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Ask a Consumer Lawyer: How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?

Ask a Consumer Lawyer: How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?

Dear Oklahoma Consumer Protection Attorney:

Some is calling me who claims that I owe them money from NCO Financial Systems.  In the past I have had people calling me from Midland and Enhanced Recovery Services.  I’ve never done business with any of these companies!  Can you get them to stop calling me?

Sincerely, Tired of Being Called by Debt Collectors


Dear Tired,

If a collector contacts you about a debt, you may want to talk to them at least once – even if you don’t think you owe the debt, can’t repay it immediately, or think that the collector is contacting you by mistake. Debt collectors like NCO, Midland, and Enhanced Recovery are debt buyers.  They “buy” bad debt from credit card companies and other creditors, usually for around 5 cents on the dollar, along with the right to collect the amount in full.  However, there are many scam artist debt collectors out there who have recently been contacting consumers over the phone regarding debt that they have no right to collect. Unfortunately, many consumers are tricked by these scam artists into giving them money or a credit card number.

Under the FDCPA you have the right to demand that a debt collector contact you only in writing.  Many scam artist debt collectors will refuse to do so. If they protest when you ask them to send you information in the mail about the debt, it’s likely a scam artist that you’re speaking with. Also, if the debt collector doesn’t have a website, it’s a huge red flag that it might be a scam artist.

If you decide  that you don’t want the collector to contact you again, even a legitimate debt buyer, then you must tell the collector – in writing – to stop contacting you. Here’s how to do that:

In your letter tell them that you dispute the debt do not want them to contact you again.  Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail, and pay for a “return receipt” so you’ll be able to document what the collector received. Once the “green card” comes back to you in the mail, staple a copy of the green card to your letter.  They may not contact you again, with two exceptions: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. However, the creditor or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.

If you receive any future communications from the debt collector after they have received the letter, record your evidence then call Paramount Law Oklahoma Consumer Law Attorneys.  We represent  consumers free of charge.  Good evidence includes: 1) taking pictures of your caller ID, 2) recording your telephone conversations with them (legal in Oklahoma without telling them); 3) saving all answering machine messages they leave for you; 4) saving all letters they write to you.


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