When Amcol Systems is listed on your credit report, it can feel confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating. You’ve never heard of the company, more than likely, so how can they possibly be listed on your credit report? Getting them off is possible, however.
Amcol Systems is a third-party debt collection company. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Amcol Systems is hired by other companies, which are original creditors, to collect debts on their behalf. There are a lot of reasons why a business might hire a third party for debt collection. Usually, it’s because the debt collection agency will have access to more resources to collect the unpaid money than the original company.
Debt collection is an industry where a lot of scams are possible. Amcol Systems is legitimate, however, and not a scam. The company was founded in 1976 and had an A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite not being accredited.
There are consumer complaints against Amcol Systems, even though it’s legitimate. Recently, many of the complaints have focused on the fact that consumers say they aren’t able to get in touch with anyone at the company to dispute their supposed debts or even get more information about the debt in question.
Some consumers even allege that when they reach out to Amcol Systems at the phone number provided in correspondence by the company, they are hung up on or not treated well.
Amcol Systems collects for medical providers, hospitals, and physician groups. Medical debt is a significant problem for many Americans, and there are many ways for errors to occur in billing for medical services. For example, if someone has two types of insurance, they may think one is going to pay their medical bills, and if it doesn’t cover it, they could unexpectedly be hit with a debt collection account on their credit report.
Medical debt is also handled somewhat differently than other types of debt in the U.S.
Whenever you get medical services, it’s important to check your bills carefully for accuracy. When people do check their medical bills, they often find errors, including billing for the wrong services or services they didn’t receive, as well as duplicate charges. It’s also very confusing for consumers to decipher medical debt because so many parties are involved.
Starting January 1, 2022, something called the No Surprises Act went into effect relating to medical debt. Under the No Surprises Act, consumers should no longer get bills that aren’t expected for emergency services or for services they didn’t know were out-of-network until they were billed.
If you have it, your health insurance provider is now required to provide a good faith estimate of how much care will cost before you get it. If you’re billed more than $400 above that estimate, you can potentially dispute the charges through the patient-provider process for dispute resolution.
You should also be aware of other rights you have. One big one is that debt collectors aren’t allowed to report medical bills to credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, or Transunion) without first trying to collect the debt from you. Some debt collectors might try to sidestep this requirement with the hope you’ll pay the bill without disputing it, but you have the right to dispute it. A consumer protection attorney can help.
If you’re getting calls from a representative of Amcol Systems, it’s because they believe you owe a debt. Still, again, this should be verified with the help of a consumer protection attorney because of the risks for mistakes and the potential you need to dispute what they’re calling you about.
Along with certain protections that relate specifically to medical debt, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that broadly protects consumers from abusive practices by debt collection agencies. Debt collectors aren’t allowed to use harassment or threats or try to intimidate you to get you to pay a debt.
A debt collector can’t call you repeatedly or more than a certain number of times in seven days, and these companies can’t use profanity.
If a debt collector calls you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., they violated the FDCPA. It’s also important and legally required that debt collectors accurately represent themselves, why they’re calling, and what you owe. Deception is not allowed as a means to collect money.
While there are growing calls for legislation to protect consumers against predatory medical billing and debt collection practices, you could wonder what you should do if the company is already on your credit report.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a law that focuses on how your personal credit information is collected and used. It also gives you the right to dispute anything you feel is inaccurate, invalid, or can’t be verified.
When a dispute is submitted to a company, like Amcol Systems, they have 30 days to look into the claim and determine if they need to change the information they have on file, stop calling you and update your credit report.
Without filing a dispute, Amcol Systems can assume the debt is valid and can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. This affects your ability to open new accounts, get a mortgage or rent a home, and sometimes employers won’t extend job offers based on your credit report.
While it is your right under the FCRA to file a dispute with Amcol Systems, debt collection agencies are often unresponsive to consumers’ requests. Working with a consumer protection attorney can help safeguard your rights and ensure your dispute is handled promptly and according to the law.
If you’re tired of dealing with Amcol Systems and want their calls or the effects on your credit to end, Fair Credit can help. Contact our FCRA consumer protection attorneys today to get started with a free case review.