What happens if you’ve checked your credit report and you find a surprising collections account under the name AAA Collections? You aren’t alone if you’re in this situation, but with the right steps and working with a consumer protection attorney, you can get this company off your credit report and stop their calls.
AAA Collections is a debt collection agency. As a third-party debt collector, AAA Collections isn’t the original creditor someone opens an account with.
The process of debt collecting begins with the original creditor. An original creditor could be a financial institution, credit card issuer, service provider, or medical provider. You open an account with the creditor and agree to make on-time payments. If someone doesn’t end up making those on-time payments as agreed, the creditor might start to try and collect internally. They could send follow-up notices or call you.
Eventually, the original creditor at different points in the collections process might decide to outsource trying to get the money owed. There are also situations where original creditors sell bad debts.
AAA Collections will work on behalf of companies to collect past-due and defaulted debt.
AAA Collections is not a scam; it is a legitimate debt collection agency with accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. This South Dakota-based company has an A+ rating with the BBB, but at the same time, there have been numerous consumer complaints against them in recent years.
Some of these complaints are from consumers who say that despite setting up payment plans with AAA Collections, they continued to be threatened with lawsuits from the company. Another consumer issue is the allegation that AAA Collections contacts them at work when they aren’t supposed to get calls there. Consumers say they never received proof of the debt the company was contacting them about as well.
The takeaway is that while AAA Collections isn’t a scam, that doesn’t mean people don’t report problematic behaviors when dealing with them.
This company collects for businesses across many industries.
If AAA Collections calls you, they believe you owe a debt that originated with another company. While there are situations where the debt this company is calling about is legitimately owed, there are also scenarios where there’s a mistake. Consumers have to be careful when dealing with debt collectors because they could make the situation worse by talking to them directly and because of how common mistakes are.
The mistake can start with the original creditor. For example, if a creditor has any wrong information on file about an account and passes it on to the debt collection agency, it can create problems. Some mistakes occur if the debt collection agency attempts to fill in any identification information they are missing. This could lead to mistaken identity, so the company could call you about a debt that belongs to someone else.
There are also frequent mistakes found on consumers’ actual credit reports.
For example, if you share a similar name with another person, your credit file could get mixed up with theirs, so you might have a collections account listed that doesn’t belong to you.
The debt could be old, so it should have expired from your credit report, yet it’s listed as new. Debts that should have been removed following bankruptcy might still be listed on a credit report, or the debt could result from identity theft or fraud.
Working with a consumer protection attorney can help you in these situations. An attorney specializing in consumer protection can work to verify a debt on your behalf and make sure that you aren’t being required to pay something that isn’t yours.
Many consumers don’t realize that debt collection agencies like AAA Collections are prohibited from harassment when trying to collect money from consumers. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed to prevent this. Along with making it illegal to use harassment, the FDCPA also says that debt collectors can’t call too often or at certain times of the day.
Debt collectors have to be transparent about who they are and why they’re calling, and they can’t misrepresent themselves or your debt. If you ask a debt to cease contacting you, they must comply with that. This doesn’t mean they can’t pursue legal action against you, but their calls do have to stop.
When AAA Collections is listed on your credit report, it’s considered a collections account. Thirty-five percent of your credit score comprises your payment history information. Having an account in collections can lead to a significant decline in your credit score because it’s an indicator you didn’t make on-time payments as agreed on. When your credit score is low or declines for any reason, it can put your financial life at a standstill.
If someone runs a credit check and sees that you have a collections account listed there, they might not extend credit to you or may charge you a higher interest rate than someone with better credit. There are even employers who check credit histories before extending a job offer.
These are some of the reasons it’s important to be proactive if you see AAA Collections on your credit report.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, every consumer has the opportunity to dispute information that’s in their credit report. Once a dispute is submitted, companies like AAA Collections have 30 days to do a thorough investigation and update or correct wrong information when necessary.
While consumers can submit disputes independently, they often find debt collection agencies don’t respond to them or follow through unless they’re working with a consumer protection attorney.
Fair Credit is a consumer protection law firm, and we specialize in protecting FCRA rights. If you’re tired of dealing with AAA Collections and want them off your credit report, contact us today for a free case review.