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It really works. I have used it in years past, verbally with aggressive collection agencies. It has never failed. It really is as literally simple as this:
To whom it may concern:
I have been contacted by your company about a debt you allege I owe.
I am instructing you not to contact me any further in connection with this debt.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law, you may not contact me further once I have notified you not to do so.
Account number: ___________
On his website, Clark notes on his page Know your rights with debt collectors,
The phone rings for the 1,000th time and it's a debt collector again. Do you have any rights? What are they?
How to deal with debt collectors
When a debt collector harasses the wrong person, the law is not written to protect you. That's because it never occurred to the members of the U.S. Congress that bill collectors would be slimy enough to try to intimidate those who don't owe the debt.
However, under the law, if you do have a debt, you also have the right to send what's called a drop dead letter. This letter will prevent the collector from contacting you again about a debt. Collectors can't call at work once you say they can't. (Though you can still be sued against the debt you legitimately owe.)
Read more: More sample complaint letters
To avoid collection calls in the future, I've advised people to get a Google Voice phone number and give that when you apply for service to a company. So you're not creating a situation where a debt collector could potentially get your real cell or home phone number down the road.
Of course, if you owe a debt and have the money, of course I want you to pay the debt!
But know that if you pay even so much as one penny against an old debt that's not legally active anymore, the entire debt comes back to life even if it had been outside of the statute of limitations. (This is not legal, but it is common among rogue collectors who don't respect the law.)
Most often, though, people can't afford to pay. In that case, collectors may say horrible things. They may tell your kids you're going to jail if they get them on the phone. Or they may call your neighbors to try to use them to humiliate you into paying.
Another thing they're doing right now to trick you into talking with them is caller ID spoofing. They have the ability to make the caller ID come up with the name and number of a relative or a local business.
Read more: Phone scams make a comeback
Remember this: If a collector is harassing you, you can shut down their harassment by certified mail using my drop dead letter. And know that they can't threaten to kill you or physically harm you. Mainly they want to create intimidation and fear. Report them immediately to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau using this complaint form.
If you legitimately owe a debt, you have specific rights under federal law. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when dealing with collectors:
[Read the rest at Clark Howard's website here
Below are some of the links. But first another quick story which happened to me recently. It is similar to the Bank of America story. I have a credit card which I use and pay the balance off every month, to maintain a credit score. I don't really need, use or want credit, but in the past when I haven't used credit, something which the system ironically shames you for being self-sufficient, if it ever comes time to get a car loan or home loan, you are screwed and stuck with a very high interest rate because you don't have much established credit. SO anyway this card charged a $65 annual fee. I saw this charge on my credit card statement and I called them up. I didn't even threaten to cancel their card, I simply said I don't like the fee and asked them if they could waive it, and remove the fee. They did just that!
They added, however, that the fee is an annual fee and that it will appear next year, and I can ask them to waive it again. No problemo!
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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