Receiving a call from debt collectors can easily put a damper on the rest of your day, because they have been known to be ruthless and make use of all sorts of tactics in order to collect from you what you owe.
This is not the right way to collect, and as a consumer you have the right to complain of wrong treatment by these debt collectors.
Intimidation and harassment has almost become synonymous with debt collection agencies, and it is unfortunate that most consumers are unaware of their rights.
I shall seek to inform you on their tactics, who they are, whether they are legit or a scam, and I will also go a step further to enlighten you on your rights, and what you should do when you receive a call from them.
Let’s get this started;
Who is Central Credit Services LLC?
This is a collections agency that is based in Florida.
They started their operations in 1987, and they receive their incorporation license in 2013. They were however acquired by the Radius Global Solutions Company, and now they operate as one of their many subsidiary companies.
Radius Global is a leader in providing accounts receivable services, customer services and Revenue cycle management. They are also into debt collection, and this is part of the reason why they acquired Central Credit services.
50 West Skippack Pike,
Ambler, PA 19002 United States
Central Credit Services LLC
9550 Regency Square Blvd., Suite 500A
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Contact CCS/Radius Global using the form located on their website.
What do people complain about the most against Central Credit Services Inc.?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has reportedly managed to close around 156 complaints that have been lodged against CCS over the last 3 years.
The company has been given an A+ rating on the site.
What should you do when CSS contacts you?
When CSSS calls you about a debt you “allegedly” owe, it is wise to proceed with caution.
What you must never do, is to pay them immediately they call you. This is wrong, and could actually end up making things worse for you.
Why you ask?
This is because, debt collectors are very notorious. What they do is scour the net, and all databases they can find, such as phone books and other forms of information centers, looking for anyone and everyone that has a name similar to yours.
They will then send all of them letters, threatening them with legal action if they do not repay the debt.
They will send everyone with the same name these letters.
So, just because they have contacted you, doesn’t mean that the debt belongs to you. It could be someone else with the same name.
And since as human beings sometimes we tend to forget, do not be conned into paying someone else’s debt. Take you time to analyze the situation, until such a time as you are 100% confident that the debt belongs to you.
Another thing to consider is that debt collectors tend to purchase debts from other companies, and in the process, a lot of information gets mixed up and documents are lost. They will rarely ever have the right documentation when contacting you, and this is something they must prove.
So, what should you do?
Request for a Debt Validation:
One of the biggest coup for FDCPA is that they endeavor to empower the consumer. As such, you are advised to always request for a validation of the debt before you repay it.
This means that you are instructing CSSS to provide you with tangible proof that will substantiate the debt to belong to you.
Under their rules, you have a right to have this done. It means therefore that, as a consumer you must demand that they do this, failure to which you shall not be responsible for repaying the debt.
A debt validation letter therefore, should contain information about the debt such as the date when the debt was taken, the repayments since the debt was taken, the date when you stopped paying the debt, and the total amount of outstanding debt remaining.
In addition, they should provide you with personal information such as your full names, your address, your social security number and the address as at the date of taking the debt.
Why is it important to validate a debt?
It is vital to validate a debt. This is what gives you concrete proof that you owe the debt, and you can then begin the negotiations as to how you shall repay the debt.
Let me give you an example;
Let’s say that Jane has borrowed Leonard some money, and then later, Jane receives a call from Maggie, who is demanding that she – Jane, pays back the money she owes Leonard.
How will Jane be assured that when she gives Maggie the money, her loan from Leonard will be cleared?
This is how debt collection works. You owe A, money, then C comes to claim the same money from you.
How sure are you that when you pay A, your debt with C will be cleared?
For this reason, you need to validate that C, was actually sent by A, to claim the money on their behalf.
Debt validation will clear all of this up. It will enable you to know that you are dealing with legit people.
5 Steps to Validating Your Debt
When you request a debt validation, CCS has got 30 days only to do this. Always ensure that you send this letter via certified mail, so you always have evidence that you sent it, and evidence that it was received.
When you have evidence that you actually did send the validation request, you will have evidence, in case you need to sue the company later on.
If they do not respond to you, then you can use the mail receipt confirmation you got from the certified mail you sent them. Use this against them immediately.
If even after proving to them that they received the validation request, and they still do not contact you, then you need to take action.
Unless the debt can be verified, you should not pay it.
Now, in case the debt collector sends back proof within the given 30 days that the debt is yours, then you shall have no choice but to repay the debt.
Check on the statute of limitation in your state and ensure that this hasn’t expired yet.
Statute of limitations refers to the length of time within which you are liable to repay the debt. Mostly it is usually 7 years. After that, the debt should be removed from your report and you are no longer required to pay.
Handling a verified debt is not as bad as you think.
Debt collectors usually are looking for a way for you to repay the debt, even if it’s just a part of it, and as such, they are always willing and ready to accommodate you during negotiations.
Most customers have been able to negotiate payment of even 15% less than the original debt.
A summary of all your rights:
As mentioned earlier, you have rights. The FDCPA has made it their responsibility to protect consumers.
Here are some of your rights;
Debt collectors are not allowed to use any unfair tactics or intimidation on you.
They must never contact people who do not own the debt.
They must never threaten you with wage garnishment, suing you, or even harming your credit if you do not pay.
They must never call you at odd hours.
They must never use profanities or obscene language when talking to you on phone.
They must never threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt.
In short, I am trying to tell you that a debt must be VALIDATED before you can pay for it. You must never pay for debt until you verify all details belong to you. This is your legal right, and no one can or should deny you this right.
This is the reason for this review. To help you understand your rights, and how you can fight for them not to be violated. Once you realize that you have been violated in any way, you must report this, and even sue the debt collection company.
However, remember that you must also pay the debt that you owe. Once a debt is validated, you will need to get into intense negotiations with the debt collectors and ensure that you come up with a repayment plan, because this debt will keep messing with your credit report and score year after year.