Lawyer Susan Shin with the New Economy Project formerly the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, or NEDAP, says that federal law gives you the right to stop debt collectors from contacting you.
If you write to a debt collector telling it to stop contacting you, it must stop. However, this doesn’t mean the debt goes away.
There’s still a possibility you could be sued on the debt.
You also have the right to dispute the debt, in writing, and demand that the debt collector verify the debt. A
debt collector verifies the debt by giving you enough information about the debt so that you can tell whether you actually owe it.
Under federal law, if you make this request for verification within 30 days of receiving the initial written communication from the debt collector, the collector must verify the debt or else stop all collection efforts against you for the disputed debt.
Very simply, if you don’t recognize the debt or if you want to dispute the debt, you can send a letter to the debt collector saying so.
Debt collectors are also not allowed to call you before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night.
They can’t call you at work if you tell them not to. They also can’t make false threats, such as saying that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay. They can’t make false claims to you while they are trying to collect, or pretend to be lawyers or law enforcement officials.