You check your credit report and see derogatory reporting from a company called AmeriCollect, or maybe you’re getting ongoing phone calls or letters from this company. You have no memory of an account with AmeriCollect, so you may be asking yourself why your credit is affected by them or why they’re calling. You’re probably also wondering whether or not it’s a scam.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are steps you can take to get AmeriCollect off your credit report and stop their phone calls.
First, it’s natural to assume if you’re getting a lot of calls or letters from a company that it’s a potential scam. AmeriCollect is not a scam, though. They are a legitimate company, in business for almost 60 years. The company’s contact information is:
This company is a third-party debt collector. They don’t originate debt; instead, they buy debt from other companies, or companies will hire them to collect debt on their behalf.
This company focuses exclusively on healthcare companies. That means doctors’ offices, specialists like dermatologists, clinics and hospitals, and other similar providers of healthcare services.
AmeriCollect has accreditation and an A-rating with the Better Business Bureau, but consumers have filed many complaints in recent years.
There are reports from consumers that even after disputing a debt, the company continues to call them about it. There are also reports that AmeriCollect doesn’t validate debts they’re attempting to collect, violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Some consumers say they had no balance with the healthcare provider that AmeriCollect is attempting to collect on behalf of. Complaints frequently indicate the company never reached out before reporting adverse information to credit bureaus.
If you’re getting calls, the company is trying to collect a debt from you. Whether or not you owe the debt they’re contacting you about is something an attorney can verify for you.
One of the first steps if you start to get calls from this company is to check your credit report with all three of the major bureaus. These bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Go over your report carefully for errors. Consumers may assume that if they’re being contacted about a debt, it’s legitimate when in reality, a recent study found that when checking their reports, more than one-third of participants found errors.
Common credit report errors include:
This often happens if you have a similar or the same name.
Such as reporting late payments when you were on time, debt being reported as charged-off when you paid it in full or settled it, or credit information being supplied on an account with reported identity theft.
For example, you might have debt still on there that’s more than seven years old and should have been removed, or it could be that old debts are reported as new.
If you owe a debt that AmeriCollect is calling you about, you have options, like settling with them or coming up with a payment plan but don’t talk to them or take any action until consulting with a consumer protection attorney. Even if you owe the debt, be aware that you’re still federally protected as a consumer under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). This law significantly limits what debt collection companies can do.
They can’t behave deceptively, abusively, or unfairly. They also can’t try to contact you at intentionally inconvenient times or participate in any type of harassment.
What if you don’t believe you owe the debt, on the other hand? In this case, first, contact a consumer protection attorney and check your credit reports to see what information is listed. Be aware that the three credit bureaus can have different information from one another, so pull your reports from all of them.
There is a law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that determines how your credit information is reported, used, and accessed. You have many rights under the FCRA as a consumer, but unfortunately, debt collectors may not recognize these until you work with an attorney. Under the FCRA, you’re legally able to dispute debts.
When you file a dispute about something affecting your credit, the companies you’re disputing it with are also legally required to investigate it and provide you with the results of their findings.
What too often happens is that companies don’t do this. You might have already disputed the debt that AmeriCollect is calling you about, for example, and maybe they’ve ignored your requests. It could be that the results of an investigation found that it should be removed from your credit, yet it’s still there.
These are situations that consumers often face. It’s difficult to get debt collectors to act quickly to remove negative information, yet you could be detrimentally affected by a drop in your score. You might, at the same time, be dealing with constant phone calls for a debt you don’t even owe.
These all highlight why an FCRA attorney should be the first point of contact when you hear from a debt collector like AmeriCollect.
If you’re ready to get this company’s name off your credit report and stop feeling the effects on your score, there are steps you can take. Reaching out to consumer protection organizations often isn’t enough to get the attention of debt collectors. You may need the help of a consumer protection attorney.
If anything above sounds like your situation, contact Fair Credit. Our attorneys specialize in the Fair Credit Reporting Act and can help you get AmeriCollect off your report and stop the phone calls. Get in touch today for a free case review.