Founder, Mark Silverthorn

In this brief video--shot in front of Credit Risk Management Ltd.'s Stratford office--Mark Silverthorn, Founder of Comprehensive Debt Solutions, explains how, for about $10.00 a consumer can stop collection calls with respect to monies owing to a federally regulated financial institution; a bank or a credit card company.

Your cease and desist letter is only effective against the organization that you sent it to.  It has no force and effect against any other organization.  You might use a cease and desist letter to stop collection calls from your original creditor or ABC Collection Agency Inc., and then you start receiving collection calls from XYZ Collection Ltd. in which case you will have to send a new cease and desist collection letter to XYZ Collection Ltd.

It might be necessary to send cease an desist letters at some future date

It is very important that you are able to prove that you sent a cease and desist letter by registered mail.  It is common for unprofessional bill collectors to claim that they never received your cease and desist letter.

You should keep a photocopy of your cease and desist letter as well as your receipt for the registered letter which contains a tracking number which you can use to confirm delivery of your registered letter.

Ideally, you should make a copy of both your cease and desist letter and your receipt for your registered letter, scan these photocopies and store these documents in a safe place.  If you continue to receive collection calls then you can take remedial action and you have proof that you sent your cease and desist letter by registered mail.

Retain proof that you sent cease and desist letter by registered mail

Federal law requires that a cease and desist letter must be sent by registered mail.  You can arrange to attend in person at a Canada Post office, or Canada Post franchise, and send your cease and desist letter by registered mail.  A registered letter costs about $9.00, and the postage will be extra.  A registered letter takes about the same time as general delivery to be delivered.

You must send your cease and desist letter by registered mail

Under no circumstances should your cease and desist letter contain any wording in which you admit owing any monies to the bank.

Furthermore, there is nothing to be gained by providing an explanation as to why no payment has been made--which could easily be construed as an indirect admission that you owe monies to the bank.

What your cease and desist letter should not say

You have two options when it comes to the additional content on your one-page "cease and desist" letter:

Option A:

You can demand that any further communications from their firm be in writing and you provide them with your home address.

Option B:

You can inform them that (1) you dispute owing the debt, and (2) you invite them to resolve the matter in court.

  • your name
  • the name of the bank
  • last four digits of the account number
  • their unique file number or reference number)

The information that should be included in a one-page "cease and desist" letter is relatively straightforward.

It should include sufficient information that the recipient of the letter knows the following:

What your "cease and desist" letter should say

  • in-house collection department at your bank
  • assigned to a collection agency
  • forwarded to a law firm or a paralegal firm
  • your account has been sold to another firm

Before you go to the time, trouble, and expense of sending a one-page "cease and desist" letter by registered mail it is important that you identify the organization that is currently making the collection calls.

In some cases, you know this information because you might have receivied a collection notice from a firm in the past few days.  Alternatively, you have recently received a voicemail message from an individual seeking to discuss your unpaid account with you who has identified the name of his employer.

It is possible, however, for you to be mistaken as to the identity of those making collection calls to you  because (1) your file might have been recently assigned to a new collection agency or recalled by your original creditor, or (2) you are receiving collection notices from a law firm firm and collection calls from either a collection agency or your original creditor at the same time.

The prudent thing to do is to go on the internet, obtain the phone number for Customer Service at the bank where you have your unpaid account and ask who is attempting to collect your unpaid account.   They should be able to tell you that your account is with one of the following:

Identifying the organization making the collection calls

  • You are a business debtor and not a consumer
  • Your bank has sold your debt to a non-bank

There are two scenarios under which a debtor is not entitled to take advantage of a "cease and desist" letter to stop collection calls made on behalf of a bank.  These two exceptions can be summarized as follows:

Two scenarios where this remedy is not available to a debtor

If you are receiving collection calls with respect to monies owing to a bank then, under federal law, you can stop these collection calls by sending them a one-page "cease and desist" letter, via registered mail.

Consumer advocate Mark Silverthorn was a guest on AM740's Goldhawk Fights Back during which Mark and Dale spoke about how it is possible to stop collection calls with respect to monies owing to a bank.

If you are receiving collection calls with respect to monies owing to a bank it is possible to stop these calls--and the cost--about $10.00.

Stopping collection calls concerning monies owing to a bank or credit card company