Even if you believe a debt is in error, don't ignore collection letters and phone calls. There are strategies for putting a stop to these calls, but ignoring the issue usually won't magically make it go away.

If a creditor is attempting to collect a debt that you believe you don't owe, or that you already paid, you can file a cease and desist letter asking that the creditor not contact you any further. The letter should also instruct the creditor not to furnish any negative credit information regarding the debt. If you have proof that you've paid the debt, send this information to the creditor as well.

You also should request a validation notice from the creditor. This notice will tell you how much money you owe, the name of the creditor to whom you owe the debt, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the debt.

Don't pay a debt you don't believe you owe in an attempt to make the creditor go away. Paying any money can be considered an admission of responsibility for the debt. In the case of a scam — and these are sometimes scams — paying money for one debt may encourage an attempt to collect even more money from you.

If, after sending the cease and desist letter, the creditor continues to contact you in an attempt to collect the debt or uses threatening language, it may be a sign that the collection is a scam. You may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or consult an attorney if you're unsure how to proceed.

If you need help dealing with a mountain of debt, contact us to talk over your situation for free. Castle Law Office has been handling bankruptcies for Kansas City clients from more than 14 years. If you need the fresh start bankruptcy can provide, call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.