Dealing with persistent debt collectors, such as American Credit Acceptance/ACA, can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience. Not only do they employ aggressive tactics to try to get people to pay up, but getting them to stop calling can often feel like a never-ending cycle of frustration.
Fortunately, there are ways of successfully handling interactions with American Credit Acceptance. Knowing your rights and understanding what debt collection agencies are allowed to do is key to dealing with them effectively. Keep reading to learn how you can handle a successful negotiation with ACA.
American Credit Acceptance Corp, also known as ACA, is a consumer finance company that was established in 2007 and operates mainly in upstate South Carolina. While primarily focusing on financing, they have also become involved with debt collection for businesses in addition to their in-house collections activities.
For example, if a business requires assistance with tracking down customers who are behind on payments or have failed to pay at all, ACA will either purchase the debt at a reduced price or step in and provide their services.
ACA has held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau since 2013 and generally has positive customer feedback. However, an online review of 60 individuals gives the company 2.6 stars out of 5 -- so it's safe to say a number of consumers are unhappy with the company's tactics.
Despite claiming to be a legitimate company, American Credit Acceptance/ACA has received numerous complaints from customers. According to the Better Business Bureau's database, almost 500 customer complaints have been lodged against ACA, while nearly 50 negative reviews are listed in the BBB database. Similarly, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Complaint Database also shows approximately 500 complaints that match with American Credit Acceptance/ACA.
These customer complaints range from misrepresentation of contracts to false charges being added to accounts without customer consent. In some cases, customers have even reported receiving collections calls for debts they do not owe.
Furthermore, many customers report that ACA fails to provide documentation regarding their debt or any other relevant information upon request. This can leave customers feeling helpless and unable to get closure on their debts or grievances.
If ACA is calling you about a debt, there’s a more than even chance that you owe on the account in question. However, it isn’t uncommon for some creditors to pursue debts that either don’t belong to the person being contacted or don’t represent the correct amount owed. Here are a few examples of why this could be happening:
Ensure all payments have been posted and receipts have been obtained.
Review credit reports, dispute any mistakes with the credit bureau and check with creditors to confirm responsibility for payment.
Contact the creditor immediately and inform them of the situation; alert credit bureaus of suspicious accounts; file a police report if necessary.
Verify information in your credit report; challenge inaccuracies with the credit bureaus; contact creditors as needed to remove any incorrect information.
If one of these applies to your situation, then you should reach out to us at Fair Credit. We will review your case free of charge and handle any necessary disputes on your behalf. Incorrect credit reporting is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act- any errors must be removed. Call us today and we will help you get those negative items removed from your report.
American Credit Acceptance primarily functions as a consumer financing company – meaning, their primary operation is in money lending rather than collections. The company works mostly with customers who have challenged credit and are seeking auto loans. These loans tend to be high interest, and this is why they result in a large number of late payments and defaults.
If ACA is pursuing you over a debt, it’s likely over an unpaid car loan. Because of the complex nature of debts that include collateral, it’s important to seek advice from a qualified attorney who can help you better understand your rights – particularly if your case proceeds to litigation.
Debt collectors are known to engage in manipulative and coercive tactics in an attempt to extract payment from consumers. These practices often involve multiple calls per week from third-party collection agencies, as well as calls in the early morning or late-night hours.
Unfortunately, some debt collectors even go as far as using violent and belligerent language and harassment during their attempts to collect a debt. If American Credit Acceptance/ACA is behaving this way, they may be in breach of federal law.
Illegal behaviors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) include the following:
Debt collectors are prohibited from using threats, profane language, repeated phone calls or other tactics to try to collect a debt.
Debt collectors cannot make false statements about a debt or the debtor's legal rights or misrepresent themselves as government officials or attorneys.
Debt collectors cannot contact third parties (family members, friends, employers) about a debt without prior consent of the debtor.
If a debtor sends the collection agency a written request to stop contacting them directly, the agency must immediately stop all communication with the debtor except for sending confirmation of receipt of the letter and one final communication advising that further attempts to collect will be made through another means (such as an attorney).
Debt collectors cannot contact consumers at unreasonable times or places known to be inconvenient such as before 8 am or after 9 pm in their local time zone; on Sundays; public holidays; or on their place of employment if they have requested not to be contacted at work.
It is illegal for American Credit Acceptance or any other debt collector to threaten legal action when they do not actually intend to pursue it or do not have permission from their client (the creditor) to do so in order to coerce payment from borrowers.
Given that many consumers may not understand their rights with regards to debt collection agencies, it is essential for them to become educated on the laws governing this matter so that they can protect themselves against such unscrupulous practices. Being aware of your rights empowers you with knowledge so that you do not fall victim to those who would attempt to take advantage of you during times of distress.
At Fair Credit, we strive to give everyone access to sound financial advice on credit and debt matters. We understand financial health can be a tricky topic, but we’re here for you every step of the way so don’t hesitate – get in touch now for your free case review with one of our knowledgeable advisors!
With clear guidance and support, you can take back control over your finances knowing that you've got an expert by your side!