Writing Letters to Creditors

When writing letters to creditors to solve your debt problems, you should keep in mind a few basic rules:

When writing letters to creditors, always send correspondence via certified mail.
Send letters to creditors via certified mail, and request a return receipt. The fees for these services add up to the range of $5 in postage, but the value of this technique is priceless. Certified mail provides a tracking number for your letter. Return receipt is a postcard that comes back to you in the mail when the creditor receives your letter. By sending mail certified with return receipt requested, you'll have proof that you sent a letter to the creditor and that the creditor received it. This is invaluable if a dispute should arise over terms or communications.

Address your letters to the creditor to a specific contact person.
Get the name of a specific contact person to handle your case, and contact that person for all inquiries and agreements. By addressing your letters to creditors to specific people, you're reasonably assured that someone should always know the status of your account. If you have a disagreement, you know who to contact, and you won't get bounced around. You won't have to explain your story ten times to ten different people. Finally, if you're not satisfied with the agreement or communications, you can speak with the individual's supervisor to escalate the communications.

The most common letters to creditors.
You might write letters to creditors for a number of reasons, including a cease communications letter, a letter to discuss terms or a letter to dispute a debt. Make sure you use the right language in your letters to creditors. Start every letter with the creditor's name and address and the debt information including the account number, creditor name and date of service or purchase. When negotiating a debt, clearly lay out payment amount, payment date and any promises the creditor makes, such as removing information from your credit report.

Letters to creditors: sample cease communications letter.
Dear Creditor,

I am writing to request that you immediately cease all communications with me regarding the above-referenced debt. I do not authorize you to contact me by phone; I do not authorize you to contact me at work; and I do not authorize you to speak to any other party regarding attempts to collect this debt.

Letters to creditors: sample disputing a debt.
Dear Creditor,

I am writing to formally dispute the above-referenced debt. Please provide documentation outlining the alleged debt, the original debtor, your contract to collect the debt on behalf of this debtor and any paperwork proving that this debt is mine.

I request that you conduct all correspondence in writing. I do not authorize you to contact me by phone; I do not authorize you to contact me at work; and I do not authorize you to speak to any other party regarding attempts to collect this debt.

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