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How to Make a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Demand Letter

Chloe Meltzer | December 12, 2023

Legal Expert
Chloe Meltzer, MA

Chloe Meltzer is an experienced content writer specializing in legal content creation. She holds a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, complemented by a Master’s in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Some debt collectors don't like to play by the rules. Find out how to respond if a debt collector violates the FDCPA with these demand letter templates.

When you are being sued or pursued for a debt, there is a list of legalities that creditors and debt collectors must adhere to. These legalities are regarded in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, known as the FDCPA.

In regards to debt, demand letters are essentially a cease and desist letter, formally requesting that the creditor or debt collector stop contacting you. If you formally request they no longer contact you, they must cease all further contact.

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Learn All You Need to Know About the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law. It protects you as a consumer from abusive practices. Although debt collectors know these laws, they sometimes assume that you do not. They may use harassment or other practices to attempt to persuade you into paying the debt.

Although sending a demand letter does mean that the debt collector must stop contacting you, they still may legally attempt to collect the debt. If the debt is legally yours (and the statute of limitations hasn’t expired) then this typically includes suing you in civil court.

Be Ready for FDCPA Violations

It is best to understand the different illegal activities under the FDCPA if you are being pursued for a debt. FDCPA violations include:

  • Asking you to pay more than your debt
  • Failure to announce themself as a debt collector
  • Asking you to pay fees, interest, or other illegal expenses
  • Calling repeatedly
  • Calling at odd hours (before 8 am and after 9 pm)
  • Using harassment language
  • Calling at work when they know it is not allowed
  • Calling at obviously inconvenient times

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Send a Demand Letter When Debt Collectors Violate the FDCPA

There are many good reasons why you might decide to send a cease and desist or demand letter under the FDCPA.

  • You have a collector calling you regarding a debt you do not owe.
  • The statute of limitations has expired. This means that the collector no longer has the right to sue you in court, and you would like them to stop calling you.
  • The collector is unable to verify the debt after receiving your request for validation.
  • The debt is due in collections, but you do not want to deal with it in collections. Sending a demand letter requires them to take you to court.
  • The collector is violating the FDCPA.

Know the Two Types of FDCPA Demand Letters

There are two types of FDCPA demand letters, the first is a cease and desist letter, and the other option is a refusal to pay.

Cease and Desist Letter

The cease and desist letter includes a dispute over a debt. This letter is essentially a demand for validation, and also a demand for all correspondence to stop.

Refusal to Pay Letter

The refusal to pay letter simply states that you will not pay for the debt. It also acts as a cease and desist letter, but you are simply refusing to pay rather than asking for proof of the debt.

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Write a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Demand Letter

Gather the Necessary Documentation

Two items you need to write your demand letter include:

  1. Debt collector’s business name and physical address
  2. Account numbers listed in the collection notices

If you are unable to find information regarding the debt collector, you can look them up online. Do not include any account number that the collector has not already provided, as this may admit debt.

Download a Demand Letter Template

Rather than write your letter from scratch, you can find a variety of letters online. Be sure to limit what you say to avoid legal acknowledgment of the debt. Be sure that your letter is formal and clear. You can also follow one of the templates below.

Cease and Desist Letter Template

The cease and desist letter includes a dispute over a debt. This letter is essentially a demand for validation, and also a demand for all correspondence to stop.

When writing a cease and desist letter, it should include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • City, State, ZIP Code
  • Date
  • Name of the collection agency
  • Collection agency’s address
  • Collection agency’s city, state, zip code

“Re: Acct #XXXXX

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is a legal notice regarding the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). You should now cease all communication with me regarding the debt referenced above.

Do not contact me, or any third parties associated with me regarding this debt.

I also formally dispute the validity of this debt. Please provide me with documentation that supports why you believe I am responsible for the debt, and why you believe I owe this specific amount.

I am requesting copies of the original application for this account. This might include any signatures associated with this account, bills associated with this account, or similar items.

You are also notified that should any adverse information be placed against my credit reports, appropriate actions will be taken under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Thank you,

Your Name”

Refusal to Pay Letter Template

When writing a refusal to pay letter, it should also include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • City, State, ZIP Code
  • Date
  • Name of the collection agency
  • Collection agency’s address
  • Collection agency’s city, state, zip code

“Re: Acct #XXXXX

Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to inform you of your legal notice under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that I refuse to pay this debt. I ask that you discontinue all communications with me. I will not be paying money to this debt.

Thank you,

Your Name”

Send Your Demand Letter

Be sure to send your letter by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Although this may cost a bit more, you can ensure it will be received.

Wait for the Debt Collector’s Response

Sit tight and hope that this was the last contact you had with the creditor. They will legally be required to stop all contact, so the only case that you will be in touch with them is if you are due in civil court. If the due debt is past the statute of limitations, then the debt will be closed.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

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