People Come First At Our Consumer Rights Law Firm

The Cease and Desist Letter – Done Right

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2012 | Consumer Protection

Often times a consumer will contact us and claim that they sent
notice to a debt collector to “cease and desist” but the collector
continues to contact them.   Surely our knee jerk
reaction is to think that there is a clear
of 15 U.S.C. 1692c(c).  According to this
section, if a consumer advises a debt collector in writing to cease
and desist all communications, or that the consumer refuses to pay
the debt, then the collector must cease all communications with the
consumer except for a few limited purposes – to advise that the
creditor intends to invoke a specific remedy or to advise the
consumer that the collector has closed the account. 
Naturally, we want to see the letter that the consumer wrote to the
collector, supposedly advising it to cease and desist

Often times when we see the consumers’ letters, we find that the

cease and desist
was actually done incorrectly, and therefore
may be ineffective.  The common mistake that consumers make is
that instead of advising the collector to “cease and desist all
communications,” they advise to “cease and desist all phone
calls.”  The
consumer’s letter
may even go on to invite the collector to use
regular mail only as a means of communication.   The
problem is, this second letter is not proper under the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
language.  The statute
specifically states that if the consumer advises the collector in
writing to “cease and desist all communication” the collector is to
heed that warning and stop all communications.  The statute
does not state that the consumer can advise the collector in
writing to cease only phone calls and only write letters.  The

does allow a consumer to control the time of day or even
the days that the collector can all (see 15 U.S.C. 1692c(a)(1), but
nowhere in the statute does it provide that the consumer can
prescribe the method of communication.  It only provides that
the consumer can cease all communications.

It seems very technical and not in line with what consumers are
really looking for.  In most circumstances, what the
consumer wants is for the calls to stop.  The reasons for this
are obvious.  The calls can be embarrassing and
intimidating.  As such, a consumer who is willing to put in
writing that calls are not welcome, but does not want all
means of communication need to be cut off, should get that
benefit.  Many people do want to try to find ways to pay their
debts, yet are not able to confidently communicate with the
collector and negotiate a fair payment arrangement.  Still,
the FDCPA is written as it is, and courts analyze each case by
reading the language of the statute and giving each word its full
and correct meaning.  The courts cannot read into a statute
and determine how things should be. 

Therefore, when dealing with a collector that you want to have
stop calling you, make the decision whether you want to cease all
communication.  If you want the calls to stop, make sure your
letter specifically advises to cease all communication.  For a
sample letter, visit our