you, they are required by law to stop all further contact immediately.
Writing a debt collector a "cease and desist" letter is an official way to ask them to stop contacting you about a debt. Collection efforts may involve communication, such as collection calls and written demands.
If you make such a request over the phone, it will not have any legal standing. Telephone requests are more challenging to prove than written ones unless recordings of the collection calls are kept. In light of this, a written letter is more effective and legally binding.
You should take a few precautions before sending the letter to the debt collector. The last thing you need is for the debt collector to claim they never received your letter. The safest way to send the letter is by certified mail with a signature request or with a return receipt requested. You can get a signature from the recipient to show that they received the letter.
It would be best if you kept this if they continue pestering or communicating with you after receiving your cease-and-desist letter. Sending the letter via certified mail is a good idea because it will be delivered even if the recipient does not sign for it, as in the case of a PO Box. Certified mail ensures that your letter gets to its destination.
After getting a "cease and desist" letter, a debt collector must stop all communication immediately unless the law says otherwise.
A debt collector, for instance, may try contacting you once more in the following ways:
Simply put, the debt collector is allowed one last call to inform you of its next steps. During this call, they might offer to settle your debt for a reduced amount, so it may be wise to take them up on this offer.
Even if a debt collector can't legally contact you, that doesn't absolve you of responsibility for the debt. Remember that the creditor has reached the end of their collection efforts and can only resort to legal action to get their money back from you. Only when you are given a copy of the summons and complaint will you know for sure.
When writing a cease-and-desist letter, you should only include the information provided to you by the debt collector. Don't refer to the original account number associated with the debt unless the debt collector explicitly requests that you do so. If a debt collector sues you, the collector could use the additional information you give them against you in court.
In the cease-and-desist letter or any conversation with the debt collector, under no circumstances should you admit responsibility for the debt. Always use the term "alleged debt" when referring to the debt while writing or speaking about it. Accepting responsibility can restart the clock on the statute of limitations.
Many factors permit serious consideration when deciding if it is appropriate to submit a cease-and-desist letter:
If you need clarification and help with how to write cease-and-desist letters, this letter template may help you. There are two letter templates given to help you write your letter. The first one is for the general request to stop all communications.
The second one is for explaining that the collectors are contacting the wrong person to collect the debt. If a debt collection agency has you confused with another person, use the second letter. If you need a cease and desist order, the first one you see should serve as a template.
Use this letter when you want all communications to stop from your debt collectors.
Use this letter template when the collector has mistaken you for someone else.
Writing cease-and-desist letters can be easily done if you have the necessary information at hand. Let us see what they are:
When writing a cease-and-desist letter, you need to have your debt collector's address, name of the debt collection company, phone number, as well as the debt collector's account number and other debt account information.
You can find the contact details of the debt collector in any previous letters sent to you. If you cannot find a physical letter but have received phone calls from a business, you can verify their address online or call them.
Ensure that you only provide the details that the collector has already supplied. Unless the collector specifically requests that you include the original account number, you should not include it.
As mentioned above, there are two letters; one to stop debt collectors from contacting you and the other for mistaken identity.
Add your information in the blank spaces placed in the letter template. If required, you can add more information to clarify any misleading information.
You should send your letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This may be a bit more expensive than the usual methods; however, you will be notified as soon as the debt collector receives the letter. This confirmation can come in handy if they deny receiving the letter.
It's crucial to keep an eye on this debt on your credit report after submitting a cease and desist letter. If the debt's statute of limitations has run out, the creditor is barred from taking legal action, and the matter should be considered closed. However, the debt collector may file suit if the statute of limitations has not expired yet.
If this happens, it's imperative that you answer the debt collector's summons and complaint without delay, or else they may be able to get a default judgment against you. If the debt collector persists in harassing you, you can submit a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and the attorney general of your state.
Although federal law prohibits debt collectors from harassing you, there is no hard-and-fast rule about how often they can contact you. A debt collector, however, cannot harass or abuse you with constant phone calls or other forms of contact.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if the debt collector's behavior feels like harassment to you. To some, even a small number of calls spread out over a short period of time can feel like harassment. In other situations, hundreds of calls might be required before someone would consider it harassment. Harassment is more likely to occur when there is a rapid succession of calls from the same number.
Remember that any form of harassment from a debt collector is illegal under the FDCPA. As a result, if a debt collector harasses you, they may have broken the FDCPA, and you may be able to take them to court for damages and legal fees.
You have legal rights that protect you if a debt collector contacts you. Debt collectors must adhere to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when collecting on a debt.
Federal law states that debt collectors are prohibited from harassing you, but they may also use illegal tactics that you are unaware of. These methods include the use of threatening or vulgar language. Trying to call you multiple times at certain hours or failing to identify themselves as the caller. In addition, they are prohibited from misrepresenting themselves as attorneys in order to threaten you.
A debt collector can only get in touch with you, your lawyer, or a consumer reporting agency in accordance with the FDCPA. To avoid FDCPA violations, debt collectors are prohibited from:
Debt collection is complicated by several factors, such as statutes of limitations, possible actions that can "confirm" your debt, and many other components.
Consumers have protections from debt collectors under the FDCPA. Even if you are in debt to a creditor, you can ask them to stop contacting you if you choose. Suppose a debt collector continues to contact you, ignoring your cease and desist letter.
In that case, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the attorney general in your state. If your creditor may have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you should seek legal counsel. Successful claimants for statute violations are entitled to attorney's fees.
It would help if you tried to seek debt relief provided by credit counseling agencies that can help you pay off your debt. If your debt is too overwhelming, you should consider bankruptcy and seek guidance from an attorney.