Amcol Systems is a third party debt Collection Company that is based in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a large company that has over 200 employees, and they specialize in providing debt collection services to hospitals, healthcare systems, and physicians.
Most people have not had a good experience with debt collectors, and as such, it has become essential that consumers receive education on their rights when it comes to debt collectors. The use of intimidation and threatening tactics are frowned upon, and now you can actually sue a debt collector for any violation of your rights.
If you have recently discovered Amcol Systems on your credit report and are wondering how to get rid of the entry, you are in the right place.
On this blog post, I seek to show you how to get rid of a credit collector entry on your credit report, and in addition, I shall also help you understand how Amcol Systems, Inc.
How do they operate?
Usually, if they have taken over one of your debts, you shall be receiving phone calls and letters from them, requesting you to repay the medical of physician’s bill. In addition, they shall also report negatively on your credit report through the credit bureaus.
They can also inflate the total balance by charging you astronomical interest rates and collection fees for this work.
This can cause your overall debt to balloon overnight. One of their customers has reported that their debt moved from $5,000 to almost $8,000 once Amcol Systems, Inc., took over their debt and started contacting them.
Nevertheless, this is part and parcel of the collection process. They hope to pressure you into contacting them and taking action on the debt. It’s a scare tactic.
If they’re unable to collect this debt, they have two options. First, they can resell the account to yet another debt collector. This new debt collector will, of course, begin calling you, sending letters, and they’ll report more negative information on your credit reports.
Or they can sue you. The goal here is to win a judgment because then they’ve really got you by the short and curlies. Judgments can potentially result in wage garnishment, liens placed against you and or your property, and even asset seizure.
How many complaints have been made against Amcol Systems, Inc.?
The BBB – Better Business Bureau, has reported at least five complaints against Amcol Systems, Inc. The closed cases allege problems with billing and collections.
They have an A+ rating on the BBB website.
Does it help to pay off the debt?
Most people think that once they are contacted by a debt collector, paying off the debt will automatically cause their credit report and score to improve. It seems to make sense, but that doesn’t happen at all.
The only thing that will happen when you pay the collections is that the status of the item on your credit report will change from due to a paid collection.
This is still a negative entry and will damage your credit score nevertheless. It is guaranteed to lower your credit score.
Listen, the key to getting your credit score up is to remove this negative item from your credit reports, entirely. And for some folks, this may require paying off collections, but only after first performing the necessary due diligence and following tips:
Consumer Tips for dealing with Amcol Systems, Inc.
Confirm the debt:
The first thing you should do when you receive that ill-fated telephone call from Amcol Systems, Inc., is to request for the debt to be validated, even before you pay or enter into any repayment agreement with them.
This is your legal right and has clearly been outlined by the FDCPA.
In essence, what you are saying to Amcol Systems, Inc., you first prove this is my debt, show me the paperwork, and then we may be able to discuss payment. After all, you did not do any business directly with them; they just showed up one-day demanding money.
It’s most effective to make your debt validation request in writing and send it using certified mail, with return receipt requested. This way, you’ll have evidence you made your validation request, and they received it.
You see, they’re required to respond by providing you with the paperwork, documents, and evidence that proves this is your account. This paperwork should show you all the details about the debt, such as who the original creditor was, the principal balance, the dates of account activity, etc.
If they fail to validate your debt, then in compliance with the FDCPA, you’re no longer legally responsible for payment. And this failure to validate can be for any reason, as simple as them misplacing your paperwork.
Age of the debt.
Once Amcol Systems, Inc., has validated your debt, then, you must review all of the paperwork in details. You need to look at the last date of account activity and ensure that you are not legally responsible for paying the debt forever.
The state law regulates the exact amount of time you are legally responsible for repaying a debt. This is called a statute of limitations. It does vary state by state, and if you want to know the full details of your law, then you need to check out your local legislation.
