This is a debt collection agency that is based in Norwood, Massachusetts. It is one of the largest debt collection agencies in the country with more than 700 employees and annual revenue of 53 million dollars.
If you haven’t paid your debts, then you know that the debt collectors will soon come calling, and it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience.
Credit collection services offer debt collection on behalf of their clients, who are your creditors. It is essential to understand what credit collection entails. This includes what should happen when you receive a call from them, and your next course of action after you have been contacted.
Most people have complained of being mistreated, or manhandled by a debt collector, to the point of instilling fear in them, but this is simply a strategy that they employ to compel you to pay what you owe.
One of the reasons why a debt collector seems tough and scary is because they are only paid if they manage to recover a debt. In fact, in some cases, they receive a commission, based on the amount of debt they have been able to recover.
As such, they tend to be overly aggressive in their work.
This should, however, not scare you. There are tactics you can also employ if you find out that you are in debt, and the good news is that you have rights.
I shall explain all of this to you in this blog review.
Let us begin.
Understanding Credit Collection Services Company
Credit Collection Services usually collect debts on behalf of banks, cable companies, healthcare insurance companies, utilities, and retail telecommunications, among others.
They have more than one alias, and they can contact you as either CCS, Credit Control Services, or any other variation of their name.
To make matters worse, many other debt collection agencies use this abbreviation of CCS. I know of at least two other companies, one in Georgia, and another one in West Virginia. They all use this abbreviation, and so, it can be a bit confusing.
But, regardless of what name they call themselves when you receive a letter or a call from them, it means that there is a specific debt they believe you owe one of their clients, and they require you to pay as soon as you can.
So, if you have been wondering if you have ever borrowed money from Credit Collection Services, the answer is no. This company, as I have explained before, is a debt collection agency that works on behalf of people you owe.
Their business practices
It is common knowledge that debt collectors tend to be rude, and they love to intimidate the people they call.
Credit collection services have in the past received an A rating from the Better Business Bureau – which is a firm that helps consumers in the US, Canada, and Mexico find businesses and charitable organizations that they can trust.
But, even with the rating from BBB, they have still had to deal with numerous complaints from clients who were not happy with how they handled them. Currently, they have had more than 464 complaints lodged against them.
Most of these complaints range from false and inaccurate collections to failure to post a “notice of dispute” from the credit reporting agencies accounts. They have even been accused of charging a customer’s credit card more than the agreed amount.
Instances of such behavior are quite common, and in fact, on Glassdoor – the popular company review site, one customer said that the company was maximizing its profits by engaging in unsavory business practices that lacked a moral fiber as well as ethics. One other customer said that they are a ‘cut-throat collection agency.’
With these shady business practices, the large workforce, and their millions of dollars in profits, it may seem a daunting task to go up against them in a dispute, and you may be thinking that it is probably wiser to pay the bill, rather than bringing a valid claim against them.
But, as I said earlier on, this blog post is geared towards educating you on collection agencies and giving you tips that you can use before you decide to pay that claim or negotiate a repayment plan with this company, which may be faulty.
Have you received a letter from them?
The first contact they make with clients is through sending one or more threatening letters. As debt collectors, they use all sorts of sneaky and shady tactics to get in touch with people they believe owe their creditors money.
Now, here’s the thing; when you receive a letter from CCS, it may actually not belong to you at all. These debt collection agencies scour the internet, online databases, and phone books looking for addresses of everyone with the same name as you, and then they start sending them threatening letters. They send these to everyone!
So, just because you have received a letter from a collection agency, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a valid claim against you, and it may be completely erroneous.
Remember that they usually purchase debt from other companies, and they can easily get mixed up. They may not have proper documentation either, or they may be contacting the wrong person altogether.
What should you do?
The first thing you should do when you receive a letter from credit collection services is to send them a reply through a debt verification letter.
A debt verification letter is a letter that you should send after the collector has sent you a debt validation letter.
I will explain these two;
After you receive the initial call, or letter, demanding that you pay a debt, you shouldn’t pay a single dime of it before confirming that the debt belongs to you. The debt collector is required to send you a debt validation letter which outlines the debt in terms of how much you owe and any other information they may have about you.
If you are uncertain about the debt you are being asked to pay, you can send them a debt verification letter which should request them to provide you with more information. This option is best when you are planning to pay off the debt.
Once CCS receives your verification request, they are required to provide you with the information you require and any accompanying documentation within 30 days. This documentation should contain your signature, to verify that you owe the money indeed; otherwise, you shall not be liable to pay the debt.
