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Cease and Desist Letter Checklist

Step 1: Gather Information

As you complete your cease and desist letter, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Names and addresses of the sending and receiving parties
  • Details regarding the wrongful activities you wish to stop. For instance, if you are trying to stop a debt collector from harassing you, you will need the name of the creditor, the last four digits of the relevant account number or reference number (if any), and the date the debt collector last contacted you.

You will also need to decide how many days the recipient has to cease the wrongful activities. This is up to you and depends on the situation. If the offending activities are entirely under the recipient's control, you may decide to select "0," thereby requiring immediate compliance with your demands.

Having this information handy will help you complete the main sections of your document. Depending on your answers to our questionnaire, we may also ask for additional details to assist you in further customizing your document according to your needs and preferences.

Step 2: Answer Key Questions

Use the information you collected to complete the cease and desist letter. We make this easy by guiding you at each step of the way and helping you to customize your document to match your specific needs. The questions and information we present to you dynamically change depending on your answers and the state selected. Click below to get started.

The questionnaire also gives you the option to include a cease and desist agreement. This is a short agreement whereby the recipient agrees to comply with your cease and desist demand. In exchange for the recipient ceasing the offending activities, the sender agrees to not pursue any legal action. You will indicate how many days the recipient has to sign and return the agreement. If the sender plans on pursuing legal action regardless of whether the recipient complies with the letter, then you should not include this agreement.

Note that if you selected a debt collection letter type, then you will not have the option to include this agreement because it is not necessary. Once the debt collector receives the letter, federal law prevents any further contact except to tell you that it is in fact ceasing communication efforts or that it is filing a collections suit.

Step 3: Review and Sign

It is always important to read your document thoroughly to ensure it matches your needs and is free of errors and omissions. After completing the questionnaire, you can make textual changes to your document by downloading it in Microsoft Word format. If no changes are needed, you can simply download the PDF version and sign. These downloads are available by navigating to the Documents section of your account dashboard.

When you are finished reviewing the document, simply sign at the bottom of the letter where indicated. If you included the cease and desist agreement page then you do not need to sign it, as it will be completed by the recipient should they choose to agree.

You may also attach any relevant documents you feel are necessary or that show evidence of the offending activities you are trying to stop. For instance, if you selected a trademark infringement letter type, you could include reports of the infringing trademark causing consumer confusion. 

Step 4: Send the Letter and Store a Copy

It is best to send the letter via certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you have evidence that you did in fact send the letter. You may also send the letter by email; however, if you choose to do so, it is still recommended that you also send the letter via regular postal mail. Be sure to store your own copy of the letter.

Step 5: Follow Up

You may or may not receive a response from the recipient. If the recipient fails to comply, you may choose to pursue legal action. Often, you may accomplish this without hiring a lawyer by filing a complaint in your local small claims court. This normally requires that any monetary damages you claim be less than a specific amount—typically around $5,000. However, this varies depending on your state or county. If you are unsure how to proceed or whether your legal rights have been violated, then hiring an attorney is advisable.

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