Can I make them stop calling?

I currently have a dispute with a creditor over a balance that was applied to credit card.

Without getting into great details, the credit card was cancelled and the balance was turned over to collectors. I now have collectors, since last week, calling my office and requesting payment. I have told them I have no plans on paying this until the dispute is settled and have asked them NOT to call my place of employment.

Of course, they continue to do so and have even begun to call an indirect number and leave messages on a secretary’s voicemail (they simply say "this message is for Mister_me, can you please have him call us regarding a matter that needs immediate attention at 1-800, bla bla bla).

Now this is beggining to be quite annoying. I know they want their money but we’re talking about 250.00. I mean, this will be cleared up eventually and they are just wasting their time and money on making needless calls, not to mention putting me in an awkward situation with my peers.
Any suggestions?

Take a look at the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

You might try sending them a “drop dead” letter:


To Whom it may concern:

I have been contacted by your company about a debt you allege I owe. I am instructing you not to contact me further in connection with this debt. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law, you may not contact me further once I have notified you not to do so.



(Account No.)

My suggestion would be to pay the bill. It is a whole lot easier to deal with a creditor when the ball is in your court. As long as you owe the alledged debt, they can call your home and place of employement and most importantly, place negative information on your credit report. If you are still dealing with the original creditor, the FDCPA and the cease and desist letter will do no good. Both are effective against secondary collections, they will have no effect on the primary creditor. The primary creditor is bound by the rules of the FCRA, not the FDCPA.

Here’s a great column about firing collectors.

If the matter is in dispute with the credit card company, why did they send it to the collector before resolution? If the CCC agrees with you that there’s a valid dispute, they should call off the collectors. If they don’t agree, you should pay up. The CCC can always refund the money if your continued efforts produce a ruling in your favour.

By the way, if a collections agency keeps calling you after they receive your letter, that’s good for a quick $1,000 in small claims if your local judge is in a pro-consumer mood.
Also, I would not only send a “Don’t call me” letter, I would send a “Please prove that I owe this debt letter”. These are referred to in industry parlance as a “Validation” letter, and one of those will actually scare off a good % of debt collectors.
If you send “Validation” and they don’t respond with satisfactory proof, ANY continued collections attempts will gain you $1,000.
If they put it on your credit report after they fail to validate… that’s $1,000. If you dispute it on your credit report, and they verify with the credit reporting agency… that’s $1,000.
You’d be amazed how bad most collections agencies are at sticking to the law.

The OP does state that he is dealing with a secondary creditor, not the original one.

Additionally, I do not agree that “it is a whole lot easier to deal with a creditor when the ball is in your court” (italics mine). In what way does forking over your money in response to debt-collection harassment qualify as putting the ball in your court? Mister_me claims to have a ligitimate dispute that he is seeking to rectify with the original creditor. He should hold on to his $250 until the dispute is settled to all parties’ satisfaction. Credit card companies and banks make HUGE profits on the interest of such small sums, and their tactics are aimed at getting you to park your money in their accounts instead of your own.