The recommendation is that every consumer checks their credit reports from Equifax, Transunion, and Experian at least once a year. What if you’re doing just that, and you’re surprised to see a collections account listed from Wells Fargo Collections? It could also be that you’re checking your credit for a specific purpose, like preparing to apply for a loan, and that’s when you find the negative mark that’s affecting your score.
In other scenarios, it could be that Wells Fargo Collections starts to call you or contact you in other ways, and you have no idea why.
When you’re in these situations, a consumer protection lawyer can determine whether or not you legitimately owe the debt and if not, dispute it.
Federal laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) can be useful to know about when dealing with a debt collector.
If you’re getting calls from Wells Fargo Collections, it’s because they believe you owe a debt.
If you actually owed a debt, it might be something like a checking account that was overdrawn, and you never paid it, or you could have had a credit card with Wells Fargo that you were delinquent on. You might have had a loan through them at some point that’s unpaid or late, too, so their collections department takes over.
Wells Fargo Collections isn’t a scam, but they have a bad reputation. They’re a legitimate company. Does this automatically mean you owe them money when they call you or contact you? No, it doesn’t. This needs to be verified because of the bank’s reputation and how common credit reporting errors are.
While Wells Fargo and its collections department are actual companies, the bank isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau anymore, as of 2016. That’s rare for such a big bank not to have this accreditation.
There are current alerts from the BBB about Wells Fargo, including the part of the bank that manages collections.
When you do see a collections account on your credit report, it creates anxiety because it can have so many effects on your financial life.
For example, if your score is too low because of a collections account, you may be stalled in your ability to get a new home or car or make other big purchases. Even if a lender extends financing to you, you’re probably going to have to pay higher interest rates.
Your first thoughts are likely getting Wells Fargo off your credit report as soon as possible, but be cautious before paying anything or even speaking to teh company.
Research shows that a significant amount of credit reports have the wrong information. For example, your name could have gotten mixed up with someone else’s that’s similar, or your social security numbers could have, meaning you have information reported for someone else.
There are also scenarios where things like balances or payments made are reported incorrectly.
Debts are supposed to go off your report after seven years, yet people often find debts much older than that when they check their reports. There are situations where debts are re-aged. Re-aging is when the debt’s clock expires, but this starts over, so it’s like a new debt when it’s old.
There are a lot of situations where things can go wrong on your credit report, so if you see Wells Fargo Collections there or you get calls from them, the first step you should take is to contact a Fair Credit Reporting Act consumer protection lawyer. Not doing so can make the dispute process more difficult or lead to further problems in dealing with Wells Fargo Collections.
There are two situations you might find yourself in if Wells Fargo Collections contacts you.
In one situation, you may realize you owe the debt. You can try to settle with Wells Fargo or maybe work out a payment plan. You can also wait for the statute of limitations to expire. Even if you think you owe the debt, the best advice is still to contact an FCRA attorney because you may have better available options than you think.
In the meantime, if you’re dealing with harassment or intimidation from the collections company, know this isn’t legal. This is what the FDCPA is for—it’s to prevent consumers from having to deal with not only harassment but other unethical debt collection strategies. Wells Fargo can’t legally try to reach out at inconvenient times or be deceptive about your debt.
The other situation is that debt is not yours to pay, or something about it is incorrect. An FCRA attorney can take the necessary steps to dispute some or all of the reported debt. Because of the FCRA, Wells Fargo Collections should then do an investigation of your dispute and let you know what they find.
If the debt isn’t yours, is wrongly reported, or is the result of identity theft or another form of fraud, it should be removed from your credit report.
Unfortunately, even though there are federal laws that collections companies are supposed to comply with, they don’t always do that unless you have legal representation.
You might think you’ve dealt with the issue only to find that the collections account is still on your credit report and affecting your score if you try to manage it on your own. Talking to a debt collector, especially when there’s an error, can actually end up making a situation worse.
At Fair Credit, we help people in similar situations so they’re not unfairly dealing with a collections account that’s destroying their finances. You can also stop the unwanted phone calls you might be getting from Wells Fargo Collections.
If you’d like a free case review, reach out to the Fair Credit team today.