Have you checked your credit recently and discovered the name Universal Credit Services listed there as a collections account? If so, you probably are focused primarily on how you can get it off, especially if you think there’s been a mistake or you’re the victim of identity theft.
You might also be dealing with seemingly nonstop phone calls from Universal Credit Services.
If you’re in either situation, there are rights available to you and steps you can take that will help you remove this company from your credit report so you can move forward.
Universal Credit Services is a third-party debt collection service. For the most part, the debt collection process can include the following steps.
First, a consumer opens an account with an original creditor. The original creditor could be a mortgage lender, credit card company, bank or financial institution, car loan lender, or any business providing consumer accounts or financing.
If you don’t make your payment for a period of time, then the original creditor you had an account with might try to collect it themselves first. The rules for original creditors and what they can and can’t do when trying to collect debts are different from third-party collectors.
Eventually, the company might charge off the debt, assuming they can't collect it. The charged-off debt is often listed on someone's credit report.
Then, the company might turn the debt over to a third-party collector like Universal Credit Services. The third-party collector could be working on a contingency fee basis, meaning they get paid when they can recover some or all of the debt. The company can also buy debt outright, for less than its worth, and then try to collect on it.
The third-party debt collector could report negative information to credit bureaus, so you potentially have two negative marks on your credit report—one from the original creditor and one from the collections company.
In some situations, Universal Credit Services or other debt collectors may sue consumers in an attempt to recover the money owed.
Universal Credit Services isn't a scam. They're a real company based in Hartland, Michigan.
While the company itself is legitimate, there are many situations where credit reporting information is wrong or mixed up. Universal Credit Services could be calling you based on wrong information they received from an original creditor. You could also have negative information on your credit report related to Universal Credit Services that is incorrect.
For example, someone could have a name similar to yours, so their collections account with Universal Credit Services might be listed on your report instead of theirs.
There are a lot of scenarios where debt collectors call about and report wrong information. That's why consumer protection experts recommend every consumer in the U.S. check their three credit reports with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion at least once a year for wrong information. You can access your credit reports for free on an annual basis.
Universal Credit Services works with companies in these industries:
If you’re getting phone calls from Universal Credit Services, they’re sending you mail, or you’ve seen the name on your credit report, you have the right to dispute the debt. To do so, it’s best to work with a Fair Credit Reporting Act attorney.
An FCRA attorney can handle the steps to dispute some or all of a debt you believe you don’t owe for any reason. FCRA attorneys can also ensure that the situation doesn’t worsen, which can happen when consumers contact debt collectors directly.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a broad consumer protection law. The law regulates the collection of consumer credit information and access to financial information on credit reports. When it comes to your financial information and credit reports, you have the right to fairness, accuracy, and privacy.
Consumers are provided such broad rights because of the major impact your credit history can have on your life. Your credit history and score affect your ability to buy or rent a home, get credit, and can even affect your ability to get certain jobs.
The FCRA outlines who can see a credit report and under what specific circumstances.
As part of the FCRA, you have the right to not only dispute but have credit bureaus correct the wrong information. You have the right for outdated information to be removed as well. Under the FCRA, most negative information is supposed to come off credit reports after seven years. For some types of bankruptcy debt, it’s ten years.
There can be legal and financial consequences for non-compliance with the FCRA.
When you contact an FCRA attorney, they can decide what the next best steps are for you and whether or not you should dispute information. They can also deal with Universal Credit Services on your behalf.
You also have the federal right to avoid harassment, threats, or intimidation from debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from continuing to contact you after you ask them not to. The law prevents collections agencies from contacting you early in the morning or late at night. Debt collectors can’t use deception or threats to collect either.
Even though major federal laws limit what debt collectors can do and provide steps for consumers to dispute wrong information, noncompliance does occur. If you're dealing with Universal Credit Services and they remain on your credit report or continue to call you, your best option may be to work with a consumer protection attorney.
Fair Credit is a team of FCRA attorneys, and we can help you navigate issues with Universal Credit Services. Contact us for a free case review today.