The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published five sample "action letters" that consumers may want to use to reply to debt collectors. The agency says that these letters can "help consumers get
valuable information about claims being made against them or protect
themselves from inappropriate or unwanted collection activities."
1 – There's the "more information" letter, used when the consumer just doesn't have enough information about the alleged debt.
2 – A consumer may want to use the "dispute it and prove it" letter if she doesn't think she owes the alleged debt.
3 – A consumer who wants to work with a debt collector to resolve the debt may want to use the "contact restriction" letter, which tells the debt collector when and where it may contact the consumer.
4 – The "I've hired a lawyer" letter tells the debt collector just that and to contact the consumer only through her lawyer.
5 – And, in the "stop contact" letter, the consumer instructs the debt collector to cease all personal contact. (Note that this letter does not cut off all other debt collection efforts, such as a lawsuit.)