When you checked your credit report, maybe to make sure there were no errors or because you're preparing to apply for credit, did you see Consumer Portfolio Services? Seeing something negative on your credit report without knowing what it is is confusing.
You could also be getting calls from this company.
What does all this mean? The biggest takeaway if you're dealing with Consumer Portfolio Services is that you should be proactive. You can't ignore it even if you think there's a mistake. Ignoring debt collectors, which is likely why Consumer Portfolio Services is calling, can impact your credit score, ability to get loans and financing and can even lead to lawsuits.
Consumer Portfolio Services is a finance company that offers indirect auto financing, similar to Credit Acceptance Corporation and Exeter Finance Corporation. Indirect auto financing means a lender provides the financing to the vehicle's seller, usually a dealership, rather than directly to a buyer. The seller can then pass the buyer the financing. The buyer will make regular monthly payments to the lender, eventually paying off the loan.
Most indirect financing companies offer options for people with bad credit. Dealers like this because it allows them to sell more vehicles to people who wouldn't otherwise qualify.
Consumer Portfolio Services isn't exclusively a debt collection agency. They do debt collection activities when people are delinquent on their auto loan payments.
This company isn't a scam and started operations in 1991. They're a legitimate auto loan company with headquarters in Irvine, California. While they aren't a scam, consumers should be careful with Consumer Portfolio Services. There are numerous complaints and negative reviews about the company online, many of which highlight the collection practices.
If you get calls, letters, or any other type of contact from Consumer Portfolio Services, they collect for themselves. They're first-party collectors rather than third-party. Third-party collectors are companies that are hired to collect on behalf of other businesses.
Consumer Portfolio Services directly reports to the three credit bureaus—TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The objective is to help consumers build their credit as they pay off their auto loans with this company.
The problem can be when someone doesn't make their payments, so more negative information is reported on their credit.
There are also frequent situations where information on credit reports is wrong. If you checked your credit and saw Consumer Portfolio Services listed as negative information or a collections account, there could be an error.
In a recent study of consumers who were asked to review their credit reports, more than one-third found errors. If you don't recollect working with Consumer Portfolio Services or having a loan with them, but they're on your credit report, a dispute needs to be filed.
Reasons for mistakes on your credit report include:
If you believe there are inaccuracies on your credit report because of Consumer Portfolio Services, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to dispute it. A consumer protection attorney can submit a dispute to Consumer Portfolio Services and the credit bureaus reporting incorrect information.
It's the responsibility of any company receiving a dispute notice to investigate it thoroughly. In fact, it's a legal requirement under the FCRA.
When receiving your dispute, the companies have to correct or delete information that's not verifiable, incomplete, or inaccurate within 30 days of getting a dispute notice.
If Consumer Portfolio Services is calling you, they believe you owe a debt. This may or may not already be included on your credit report.
When someone calls you to collect a debt, they must be transparent and tell you why they're calling. They should also give you the details of the account they're calling about.
If you believe Consumer Portfolio Services is calling you about a debt you owe, the company might negotiate a payment plan or settlement with you.
Whether you owe a debt or not, you have rights when dealing with debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prevents third-party debt collectors from using harassment or bad language. They can't threaten you or be deceptive.
If you think a debt collector violated your rights, consider working with an FDCPA attorney.
When negative information is listed on your credit report, you may be denied if you apply for mortgages, loans, or credit cards. Even if you can qualify, you'll probably pay a much higher interest rate if your credit score is low.
Getting Consumer Portfolio Services off your credit report is a top priority.
If you owe the auto debt the company is calling about, you may have to wait seven years for it to come off your credit report. While that can seem long, the negative effect on your score will lessen over time.
If there's a mistake, and you don't owe this company, the information should be removed immediately. Debt collectors may be non-compliant with the FCRA, meaning you need legal help to remove wrong or fraudulent information.
Fair Credit can help. Our FCRA attorneys can deal with Consumer Portfolio Services and get them off your credit report and out of your life. Get in touch for a free case review. If possible, we advise that you contact us before talking to Consumer Portfolio Services or taking any other action.