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Stop collection calls at work

MMI Copywriter

By Kim McGrigg, MMI Community Manager

One of my favorite features of is the ability for consumers to submit questions and receive a personal answer via email. Our Ask the Experts column has been running for many years and in that time we have answered hundreds of thousands of questions related to credit, debt, and money management.

We recently received this question about how to stop collection calls at work.  Since it is a frequently asked question, I thought I'd share the answer here.

Question: My creditors are calling my work place and my supervisor wants it to STOP. Can they do that???? How can I stop them from calling my work? I'm planning to file for bankruptcy and due to the fact that I don't have the money for an attorney is taking me this long to file, I had stop making payments to my credit cards (5 months) and now I'm been harassed at work. Please help!! I don't want to jeopardize my work.

Answer: You can write to this collection agency demanding they not contact you anymore about this account. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) states, "If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except - (1) advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated; (2) notify that specific remedies may be invoked; (3) that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy." This is quoting directly from the FDCPA.

Make sure, in your letter, you mention you are aware of this federal law and this provision of the law. If you have questions about this Act, call the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357. Be sure to send your letter to this collection agency by certified mail, return receipt requested so you have proof they received your "cease and desist" letter.

Please be aware that taking this action does not alleviate you of your responsibility for the debt. In some cases, sending a cease and desist letter can actually escalate the collection process.

Following is an example of a letter you can send to the collector.

Dear Collector:

Please do not call me at my place of employment. My employer does not permit personal phone calls. If you continue to call for me at my place of employment, I will consider your calls a violation of state and/or federal collection laws and will consider hiring an attorney to protect my rights. I will also file a formal complaint with my state Attorney General Office and the Federal Trade Commission, Correspondence Branch, Washington, DC 20580.

Thank you,

Your name

Note: This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  For help with legal matters, it is always best to consult with an attorney.

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How to budget expenses while living with a college roommate

Budgeting & living with a roommate


College is a time to exercise your independence, including your financial independence since the decisions you make today can have long-term implications for your financial future. However, at the same time you are learning to live without the constant support of your parents, you will have to learn to live with your college roommate. Studies show that about three out of four first-time college students have never shared a room before coming to college.

College roommates may share space, but they should not share poor money habits. Following are some tips for managing your money while living with a college roommate.

Create your personal budget. Hopefully, you and your roommate will have a lot of things in common; however, a budget shouldn’t be one of them. Create a personal budget by first tallying your sources of income including scholarships, grants, loans, family contributions, available savings, educational savings plans, and expected work income. Next, document your spending including fixed, variable, and periodic expenses with help from an online expense worksheet.

Consider individual leases. If you and your roommates want to live off-campus, consider an apartment that caters to students. Many of these apartments offer individual leases and will split the utility bills for you taking some of the burden off of you and your roommates.

Come to a consensus. If you are living with roommates, you should decide whether you are going to embrace a philosophy of “what’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine” or one that involves sharing. Some bills, like rent, electricity, and water can be easily divided. Other expenses, like groceries, cleaning supplies, or furnishings for common areas, are more of a gray area. Discuss responsibilities with your roommates and come to a group consensus. Put your agreement in writing in case there are disputes in the future.

Think long term. According to a recent Sallie Mae study, college seniors graduate with an average credit card debt of more than $4,100. While it’s good to build a positive credit history, no one wants to start their post-graduation life in debt. If having a credit card is too much of a temptation for you, consider getting a prepaid or secured credit card instead.

Finally, make sure your home environment is conducive for studying. After all, the reason you are in college is to get an education. If your housing situation is hindering your performance in school, then money being spent on tuition and books is not netting you the benefits of an education.

For help creating a budget and help creating good financial habits, check out Money Management International’s financial education resources on

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Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
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