Receiving numerous calls from a collection agency can be overwhelming and frustrating. While it can be tempting to just ignore the calls so that you don’t have to deal with the debt collector (link to Smart Solutions for Dealing with Debt Collectors), this can cause bigger problems for you down the road. The good news is that there are simple and effective things you can do to get a collection agency to stop contacting you. Whether you are receiving calls in error for a debt you do not owe or would simply rather resolve your debt issues in another fashion, every consumer has the right to stop collection calls.
The Debt Collector is Calling the Wrong Person
If you believe that the debt in question is not yours, in most cases you simply need to notify the collection agency. The debt collectors are just trying to do their job, and continuing to call a person that is not linked to the debt they are trying to collect will benefit no one. Sometimes this can be done over the phone, but if you are greeted by an automatic menu system it can be difficult to get in touch with the right person. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you write a letter to the agency explaining the error and provide any evidence you have that the debt is not yours. Using this method will give you a dated record of the request, should any problems arise in the future.
Remember, whether you own the debt or not, your rights against harassment are still protected in the FDCPA.
The Debt is Yours, But You Want to Stop Calls
It is your right, as outlined in the FDCPA, to choose how a collection agency contacts you. Whether you prefer to be contacted by phone, written communication, or both, collectors must comply with your request. As mentioned above, the easiest way to do this is to ask the agency to stop calling you next time they attempt to get in touch. Sometimes collectors will even offer an online form (link to online form with stop calls option selected) to help expedite the process. If you still receive calls after requesting for them to stop, it may be necessary to send a formal cease and desist letter. Once received, the collection agency should only contact you to:
- Notify you that the collection calls will cease and/or
- Advise you that other means to collect your debt may be used
Stopping Calls from ERC
As a third party collection agency that operates in accordance with the FDCPA, the Client Representatives at ERC will respect your request to stop calling. Please use our online contact form to ask that your number be added to our Do Not Call List. Once the request is received, calls should stop within 48 hours. If you experience any difficulty stopping calls to your number, please contact us directly at (800-383-5979). We are available to assist you any time Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Eastern Time.