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How to Deal With Debt Collectors or Debt Buyers

How-ToThis guide will give you some fabulous resources for dealing with debt collectors, debt collection, and debt buyers.

There are two ways to approach being in collections. Most approach it with fear and stress. A few learn how to deal with it in the right way, with education and a positive attitude.

A positive attitude? Yes. You see the debt collector is not someone to fear, but someone who is trying to collect a debt that is owed.

The collector either is contacting you and it’s a mistake, or for whatever reason, you’ve found yourself in a jam and and fallen behind on your obligations. It happens.

And the experienced debt collector knows the easiest way to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do is to intimidate and scare you. If you stop fearing them you take their power away.

Not all debt collectors operate like that though. Some actually understand that they are really problem solvers and want to work with you to find a way to resolve the debt problem. It’s far more productive for you to try to make the collector your friend.

Steps to Take

  1. Familiarize yourself with the articles below. Read them all.
  2. Do not admit to owing the debt until the collector can prove it.
  3. Follow the debt validation advice below and ask the collector to provide detailed proof that you actually owe the debt.
  4. Do not rush to send the third party debt collector a cease and desist letter. It would be better to keep the lines of communication open till we can figure out how to best deal with the debt and overall situation.

Don’t Panic!

Before you start panicking about being in collections, I really need for you to take a deep breath and evaluate if this isn’t the sign of larger financial problems brewing. Maybe the reality is that rather than reacting to the debt collector as an isolated occurrence, we should take this opportunity to look at your overall situation and come up with a game plan to deal with everything, at once.

I’d like to invite you to use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

If you think you are getting the run around and you become unsure what to do, ask me for help.

Debt Collector and Debt Buyer Articles

The following information will be helpful if you are fighting a debt collector or debt buyer. They are listed in no particular order.

Debt Collector Cease and Desist Communication Form Letter

You can send the following letter cease and desist communications letter to the debt collector or debt buyer contacting you to stop communications from them. Be aware, this letter is only effective on third-party debt collectors and subsequent buyers of your debt from the original creditor and not the original creditor that extended the credit to you.

BEWARE: This is not a magic wand. If you send this letter and shut off communications it can lead to you being sued sooner since the collector still has that option following receipt of this letter.

Upon receipt of this letter the debt buyer or collector has the following options:

  1. to advise the consumer that the debt collector’s further efforts are being terminated;
  2. to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
  3. where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.

A Sample Letter

Your Name
City, State Zip


Debt Collector’s Name
City, State Zip

Re: Account Number


According to my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act I am formally requesting that you cease all communications with me or anyone else involved.

“If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt.”

You may consider this letter as my formal notification.

If you do not comply I will file a public complaint with the public consumer complaint database at and with state and federal agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and my Attorney General.

If you are unable to comply with this request I will find a local consumer FDCPA attorney to represent me from, the National Association of Consumer Advocates.


Your Name

Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.

The postcard you get back, like the one below, will show the name of the company you sent it to, a signature of who signed for it and when they got it.

Staple the return postcard to a copy of the letter you sent and put it in a safe place with your other important papers. You may need this later.

If you receive any further telephone calls or messages, keep a log of who called about the debt in question, when they called, and what they said. Keep all written communications they may send about this debt as well.

FREE – How to Get Out of Debt Guides

Below you will find many of free guides and articles that address specific issues about debt and getting out of debt. But before you head off to those posts I’d like to invite you to read How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset. It is a very important post that addresses how to have the right mindset to best tackle your situation.


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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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