You checked your credit report, and there’s a company called AAMS listed there—why is it on your credit history when you’ve never heard of the company, and how can you get it off? There are steps to remove AAMS Collections from your credit report and stop their calls.
AAMS is a debt collection agency. The company operates as a third-party debt collector. That means another company hired them to collect debts for them, or third-party collections agencies can outright buy debts.
If your first introduction to AAMS is because it’s on your credit report, it’s a collections account. Collections occur when there’s been a mistake, or you have an unpaid debt that a collection agency has taken over. Unpaid collections accounts usually stay on your credit report for seven years unless you take steps to dispute it.
Collections accounts on a credit report are never from an original creditor or lender, but are with companies like AAMS Collections.
AAMS is a legitimate debt collection agency based in West Des Moines, Iowa. The company collects primarily from medical providers and companies. Medical debt has different rules than other types of consumer debt, which is something AAMS specializes in.
While AAMS is legitimate and not a scam, there are quite a few consumer complaints against the company and negative reviews. Many complaints center around people saying they never received any notice that they owed a debt or any information to verify it.
If a debt collector is calling you or they’re listed on your credit report, don’t assume the best thing to do is pay it off right away. You shouldn’t even contact a debt collector without first talking to a consumer protection attorney. Paying off something that’s a mistake or that you don’t owe can happen if you don’t talk with an attorney first.
Also, if you acknowledge a debt, then that can cause the statute of limitations to restart.
Every situation with a debt collector is different and may require certain steps to best handle it, which is what an attorney can help with.
If you already see AAMS Collections listed on your credit report, it’s important to deal with the situation proactively. When someone has late payments reported to credit bureaus, the longer it’s past due, the more it can affect your credit score. A payment that’s 30 days late will have less of an impact than one that’s 90 days, for example.
As far as debt collections accounts specifically, they’re the most impactful negative information that can appear on your credit because it indicates the original creditor you had an account with has written your debt off.
When you have a collections account on your credit report, whether you legitimately owe it or not, it can prevent you from:
When AAMS Collections contacts you or has reported negative information to a credit bureau, you have rights.
The set of rights you have as a consumer comes under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA is a broad consumer protection law that puts limits on how a debt collector can contact you and behave.
Because of the FDCPA, a debt collector can’t contact you too often or at certain times of the day. They can’t use threats or harassment as they try to collect, and they can’t be deceptive. If you tell a debt collector they can’t contact you at work, they have to stop.
The issue here is that while you can ask a collector to stop contacting you altogether, you’re still going to owe the debt. The company might stop calling you but can still take legal action to recover what they say you owe, which is yet again why it’s important to consult with an attorney.
There’s also the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA is a law that protects consumers as far as the reporting and use of their credit information.
Under the FCRA, you have the right to know what’s on your credit report with each of the three bureaus. You also have the right to a free credit report from each bureau annually, and there are limits on who can access your credit file and for what purposes.
As part of the FCRA, consumers also have the right to dispute incorrect debts, whether fully or partially. Debts might be wrong for a number of reasons. For example, the medical provider that hired AAMS as a third-party collector might have passed on the wrong information. Mistakes in billing are incredibly common in medical care.
It could also be that the information on your credit report itself is wrong. Your name or Social Security number could be similar to another person, so their negative information is actually reported on your credit file.
There could be a mistake because of payment dates or balances, or you could be an identity theft victim.
The frequency that mistakes happen with financial and credit report information is another reason you should always contact an attorney before taking other steps. Since you have the right to dispute inaccurate information, an attorney can manage this for you, making sure your rights are protected.
Once a company receives a notice of a dispute, they have 30 days to investigate and report its findings. If they find that the information can’t be verified or they can’t prove they own a debt, the company has to stop contacting you and remove any negative information they’ve reported to the credit bureaus.
Before taking other steps, contact Fair Credit. Our team of FCRA consumer protection attorneys can review your situation and take the best steps to help you get AAMS Collections out of your life and off your credit report.