This method has been discussed before on the forums and on various other websites, but I thought I’d let you know how I’m personally getting on with it.
Although I know the 3 letter process discussed on this website works, I doubt any financial institution has ever said or ever will say “OK, fair enough, you’ve got us… the debt is cancelled and we won’t ever contact you again”. This would obviously be bad news for the industry, so the usual 3 letter process (which I’ve tried on a couple of creditors) in my experience seems to consist of an endless merry go round of letter writing, post office visits, recorded signed for fees and being passed from pillar to post with no real ending.
I suspect that the reason they eventually stop pestering us is not because of the legal side of the 3 letter process (they don’t seem to think law OR legislation applies to them at all!) but because they simply see they aren’t getting anywhere with us and that it would be costly and bad for the bottom line to continue. I think it’s the mentality of “let’s just go to the next mug who will pay without any questions”.
With that in mind and because I get bored very easily and like to do things simple, I decided to use the ‘Return To Sender’ method instead. I simply printed a huge wad of labels with ‘Return To Sender, Not recognized at this address, Please update you records”. I didn’t use the ‘No Contract, Return To Sender’ method because it implies your still at the address, so I just decided to say I was no longer there (hey, show me a law that says I cant?). When my daily letters arrived I would hold them up to a bright light (in my kitchen) and any letters from banks or debt collectors who I didn’t want to deal with, I stuck a label over my address and popped it back in the postbox.
The result? After a couple of months, my letterbox has dried up. No letters, no phone calls, no ‘door visits’ by bailiffs which were promised in some of the letters. At the moment, I just receive the very occasion Email from one persistent company, and those Emails all seem to be templates anyway.
That’s not the best part though. I decided to open one of the letters one day out of interest and the letter basically read along the lines of “Dear Mr****, An item of mail was recently return to us, could you please tell us your new address?”. Yes, that’s right, a debt collector had written to me at the SAME address as the one that mail was being returned from asking ME to GIVE them my new address? How stupid the whole debt collection industry was hit me at that point and I realized that the reason that my letterbox has dried up is probably because I am down on their database as ‘untraceable’ or something along those lines. I also doubt they are going to pay the expense to ‘trace’ me either when there are thousands of other ‘mugs’ just waiting to pay them for their debts. As far as they are concerned, I no longer live at my address and they don’t know where I am! Why put good money after bad? Remember these are businesses out to make a quick buck.
The only problem with this method for me is, In the beginning I really did like sending the 3 letters out and receiving the replies back! Lets be honest, it’s quite fun telling an organization who has basically controlled you where to stick it. It did wear thin for me pretty fast though. Maybe that’s just me?
I know the ‘Return to sender’ method won’t be for everyone, but I just though I would share my results with my fellow get-out-of-debt-free-ers in case there’s anyone new to this process who’s finding it all a bit overwhelming and looking for a simple solution that has worked for me.
Thoughts, comments and discussions welcome 😉
There’s certainly some truth in what you say Iridium.
DCA’s aren’t seekers of truth and justice. They’re profit driven bottom feeders, usually lacking equally in morals and intelligence. On that basis there must be a point at which you may be able to make them realise that their actions are self-defeating, if you have a plan and follow it.
I concur with Iridium. I have also recently began using the NCRTS label and sending the letters back unopened. I do not open any letters that do not clearly show who the sender is. Some just show a Po box number , so I just google to find out who it’s from. I have also accepted that I will never get a response from a bank showing a zero balance, or that they will no loonger pursue the debt. They will just have to deal with it internally and ”write it off” without advising me. Let’s face it, as much as this site and others are growing in numbers, we are still in the minority so the dca’s will find it more productive to chase the majority of ”debtors” that still think they have a real debt that must be paid. It’s not a guaranteed 100% solution but can work if you persist with it.
I’m going to try this. My mental health has been seriously affected over the last 12 months to the extent where I am afraid to answer the front door, open mail and answer phone calls.
Having returned to this site recently and reading some of the successes people are having has been rather therapeutic to me and I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel.
Do you mind me asking, has your fear of opening the door etc. been caused by harassment from banks/debt collectors? If so, don’t be afraid. I know it’s easier said than done, but you want to get to a point where you laugh at them rather than fearing them.
The way I got to this point is just by loads of research. As soon as you fully and deeply understand the banking scam, it’s really hard to be afraid anymore. That fear is replaced by anger if anything.
The return to sender method is in my opinion, the easiest way to a semi peaceful life. To start with, it’s hard not to open the letters to see what they are saying but after a while, you carry on with you life not caring. Especially when yo realize that 99.99999% of what these scumbags threaten and empty threats, often without basis and will never happen in a million years. They are there to scare you in to paying. Bullies. Nothing more.
If you ever want to chat privately, feel free to PM me. I know sometimes it can feel very lonely!
nicely posted Iridium, just asking i tried your method on credit card company and they sent a power to contact rather large gent to the door must say caught me by surprise was shocked when opened the door quickly realizing 😀 who he was i said DOH, DUNNO, EH DOH in that order and he left. just wondering if you have had any incidents of the like
If a stranger calls at your door and behaves in a threatening manner, without identifying themselves and producing a valid warrant, then you should slam the door and call the police.
On your doorstep you are all powerful.
A stranger on your doorstep has to answer YOUR questions. You aren’t obliged even to say who you are and I wouldn’t do that for anyone I don’t know. You don’t have to give a reason, but you aren’t to know if he’s an identity thief.
Can’t say I’ve had any experiences like that myself. I don’t expect I will either.
