You’ve checked your credit report, and there’s a collection account there under the name SCA Collections. You’re unfamiliar with the company and have no memory of having debt with them, so what should you do next? This is an all-too-common situation for consumers, and unfortunately, even if there’s been a mistake, if you don’t work to correct it, your financial situation can be negatively impacted in a significant way by SCA Collections.
SCA Collections is a third-party debt collection service. When someone has a so-called bad debt, it means the original service provider or creditor believes they won’t be able to collect it. The original creditor then either works with a third-party collector who will contact consumers on their behalf or sells the debt outright.
SCA Collections says that they report negative information to all three credit bureaus, including Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, so that’s why you might see them on one or more of your credit reports.
They aren't a scam if you’re getting phone calls from SCA Collections. They’re a legitimate debt collector. The issue can become that while the company is legitimate, the debt they’re contacting you about isn’t.
There are frequent mistakes that can occur in debt collection. Third-party debt collectors rely on the information they receive from the original creditor or service provider, and then they’ll often also try to fill in the gaps and verify contact information. There’s a lot of room for error in the process.
There are numerous Better Business Bureau complaints against SCA Collections. Many of these complaints indicate that people believe the company is incorrectly trying to contact them about debt. Consumers often say they weren’t able to receive any verification of the debt, and despite disputing a debt or requesting that their credit report be updated, the company has been unresponsive.
There are also consumer reports alleging SCA Collections is trying to collect on medical services received at the Veterans Administration. For certain disabled veterans, that healthcare is supposed to be no-cost.
SCA Collections specifically collects for medical providers. It’s estimated that $88 billion of outstanding medical bills are in collections currently. Medical debt in collections affects one in five Americans. This is despite more than 90% of the country’s population having health insurance. Even a small, unexpected medical expense can be unaffordable for many individuals and families.
According to a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most debt in third-party collections with companies like SCA Collections is from medical bills. Around 43 million U.S. adults are said to have credit reports with medical bills.
We tend to think about insurance as covering medical bills, but there are almost always some out-of-pocket costs, like coinsurance, copays, and deductibles. If health insurance doesn’t cover someone’s total cost for their medical services, they’re responsible for the balance that remains.
If you’re getting calls from SCA Collections, or they’re contacting you in any other way, such as by mail or text, they believe you owe a debt, and they’re trying to collect it. There are so often mistakes in debt collection, especially related to medical debt collection, so it’s very possible that you don’t actually owe what SCA Collections is calling you about.
Third-party debt collectors like this one have to rely on the information they get from the original creditor, and they also have to fill in the gaps on their own as well. That leaves a lot of room for error. For example, it could be that SCA Collections is contacting you about a medical debt that you’ve paid, or they have something like the balance or payment dates wrong.
There are also situations where the entire debt belongs to someone else, and you’re being incorrectly contacted altogether.
These are reasons it’s best not to try and talk directly with a third-party collector until you’ve spoken to a consumer protection attorney first. If you do and the debt isn’t yours, for example, by speaking to them, you could restart the statute of limitations for the debt.
Consumers in the United States have key rights when it comes to debt collectors and their credit reports. First is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Because of the FDCPA, debt collectors are limited in what they can say and do in the process of trying to collect from you.
For example, if a collector is using harassment or intimidation as part of their collection efforts, it violates the FDCPA. Debt collectors can’t call you repeatedly, call you early in the morning or at night after 9 p.m. If you tell them to stop calling you, they have to comply, and they can’t misrepresent themselves or your debt in the process of collecting.
There’s also the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA focuses on your rights as far as your credit file and what information is contained there, as well as who can access it and when and how it’s used. Because of the FCRA, you have the right to a free credit report from the three major bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, each year.
You also have the right to transparency about not only what’s reported on your credit, but if someone takes adverse action against you because of it, it’s your right to know why.
Under the FCRA, consumers also have the right to dispute information that’s incorrect in any way. Then, once a dispute is submitted, the company that receives it is required to investigate it and update anything needed.
If you’re tired of dealing with SCA Collections, you don’t want to get their calls anymore, or you think there’s been a mistake, the FCRA attorneys at Fair Credit can help. Contact us today for a free review of your case, and we can help you understand more about how to protect your rights and move forward without dealing with SCA Collections.