Generally, the required length of time is seven years from the last activity on that account. Once this time window runs out, then following the statute rules, the debt is legally forgiven. In other words, what we are saying is that your responsibility on the debt ends there.
This is also the time in which the debt is removed from your credit report.
Paying the debt:
If your account has been validated, and it is within the statute of limitations, the next step you should take is to negotiate for a settlement agreement directly with Amcol Systems. It is advisable to do this in writing in two parts;
First: you will need to negotiate to pay less than the total debt balance. Often, you shall be able to pay as little as 15% or up to 45% of the debt balance. The exact amount will depend on the type of debt you have in collections and how old it is.
Second: The second part of the agreement is extremely critical. In exchange for your payment, Amcol Systems, Inc., must agree to stop reporting the account to the credit bureaus, to ensure that it doesn’t appear on your credit report and mess up your credit score.
How do you remove Amcol Systems from your credit report?
As mentioned earlier, paying the debt will not help in improving your credit report. The fact that the collections item is still present on your credit report means that your score will still be low, and as such, your only course of action will be to find a way in which the entry can be deleted from the report.
This will involve raising disputes with the credit bureaus and negotiating with Amcol Systems, Inc., to remove the negative entry from your report.
To do this, you will need to exercise more of your consumer rights; this time, those granted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Have you ever heard about a pay-for-delete approach to dealing with debt collectors? If not, this is a popular internet myth that claims you must first demand the debt collector delete the negative item from your credit reports, and then you’ll make payment.
It sounds great. And you’re welcome to try it, but please, don’t hold your breath. For a myriad of reasons, debt collectors won’t ever make this agreement. It’s more likely we’ll see PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) opening up a butcher shop.
The much more effective, pragmatic, and an agreement they will make is to stop reporting your account information to the three credit bureaus, in exchange for your payment. On occasion, they may reluctantly agree, but this is something they will do.
Have they been harassing you?
If you have been dealing with SWC systems and you feel harassed, you must understand your rights as a consumer. Many of these rights have been granted under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)
Here are signs that they are harassing you;
If you are receiving multiple calls each week from Southwest Credit Systems.
If you are being called either late at night or very early in the morning.
If Southwest Credit Systems have been calling your friends, coworkers, and neighbors and telling them about your debts.
If Southwest Credit Systems have been threatening you with adverse credit reporting.
If they have attempted to collect more than you owe.
If they have been making criminal accusations against you.
If automated robocalls are being made on phone in an attempt to collect from you.
If they are using an obscene language when talking to you.
If they have been making attempts to intimidate you.
If they are disguising the fact that they are debt collectors trying to collect a debt
If they are pretending to be attorneys, police officers, or federal agents
If they are threatening to report false information to the credit bureaus
If they are demanding amounts that are inflated by ‘service charges.’
What are your rights?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a legislation that was passed by Congress to regulate the debt collection industry. This act consists of laws and guidelines that all debt collections agencies must follow to ensure that they do not violate the rights of the consumer.
Here are some of their rules on debt collectors;
They prohibit the use of harmful and unfair tactics when trying to collect a debt.
They should not contact anybody who is not the main person that owes the debt.
They shouldn’t threaten you with referral to an attorney, wage garnishment, or harm your credit without an actual intent or act on the threat.
They should not call you at unreasonable times, such as before 8 am, or after 9 pm.
They should not contact you at your place of work if you have specifically asked them not to do so.
They should not place calls to inform on you to your employer or disclose any aspect of your debt to others.
They should not use profane or obscene language during their calls.
They should not send collection letters which appear to be from a government office or a court.
They should not threaten to arrest you if the debt remains unpaid.
It must be terrible to default on a medical bill as everyone is entitled to affordable medical care, and this was not a misuse of money, but an actual need. This is one of the reasons why the FDCPA act was invented. To help and protect legitimate and real cases against exploitation and violation.
The credit collectors are also aware of the consequences that would lead to a default in medical expenses, and as such, they are more than willing to accommodate you when you come up with a repayment plan.