Contacting Credit Collection Services
CCS is based in Massachusetts and goes by several names, but their contact information is always the same.
How to deal with harassing phone calls from Credit Collection Services
CCS have been known to call several times a day attempting to collect on a debt. Your caller ID will show no number at all or a phony telephone number that shall be generated by CCS.
If the call goes to voicemail, you shall receive several minutes of nothing but silence, and when you try to call back, the call shall go unanswered. These calls can go on for up to 2 years, and they may even try to call you at work.
Fortunately, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you are allowed to write a letter to CCS and ask them to stop calling you. For most people, this is usually their last resort as they do not know about this rule.
CCS, however, has onsite legal counsel that may choose to sue you for collection of a debt. If they no longer feel that you can negotiate with them, they will choose this route, although it is a more costly option to them.
If you end up losing the lawsuit, you shall receive a civil judgment against you, and if you do not pay the judgment, then you shall eventually have your wages garnished or assets seized. This is very serious business, plus, going to court will be costly for you.
So, before deciding to file a cease and desist order against the collection company, it is essential to consider getting professional help from a reputable credit repair company.
I have talked about this in the following blog posts.
These companies have experience on how to effectively deal with collection agencies and defend your rights as a consumer. In addition, they shall help you improve the status of your credit report and your credit score as well.
These companies collect information about you from banks, debt collectors, and credit card companies, which they use to update your credit report and credit score. The type of information they collect includes late payments, defaults, and much more negative information that will adversely affect your credit.
A low score will prevent you from getting a good loan, renting a house, or even gaining employment. It is wise to maintain a good credit score in order to have control over your finances.
A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that one in five consumers that disputed a claim had an error and that fixing that error improved their overall credit score as a result of their actions.
You have the right to dispute a claim from CCS through any of the credit reporting agencies.
Once you initiate a dispute, the agency has 30 days to resolve the item in question. They should contact CCS and demand they provide proof that the debt is valid.
If CCS is unable to provide the correct documentation, the credit reporting agency is supposed to remove the negative information from your credit report.
Understanding Your Rights
Now, as mentioned earlier, the FDCPA, which was passed by Congress, helps to protect you from aggressive debt collectors such as CCS. Knowing your rights before picking up the phone is always important, so you are not caught off guard or bullied, or overwhelmed by their pressures.
Here is a summary of your rights;
CSS is not allowed to threaten you in any way.
They may call you during office hours only, i.e., 8 am – 9 pm, and in your time zone.
They may not try to contact you at your place of work.
They must provide adequate documentation that proves the validity of the claim they have against you.
CSS cannot arrest or imprison you. It is illegal for them to do or suggest this.
They cannot send letters that have the appearance of and official government or court letter.
They may not threaten you with a legal action or threaten to harm you or threaten to garnish your wage.
When should you work with them?
You should only work with them if, after investigations, you find that the debt is accurate and up to date, which means that it is probably valid. Then, you most likely owe them the debt, and if this is the case, you should choose to negotiate with them for a lower amount or come up with a repayment plan where you can pay in small amounts until you clear the debt.
Once you have negotiated a payment option, you can choose to pay them either by check or by credit card. If you wish to pay by check, make sure it is certified and save any information regarding your payment.
Paying by credit card may be more comfortable but remember that they have been accused of overcharging customers, and once they have your credit card number, you give up a measure of control.
When to Ask for Help
The laws that govern credit repayment are complicated and at times difficult to understand, and even if the law is on your side, it may be hard to get CCS or other creditors to comply with the law entirely.
They may use their company size and power to try and intimidate and manipulate you. These tactics, including forcing you to pay through multiple phone calls and filing forms over and over again, should be reported immediately.
If you feel that you are doing everything they have requested and you are still getting nowhere with them, it may be time to call in the professionals, who can take over the negotiations and contact CCS on your behalf.
Consider contacting one of the above-mentioned credit repair companies.
Whether this is the first time you have heard of Credit Collection Services, or you have dealt with them before, do not worry, and don’t be discouraged or intimidated. Not only do you have rights, but you have multiple options for paying debts.
The best option I can recommend to you is to engage the services of a credit repair company, as they have the technical know-how and skills for dealing with collections agencies.
Now that you have received some information about collection companies and how you should react when they start harassing you, I hope you are much more settled and relaxed.
All of this information is practical and can be applied to whichever situation you are currently in.