What you must remember is these debt collection companies are just that… companies. If Tesco turned up at you door demanding to see someone (unless they’re delivering you shopping of course!) you’d tell them where to stick it wouldn’t you? Its the same with debt collectors.
The only difference between them and Tesco is the fact that they’ve bought a file of a bank which contains your details. If Tesco bought a file with you details of the bank and then came demanding money, what would you say? It’s the same thing 😉
The only reason bank sell ‘debt’ to other private companies is because they don’t want the dirty work of dealing with them and know full well that they can’t prove the debt exists if anyone asks. Lets say they sell the debt for 10p on the pound to a debt collector which according to my research is a pretty high rate! A lot go for 2-3p per pound.
Imagine all the extra hundreds of millions if not billions the banks would make if they enforced there own debts rather than selling them for a miniscule amount. Why don’t they do it then? I’ll leave you to figure that one out 🙂
set as bailiffs but applies to anyone
And the final take
They are commission based s/e collectors nothing more — anyone can do it
Observer: yes i see your point the guy did give me his name and company details and was not threatening but left after realising he was dealing with one of the clumpets who had no idea if the MR they were looking for was me or not or indeed still stayed at this address (nice acting i thought ).
Ceylon: checking out your links now and thanks again.
Irridium you have explained so easily the Tesco way LOL and TBH never really thought about it like that but it is true they really have no standing at all do they ? .You would never put up with people at the door demanding cash or information about you.
In short if it happens again i will tell them that i cannot divulge any information under the data protection act and all future visits should be made by appointment by whoever you are looking for in writing thank you please leave before i call the police.
This Easy Method to Peace seems worth a try…I agree sending the letters does keep them at bay but the constant having to post and the expense is becoming a bit much. I’m wondering though how this method would work when you own a house? Well the truth of it is the bank owns the house!! I’m just paying them to live in it!! 😆
In other words what the debt collectors are hoping for is to sue you in order to attach a judgement to your house, your wages or your bank account. Of course here in the US in order to do that they would need to get you into court which would mean being served with a summons in person and not thru the post. I suppose one could own the house but not live in it…Any thoughts?
Thanks for the suggestion!
just had a letter fron nelson guest solicitors so just wondering shall i send that back return to sender aswell, i have sent 3 back to westcot and now ive had nelson through the post any advice would be help cheers
i have used the three letter rule with 100% results, since 2009. since mid 2010 i used “return to sender” etc, since mid 2011 i bin all crap posted through my letter box. No hassle, no cut/ paste letters etc, no problems, just my peace of mind knowing there is owt that any one can do without me allowing them to do so. 🙂
Could I do this RTS method even though I have verified my name/address/postcode & d.o.b over the phone when asked ‘security’ questions?
Provided you have not contracted with them then it is never too late. RTS…….No Contract etc 🙂
How do you mean ‘contracted’?
Signed some sort of acceptance agreement with them?
I’ve sent one payment only…is that ‘contract’ of sorts?
iridium, I try all methods, depending on my mood, like you, I get bored sometimes and it becomes a bit tiresome, but I chop and change stuff and that keeps my interest…one thing worth noting is though, you can open all letters…even the ones with that rubber-like stuff under the flap, by steaming over the kettle (old hat but still works)…then take a peak, know who/what your dealing with…bin, reply, RTS or whatever you want….if it,s going back in the post as RTS – steam iron, low heat – iron back down…now you know it,s content-your fully aware..no surprises … off it goes, thank you Royal Mail…….
knowledge is power!
Agreements are NOT contracts, agreements are the presumption of contract 🙂
i would even at this stage send them the 3 letter(s) rule 🙂
You could add to the letters a lawful request for original debt validation by way of audited accounts (so do not exist 😮 how can they exist ❓ )
Asking for proof of claim is another show stopper 😀
At end of day they will only get from YOU that what YOU chose to give, if like a great many of peeps you are not in giving mood then………………….. 😉
Keep at it 🙂 , as soon as you achieve your first success 😀 there will be no stopping your awareness. 🙂
It takes one simple step at a time to cross the road 😎 You will reach the other side
Never a truer word said. They are chancers preying on the uninformed.
knowledge is power !
AH Marko the Iron 😈 why did i not try that, the amount of burnt finger tips with the kettle is mental 😮 lol.
There is merit in this route as they (dcas) find it difficult to intimidate you if you are not contactable. They may be aware from the records they get hold of that this is your registered address but that does not help much if you do not engage with them also it has the benefit of increasing the time line between inception and statute barred dates.Another good one if you have contacts overseas preferably long haul is to forward letters there and indicate that you are away at the moment and will contact them on your return in due course .This usually ends the contact as they will not pursue you overseas, any further letters received domestically should be returned as unknown believed outside the country.
I would like to return a debt collector agency letter unopened.
My questions are these : will it be at my disadvantage if I hand-write the words “addressee not known”instead of printing a label?
If I was to print a label, how do I get this?
Many thanks & gratitude.
You can handwrite it if you wish or use the GOODF label located on the main site home page under templates, debt collectors option 1 ANR stickers
I’m so glad this topic has popped up as I was just thinking last night that next time any of the new dcas call I’ll just tell them in French accent that mr or mrs blah blah died and are not at this address anymore….but then I thought I wouldn’t really want to tempt the fate 😕
So sending stuff back to them (starting with new dcas- will finish the whole system with current troublemakers) seems like a great idea…
I really liked your first post…..but isn’t there a problem if the letters come through tnt? I seem to remember that there was a bit of a snag, royal mail posts letters back no probs, but with tnt it’s different….I’ll try to find that post…
I love ‘moved abroad – return to sender’ 😎