Hague Associates is calling or reporting negative information on your credit report; you don't know why. Is it a scam? What can you do to get them off your credit report? How can you stop their phone calls?
These are all common questions you might have. First, it's important to know why Hauge Associates is calling you, and from there, understanding your rights as a consumer can help you take the next steps.
Hauge Associates is a third-party debt collector. If the company calls you, they are doing so because they are trying to collect a debt from you. Hague Associates isn’t a creditor. A creditor would be the original company someone had an account with. Examples of creditors include credit card companies, medical providers, and loan companies. Third-party debt collectors are never creditors, and they’re subject to different laws and regulations.
Companies will hire Hauge Associates to collect debts after they've tried to collect them via their internal billing department.
If Hauge contacts you, checking your credit report with each of the three main credit bureaus is a good idea. These bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Look for an original creditor account listed on each of these, and also find out if Hauge is reported to the bureaus as a collections account.
You might be turned down for new credit if Hauge Associates reports negative information. You could also have higher interest rates on accounts. Other consequences of a lower credit score can include not being able to rent a new home, and you might even lose out on job opportunities.
This company is a legitimate debt collection agency and not a scam. While the company is legitimate, there are numerous consumer complaints against them. Many of these complaints focus on Hauge Associates trying to wrongly correct debt that consumers say they don’t owe or that isn’t theirs.
The company has a website, which is thehauguegroup.com. Their phone number is 800-284-3131.
This third-party debt collector focuses primarily on medical debt. This can include collecting on debt from individual providers, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.
Medical debt is handled differently than other types in the U.S.
For example, providers can't report negative information when someone has unpaid medical bills for at least a year.
Once a medical debt goes to a collection company, it can be reported as adverse information on a consumer's credit report.
If you start to get calls with an unfamiliar company name, your first question is probably whether or not it's legitimate. While the company is legitimate, there are many instances where debt collectors have or report the wrong information. Medical debt is especially error-prone because of the complex billing process and insurance involvement.
Before you do anything else, under laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it’s your right as a consumer to verify the debt.
Because of the FCRA, when Hauge Associates initially tries to contact you, you have the right to speak to an attorney who can help you determine the best next steps. An FCRA attorney can verify a debt, and if there’s an error, submit a dispute on your behalf. When you work with an attorney, you don’t have to communicate with the debt collector.
You still have rights if the debt is legitimately yours. Because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulations, you can send a letter asking the company to stop contacting you. You still have to pay the debt if you owe it, but you don't have to deal with continuous communication.
Debt collectors have limits on what they can say and do in general when contacting consumers. For example, harassment and deception aren't allowed. Debt collectors can't purposely try to text or call you during inconvenient times. A third-party debt collector can’t use profanity or make threats.
If you don't think you owe the debt Hauge Associates is trying to collect, you'll want to dispute it. Consumers can dispute some or all of the debt because of the FCRA.
They're also required to do an investigation into your claim and let you know their findings. Companies have 30 days to investigate disputes; once the investigation ends, they have five days to report their findings.
There are a lot of reasons that you might not owe a debt.
Often, your credit and financial information could be mixed up with another person's. This can happen during the original billing process or when something is reported about you to a credit bureau. Hauge Associates could be trying to collect a debt from you that belongs to an entirely different person, but maybe you share similar names or Social Security numbers.
You might also have an old debt that should have expired, or the original creditor could have provided Hauge Associates with incorrect information about your payments or balance.
Identity theft and duplicate debts are reasons you might not owe a debt, even if a collector calls you about it.
Once you file a dispute, if the company agrees with you, they should delete the information, and you shouldn't be responsible for the debt.
While it seems like a simple process where federal laws protect you, dealing with debt collectors without an FCRA attorney can be difficult. They might not delete information they say they will, or they could be unresponsive to your dispute. This is a common problem consumers face, and there are even scenarios where trying to work directly with a debt collector without an FCRA attorney can make things worse.
If you feel like your FCRA rights have been violated, or you're struggling to get wrong or inaccurate information off your credit report, contact Fair Credit. We're consumer protection attorneys specializing in the FCRA, and we offer free case reviews to assess your situation and identify the best ways to help you move forward.