A company called National Service Bureau is calling you, telling you that you owe a debt, but you don’t have any reference for it. Maybe you check your credit, and they’re listed as a collection account. What do you do?
It’s intimidating to deal with credit-related issues, and a collections company being on your report can have a detrimental effect on your score. When your credit score drops, so do your chances of getting loans, mortgages, and other types of credit. Even if you’re able to get approved for credit with a collections account affecting your score, it’s going to come with a higher interest rate.
These are situations consumers deal with every day, and companies like National Service Bureau can be notoriously difficult to handle.
So what comes next? There are laws protecting consumers in these situations and steps you can take to determine whether or not you actually owe National Service Bureau.
National Service Bureau, also known as NSB or NSBI, is a debt collector. National Service Bureau is a third-party collector. They offer different levels of services for businesses to help them collect their debt for a fee. That’s why the name National Service Bureau or NSB isn’t familiar to you.
This isn’t a company you’ve gotten credit from or done business with in the past. Instead, they’re working for someone else to collect on past-due accounts.
You could wonder if you’re being scammed when you get phone calls, letters, or other forms of communication from National Service Bureau. They’re not a scam. This is a real company, but you still need to request debt verification because collections companies very often have wrong information and report it to credit bureaus.
National Service Bureau is in Seattle and has been in business as a debt recovery agency since 1986.
National Service Bureau collects debts for businesses and organizations in the following industries:
There are two scenarios that can happen where you might hear from National Service Bureau or see their name on your credit report.
In one situation, you do owe a debt from a company that’s hired NSB to collect for them. The second scenario that can occur is if there’s been a mistake and you don’t really owe NSB, but they’re still listed on your credit report as a collections account. Each situation requires a different approach, but you should first contact a consumer protection attorney.
In the first situation, if you owe NSB, still talk to a consumer protection attorney who specializes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act before agreeing to anything with the debt collector. The debt could stay on your credit for seven years because that’s what’s known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is basically an expiration date on old debt.
NSB can’t use harassment or other non-compliant tactics to try and collect money from you during this time. You’re federally protected from this under a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA limits what a debt collector can do in the collections process. For example, because of this law, a company like NSB can’t contact you at a place or time that’s intentionally inconvenient.
Debt collectors can’t harass you or anyone you know over the phone or any other way. If a debt collector isn’t following this law, you can write them a letter asking them to stop contacting you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay a debt if you owe it or that the debt collector can’t still take legal action, but at least in the meantime, you aren’t dealing with unethical and non-compliant behavior.
So, what if you don’t think you owe the debt National Service Bureau is contacting you about?
Consumers tend to be surprised by how often mistakes are listed on credit reports with the three bureaus. The three main credit bureaus that financial institutions and lenders check include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Reasons for mistakes include:
There is a law which is the Fair Credit Reporting Act or the FCRA. This law focuses on how credit bureaus behave and the companies that report information to them.
If there’s a mistake on your credit report, you are allowed to dispute it with the bureau where you find the information and the company or entity that reports the wrong information. This could mean you need to work with an FCRA attorney to dispute a debt with National Service Bureau.
Under the FCRA, companies like NSB have to be fully transparent with you about everything related to a supposed debt. They have to provide details of the original debt because otherwise, you have no way of knowing if it’s yours or if you owe it. An FCRA attorney can get this information on your behalf and then advise you on the best steps to take.
National Service Bureau should provide your representative with the details about the original creditor, balance, payment information, and everything else related to the particular debt in question.
Then an investigation should be conducted within 30 days after a dispute is submitted on your behalf. You should receive the results of an investigation within five business days after its completion.
If it turns out that you don’t, in fact, owe the debt, it should be removed from your credit report so it can’t affect your score anymore.
While the FCRA does outline the steps for disputing a debt and having it removed from your credit report, it’s not always that easy if you try to manage the process on your own. There are consumers who have a hard time getting in contact with anyone from collections agencies about a dispute. They might not remove the debt either, maybe because they still don’t believe it’s an error, or they might not follow through when they say it’ll be removed.
Talking directly to a debt collector without a lawyer can worsen the situation.
If you find yourself facing a situation like this, an FCRA attorney can help.
At Fair Credit, we’re FCRA attorneys who can help you get National Service Bureau off your credit report. Contact us for a free review of your case.