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When you’re in debt it can feel like there’s no hope. You already feel snowed under and every month, the bills keep coming and the debt keeps getting heaped on top of you. Every time you check your mailbox, there’s a letter from a creditor to remind you of the trouble you’re in. On top of all that, the collection agencies seem to call at the worst times to threaten you.

All of this can make anyone feel like a criminal. But being in debt doesn’t make you a criminal. You may have just lost a job or suffered an injury that’s kept you from being able to make ends meet. Maybe you had to help out a family member and that left you with nothing. Whatever the reason, there is good news: you don’t have to put up with harassing calls from creditors.

In fact, all you need to do is send a written letter to the creditor or collection agency saying that you would like to cease all contact. Under the law, they must not contact you again, unless it’s to tell you they won’t be contacting you or to let you know they are taking action against you.

Another way to stop the harassing calls is to have an attorney representing you. Once the creditor knows you have an attorney, they must only correspond with the lawyer. An attorney call stop the calls but they may also be able to give you options for a fresh financial start.