Are debt collectors persistently trying to get you to pay what you owe them? Use this 11-word phrase to stop debt collectors: “Please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately.” You can use this phrase over the phone, in an email or letter, or both.
Once you have made it clear to the debt collectors that you do not wish to hear from them again, it is time to take action to get your debt under control. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you weigh your options.
Debt Collectors Can File Suit
If you owe someone money, they have several options under the law to try to get their money back. One is by contacting you directly, though you can stop them from doing so by using the 11-word phrase as described.
Another way that debt collectors can pursue money owed to them is through a lawsuit. Each state gives debt collectors a certain period of time in which they are allowed to sue those who owe them money. In both North Carolina and South Carolina, this time period is usually three years, according to N.C.G.S. § 1-52 (1) and S.C. Ann § 15-3-530, respectively.
Once your creditors decide to file a lawsuit, asking them to cease and desist will do no good. However, you can:
- Say that you disagree with the lawsuit
- Collect materials and build an argument showing why your creditors are in error about the money you owe them or the amount of time you have to repay them
- Ask a lawyer to represent you and protect your rights
For a legal consultation with a lawyer serving North Carolina and South Carolina, call 828.286.3866
Actions You Can Take to Stop a Debt Collector
How can you get debt collectors to stop permanently? As your bankruptcy attorney can explain, you have several options, including:
- Negotiating for better terms: Some debt collectors may be open to renegotiating the terms of your loan, especially if it increases the chances of them getting their money back.
- Consolidating your debt: If you owe money to many different people, it may be prudent to take out one big loan to pay off all the others. This way, you only have to worry about paying off one creditor instead of many.
- Seeking debt counseling: A debt or credit counselor can review your situation and help you figure out how to reorganize your finances. Many offer their services free of charge.
- Filing bankruptcy: Filing bankruptcy allows you to eliminate some or all of your debt, and it will stop debt collectors from calling you.
As useful as it is, the 11-word phrase described here will not stop debt collectors permanently. To truly resolve your financial problems, you must take action as soon as possible.
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Filing Bankruptcy to Stop Debt Collectors
If you declare bankruptcy, your debt collectors must stop trying to contact you immediately. This means they would no longer be able to call you about what you owe. However, filing bankruptcy is not as simple as all that. Here are some factors to consider:
- The filing process can take some time: You need to file a petition with the appropriate court, alert your creditors about what you have done, and participate in the bankruptcy case process.
- You need to present evidence: Bankruptcy filing requires you to gather and potentially present documentation relating to just about every aspect of your financial life, including pay stubs, tax filings, bank statements, bills, receipts, communications between you and your creditors, and more.
- Bankruptcy affects your credit score: Bankruptcy will remain a negative mark on your financial history for some time. As a result, you may have greater difficulty securing new loans, renting or buying property, etc.
- There are multiple types of bankruptcy: If you are an individual with no way of paying your debts, Chapter 7 might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you think you can repay some or all of your debts within the framework of a repayment plan, Chapter 13 might be better.
- Bankruptcy discharges some types of debts: If you owe a great deal in credit card debt, bankruptcy could allow you to discharge (eliminate) some or all of it. However, you would still have to pay if you owe other types of debt, such as child support.
When considering a step as serious as bankruptcy, you will want to have as much information as necessary to help you make the right decision. In addition, you can work closely with your bankruptcy attorney as you consider the pros and cons of bankruptcy, debt consolidation, and other options.
Discuss Your Options During a Free Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are struggling with debt and debt collectors, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help. As soon as you use the 11-word phrase “please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately” to stop the harassment, call us for a free consultation about what you can do to resolve your debt problems for good.