How to Stop Your Lender From Calling and Harassing You


At Seattle Short Sales we are often asked by homeowners if there is anything they can do to stop their lender or mortgage servicer from bombarding them with phone calls. These phone calls typically start as soon as the homeowner stops making their mortgage payments.

It is important to know that these calls from the servicer may serve a positive purpose to educate the borrower on workout solutions available to them. To be clear, we don’t recommend that the borrower cut off communications with their lender.

However, in our experience working with hundreds of distressed homeowners and their lenders, the majority of the time the calls are from the collections department and border on outright harassment, and are often filled with misleading or conflicting information.

If the homeowner has decided they want to stop the harassing phone calls, here is what they can do: They make a formal request that the servicer communicate about the debt strictly through written correspondence only. This not only cuts down on the calls but it helps ensure an exact record of what is being discussed or offered by the lender.

One method for stopping the phone calls is to send the servicer a “Cease and Desist Letter.” Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, if a borrower sends a debt collector a Cease and Desist Letter, by law the debt collector can communicate only once more via mail indicating what course of action they are going to take, and any correspondence after that (short of legal action) is a violation of the law.

It is important to know that Cease and Desist letters only apply to debt collectors, and not the original creditor. Therefore, if someone borrows from Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo is making the calls, then they do not have to honor the cease and desist demand. In our experience though they usually do stop calling and will communicate via mail.  Those subsequent communications are not violations of the FDCPA.

The fastest way to stop the calls is for the debtor to answer the phone and tell the creditor directly that they are not to call and to communicate via mail, then follow that up with a written cease and desist letter (if it's a debt collector) or written confirmation of the request to communicate in writing (if it's the original creditor).


Below is a template for a cease and desist letter.

_________________________________

Date

Your Name
Address
City, State Zip

Debt Collector’s Name
Address
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 Washington State Attorney General’s office. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued.

Sincerely,

Your Name

 

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