If you check your credit report, whether to look for errors or to prepare to apply for a loan or make a big purchase, and see Collection Professionals listed there, it’s concerning. You might also get letters or phone calls from Collection Professionals.
So what can you do? The steps you take, including working with a consumer protection attorney, are an important part of removing Collection Professionals from your credit report so it’s no longer affecting you financially or your peace of mind.
Collection Professionals is a third-party debt collection agency based in Wyoming. The company offers collections services on a third-party basis in Wyoming, Utah, and Montana.
Certain rules and laws guide the work of debt collection agencies. One law relevant to Collection Professionals is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Under the FDCPA, third-party debt collectors aren’t allowed to use harassment or repeatedly call someone to try and collect. Debt collectors have to be transparent about who they are and why they’re calling. Misrepresenting themselves by saying they’re from a state legal office, as one example, is a violation of the FDCPA.
These companies can’t call consumers early in the morning or late at night, use threatening language, say they’re going to take action they legally don’t have available, nor can they talk about someone’s debt with a third party like their family members or employer.
When someone has an account with an original creditor, that company might give up on trying to collect when they become behind or delinquent on payments. They could then either outsource the debt to a collection agency that works on their behalf or charge off the debt and sell it to a third-party company.
Charging off a debt simply means the company someone had an original account with doesn’t believe they’re ever going to be able to collect it.
When a company has past due accounts with their clients, it affects their cash flow, and it’s time-consuming to put resources towards collections which is why they bring in third parties like Collection Professionals.
When a company hires Collection Professionals, the company uses a contingent fee basis. That means they don't get paid if Collection Professionals doesn’t collect on past-due accounts.
The company will offer services like sending out notices, making contact by phone, and skip tracing. Skip tracing is something most debt collectors do, and they’re trying to find someone who owes money.
They might have to search public records, verify the debtor's information, or contact people who know the debtor to verify their identity. The process of skip tracing can often lead to errors and mistaken identities.
For example, if you have a similar name to another person or a generally common name, there’s a high likelihood that a debt collector could mistakenly contact you even though you don’t owe any money.
As well as skip tracing and collection services, Collection Professionals does report to the three major credit bureaus.
These three bureaus are Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.
Along with contacting a consumer who owes money and reporting negative information to credit bureaus, collection agencies can take legal action. If you aren’t proactive about working with a consumer protection attorney, Collection Professionals can potentially sue you. If a debt collector sues and wins, they can get a judgment against you, garnish your wages, or take money directly out of your bank account.
Collection Professionals isn’t a scam. They are a legitimate company, but it’s important that any time a debt collector contacts you or reports negative information to credit bureaus, you work with a consumer protection attorney to verify their information and determine whether or not you actually owe the debt.
The Better Business Bureau doesn’t accredit Collection Professionals. There are also numerous consumer complaints, many centering around the fact that people don’t believe the debt the company is calling about is legitimate. Frequently people say that they continue to get calls from Collection Professionals about debts that aren’t theirs, and even when they tell the company this, nothing changes.
Some people say they went through the steps to file a dispute on debt with Collection Professionals and never received a response. The lack of responsiveness is one of many reasons why it’s best to talk to a consumer protection attorney before communicating with a debt collector.
When you want to open a new credit card account, get a personal or home loan, or gain access to other important financial products, the lender or creditor will check your credit. You have three credit reports since there are three bureaus, and information tends to be similar between the three but not always the same.
When a creditor or lender checks your credit, they’ll be able to see your score, open and closed accounts, and payment history.
If you have Collections Professionals on your credit report, it will be listed as a collections account. This reflects negatively on your ability to make on-time payments. Additionally, your payment history accounts for an estimated 35% of your credit score. Just one collections account can greatly impact your ability to move forward financially, so you can’t be passive about dealing with Collection Professionals.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that provides accuracy, fairness, and transparency regarding how information is reported about you financially and how it can be accessed. The FCRA also offers the opportunity to dispute negative information and potentially have it removed from your credit report so it no longer affects your score.
Under the FCRA, if a dispute is submitted on your behalf to a collection agency like Collection Professionals, they have 30 days to do an investigation and then report their findings, after which they should update the wrong or invalid debt.
If you want to dispute a debt with Collection Professionals or just aren’t sure what to do next, Fair Credit can help. We’re consumer protection attorneys who specialize in protecting your FCRA rights. Contact us for a free review of your case.