Cease and Desist Letter Template For Debt Collectors

Stop debt collector calls with this cease and desist template

Woman writing a letter

Lucy Lambriex / Creative RF / Getty

If you're tired of receiving calls from debt collectors, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives you the right to request that debt collectors stop calling you. However, for your request to be legal, you have to make it in writing. You can send what's known as a "cease and desist letter" to stop debt collectors from calling you.

Once the collector receives your letter, they're allowed one final contact to let you know what action, if any, they will take next. If, after receiving your cease and desist letter, the collector continues to contact you, submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

What to Include

Writing a cease and desist letter is simpler than you might think. You don't have to include fancy legal language. You only have to request that the debt collector no longer contact you. It's just that easy. If you only want the debt collector to stop calling you at work or only to contact you during certain times, you can include this in your cease and desist letter, too.

In your letter, be sure to include the current date, name, and address of the debt collector, and any account number you have for the collection. You can get this information from your credit report or from any letters the debt collectors have sent you.

You don't have to mention paying the debt. It's probably better that you not mention anything about paying the debt or even acknowledge that the debt is yours. Otherwise, you could restart the statute of limitations - the time period that a debt collector can use the court to force you to pay a debt.

How to Send Your Cease and Desist Letter

Type your letter in a document processor and print it out. You may be able to use a local library if you don't have access to a computer of your own. Then, send your letter via certified mail, so you have a way to track that the letter was received by the debt collector. Keep a copy of the letter for your own records.

Your Name
City, State Zip
Debt Collector’s Name
City, State Zip
Re: Account Number
Dear Debt Collector:
Pursuant to my rights under federal debt collection laws, I am requesting that you cease and desist communication with me, as well as my family and friends, in relation to this and all other alleged debts you claim I owe.
You are hereby notified that if you do not comply with this request, I will immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [your state here] Attorney General’s office. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued.
Your Name

Future Debt Collectors

The cease and desist letter applies only to the debt collector that you send it to, not to any other debt collectors that might be calling you. If your account is sold or assigned to a new collection agency, you will have to send a new cease and desist letter for that debt collector. You can use the same template, just make sure to update the account and collector information.

Note that a cease and desist letter only applies to third-party debt collectors. It does not apply to the original creditor - the company who originally extended the account to you.