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Helen Davis
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Helen Davis   My Press Releases

Credit 101: What you need to know about collections

Published on 11/20/2018
For additional information  Click Here

Collections are the most common and most damaging items on credit reports. 1 in 3 Americans has at least one collection account on their credit file. 

There's only so much that a collection agency can do when pursuing a debt. They can:

  • Call and mail you to get you to make payment arrangements
  • Report the debt on your credit report and/or 
  • File a lawsuit

Look up your state's statute of limitation to determine the amount of time a collection agency has to sue you for a judgement, garnish your wages, place a lien on your assets, or levy your bank accounts.

There are 2 types of collectors:

  • those assigned a debt & 
  • those who purchase a debt

There is no law stating that you have to do business with a collection agency that was assigned your debt.  If the debt is valid, simply send them a letter stating that you refuse to do business with them and will consult with the original creditor directly.  You can then make payment arrangements with the creditor that you have a contractual agreement with.

If you are dealing with  a collection agency that purchased your debt, ensure that they have all the required documents that prove:

  • that they purchased the debt from the original creditor and are the current owner of the debt
  • that you are the person whose debt they've purchased via an original contract bearing your name and personal contact info
  • the amount they are attempting to collect is validated &
  • that they are licensed and bonded, if required, to collect in your state

If the debt is fully validated, try to negotiate a payment arrangement. Unlike assigned debts, purchased debts must be paid to the collection agency. If the debt is not fully validated, they must cease and desist all collection activities, including reporting anything to the 3 credit bureaus until they're able to do so.

Additional Tips:

  • Once an account goes to collections, the damage is done. Settling alone won't make it any less damaging.
  • While settling, try to negotiate a better credit rating.
  • If the collection still reports under the original creditor's name, try to get them to update the account as paid as agreed.
  • For purchased collections, go for a full blown deletion.


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