You’re getting calls from a company called Puget Sound Collections, and you wonder why. You’ve checked your credit report from one or more of the main credit bureaus, and the name Puget Sound Collections is listed there. What can you do? What steps should you know about your consumer rights?
The following outlines everything you need to know to deal with Puget Sound Collections.
Puget Sound Collections is a professional debt collection agency. A debt collection agency is a third-party, not an original creditor. Third-party debt collection agencies will buy debt or contract with original creditors to collect it. Laws dictate what a third-party debt collection agency can and cannot do.
Puget Sound Collections has locations in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington.
If you’re wondering who Puget Sound Collections collects for, they work in different industries. For example, they collect for car insurance companies and medical debts.
Puget Sound Collections is a legitimate company and not a scam, but even so, there are numerous complaints about how they do business online. For example, consumers say that they get calls from this company about debts not belonging to them.
Many consumers say that despite trying to dispute the debt through the proper channels, they’ve been unable to get it removed from their credit report, and the company is still trying to collect from them.
If Puget Sound Collections calls you, they are probably trying to collect a debt from you. In reality, whether or not you owe the debt is a big question because frequent mistakes occur. These mistakes can occur during any step in the debt collection process.
For example, the original creditor you had an account with may have passed on incorrect information to Puget Sound Collections. They might have had your balance information wrong or your dates of payment. Mistakes are especially common with medical debt.
Whenever someone receives medical services, they’re encouraged to review the bill carefully because of how often there are errors. You might not even be responsible for the debt at all, and you might have never received a service from the original creditor.
Along with an original creditor having their information wrong, other mistakes could happen along the way. For example, errors on credit reports are common for different reasons. These reasons include the following:
If you share a name similar to another person’s, or your Social Security numbers are close, their credit information could be mixed up with yours at any step in the collections or credit reporting process.
Under the law, negative information is supposed to fall off your credit reports after seven years for most things. It can be up to 10 years for some types of bankruptcies. It’s common however that consumers will check their credit report and see information still listed when it shouldn’t be or old debts listed as new.
The term charged-off means an original creditor has given up on trying to collect a debt. However, you might have a debt listed on your credit report as charged off despite having paid or settled it.
For some people, the first indicator they’re an identity theft victim comes from receiving calls from a debt collector like Puget Sound Collections or checking their credit report to find unfamiliar negative accounts listed there.
If you’re an authorized user on an account rather than an owner, you aren’t responsible for the debt associated with that account.
Dealing with debt collectors is notoriously challenging. They are aggressive, and they can use stressful tactics to try and collect from you, and you might not even owe the debt they’re contacting you about. Trying to deal with Puget Sound Collections on your own can damage your situation, too.
For example, if you try to talk to Puget Sound Collections on your own and dispute a debt, it might restart the clock for the statute of limitations.
The best thing to do as soon as you start to hear from a debt collector or see them on your credit report is talk to a consumer protection attorney.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is an important law for all consumers. The FCRA was passed to ensure a sense of accuracy, fairness, and transparency in how your financial information is reported, maintained, and used. Your rights under the FCRA include the ability to dispute some or all of a debt.
If a dispute is submitted, the company receiving it is required, under the FCRA, to do a thorough investigation. Then, if it’s true that the information is wrong or outdated, they have to remove it.
While it’s everyone’s right in the U.S. to dispute anything incorrect in their credit file, debt collection agencies may be unresponsive or not remove what they should unless you work with an attorney.
If you have a collections account from Puget Sound Collections on your credit report with one or more of the three bureaus, yes, it will hurt your score. Not taking steps to dispute the information so that you can then get it removed can mean that you:
If you want to avoid damage to your credit and stop getting calls from Puget Sound Collections, contact Fair Credit. We’re FCRA consumer protection attorneys who can help you dispute information and clear up your credit. Reach out today for a free case review.