Are you getting calls from Credit Acceptance Corporation? Maybe even more problematic, you've checked your credit, and there's an account listed in collections from Credit Acceptance. What should you do if you’re in either situation? How can you stop calls and remove Credit Acceptance from your credit report, so it doesn't impact your score?
There are steps to take; if these don't work, you might need legal help to deal with this company.
Credit Acceptance is a company that offers car financing programs to dealers. The company's objective is to help dealers sell vehicles, regardless of a consumer's credit history or score. The dealers are part of a national network and benefit from making money from consumers who wouldn't otherwise be able to get credit.
Credit Acceptance reports to the three major national credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. The goal of doing that is that consumers can improve their credit scores as they pay off their auto loans. Unfortunately, the opposite can happen if they're late on their payments or become delinquent on an account.
While extending auto loans to people with bad credit might not seem like the most ethical way to do things, Credit Acceptance isn't a scam. The company is legitimate and offers indirect auto financing. There are participating dealerships that are part of the Credit Acceptance network throughout the entire country.
Indirect auto financing means a consumer applies for financing at the dealership where they buy a vehicle. They get the financing through the dealership rather than a loan from a financial institution like a bank. Consumers don't receive direct financing from Credit Acceptance, as it goes through the dealership.
When a dealer is enrolled in the Credit Acceptance program, they can offer financing to customers with no credit history or even a bad credit history. Depending on court or trustee approval, the dealer can finance a car for a customer with a history of bankruptcy as well.
The contract terms for the auto loan are set by the dealer, including the payment due date and the amount of the monthly payment. This process is known as non-prime financing.
Along with offering programs to dealers so they can sell cars to people with bad or limited credit, Credit Acceptance will try to collect when people stop making payments. Credit Acceptance isn't primarily a debt collection agency, but if they call you, it's likely an attempt to collect a debt.
If Credit Acceptance is calling you, it's not a good idea to ignore it, and you might need legal help from a consumer protection attorney.
Credit Acceptance could have wrong information, but they might still report that to the three credit bureaus. This can damage your score, even though it's not your account.
You could also be an identity theft victim. Starting to get calls from a debt collector is one of the major red flags of identity theft. If you ignore these calls, identity theft can continue and have an impact on your ability to get credit or make big purchases.
You could continuously ignore the calls from Credit Acceptance because you know you don't have an account with them. Then, you might not realize that the company is listed on your credit report until you're applying for financing or a loan. You could be denied or only offered a very high interest rate as a result.
If you think there's been a mistake and you're either current with your auto payments or never got financing through this company, there are a few things to do. The first is to contact a Fair Credit Reporting Act attorney. We can work on your behalf to validate a debt and ensure that Credit Acceptance Corporation complies with the FCRA. If the company doesn't provide debt validation, they're non-compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You might not be responsible for paying the debt without a validation notice.
If there’s an error, we can dispute on your behalf to have the wrong information corrected or removed. When a consumer or their representative disputes a debt, the company has to investigate it and report its findings. If Credit Acceptance agrees there's been an error, they are legally supposed to remove wrong information from your credit report.
If you owe the debt, you still have rights because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from doing the following:
You can submit a cease and desist letter to Credit Acceptance if you believe they're violating the FDCPA, and their contact should stop. If it doesn't, speak to an attorney.
Even if you send a cease and desist letter to Credit Acceptance Corporation, you're still responsible if you owe the money they've contacted you about. You still have to repay the debt, or the company could file a lawsuit.
If you've filed a dispute with this company and believe there has been an error and they shouldn't be contacting you, it's not always as simple as disputing it. The company might not agree with your dispute, despite evidence proving it.
If you haven’t yet taken any steps to contact Credit Acceptance Corporation or dispute a debt, we can help you start the process, and we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.
In these cases, it can take the help of an FCRA attorney to get the attention of Credit Acceptance or another debt collector to make sure your rights are protected.
Contact Fair Credit's team of FCRA attorneys today. We can help you navigate the situation as you deal with Credit Acceptance Corporation. We also offer free case reviews to learn more about your situation and identify the best ways to move forward.