If you missed a medical bill or two or you couldn’t afford to cover your out-of-pocket costs, you may find Americollect on your credit report or receive phone calls from them.
When a collection from Americollect appears on your credit report, it can have a significant negative impact on your credit score.
Of course, a lower credit score can prevent you from getting new credit, so your best bet is to get it removed.
Fortunately, there are ways to remove Americollect from your credit report. Here are the steps I recommend you take in order to get rid of paid or unpaid Americollect collections from your credit report.
What is Americollect?
Americollect is a legit debt collection agency based out of Wisconsin. Americollect specializes in medical debt collection.
Therefore, if you have been contacted by Americollect, or they show up on your credit report, you likely have unpaid medical bills.
Most likely, Americollect bought the debt from the original creditor for less than you owe, and will attempt to collect the full amount in order to make a profit.
4 Ways to Remove Americollect From Your Credit Report
The good news is that it is possible to remove Americollect from your credit report in order to increase your credit score. Like any collection account, there are several steps you can take to remove the debt collection from your credit report. Let’s get into it.
1. Request Debt Validation
Before you do anything, request debt validation from Americollect. You have only 30 days from the first time they contact you to do this, so act fast.
Debt validation is a letter in writing sent to Americollect asking them for more information about the debt.
They have 30 days to respond to your request. If they can’t validate the information you requested, they must remove it from your credit report – it’s the law.
Ask for information including:
- The original creditor (medical provider)
- The original debt amount
- The outstanding amount
- The date the debt defaulted
Send your request to:
PO Box 1566
Manitowoc, WI 54221
The goal here is to force Americollect to actually validate that not only is the debt yours, but that the amount they are requesting is in fact what you owe. The fact is, many times collection agencies have incorrect or out-of-date information and yet they still attempt to collect.
This is to your advantage because it’s often the case that they won’t be able to actually validate the debt, and therefore will be forced to stop collection attempts and well as remove the negative entry from your credit report.
2. Dispute the Debt
If you missed your opportunity to validate the debt or Americollect validated it, you can still dispute it with the credit bureau.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to dispute debts that aren’t fair or accurate. If the credit bureau can’t prove otherwise, they must delete it from your credit report.
To see what information Americollect reported, pull your free credit report here and look for:
- Name (even misspelled names)
- Incorrect balance or payment amounts
- Incorrect dates
- Wrong account number
You should be looking for any inaccurate information. It doesn’t matter if it’s a misspelling or an incorrect number, if it’s inaccurate, you have the right to dispute the negative entry. Sometimes the credit bureau will correct the inaccuracy, and sometimes they will simply remove the collection.
While this method can be successful, it can be time consuming and difficult if you actually owe the debt and the information is correct.
3. Arrange a Pay-for-Delete
If you can’t remove Americollect from your credit report using any of the above, you can arrange a pay-for-delete.
Here’s the thing about a payment arrangement – you’ll likely need it even if you remove Americollect from your credit report. Removing the debt from your credit report doesn’t remove the requirement to pay it. You might still owe full payment.
If your efforts above didn’t work, include a pay-for-delete agreement in your payment arrangements. When you ask for a payment arrangement, know that you have some wiggle room.
The debt collection agency likely bought your debt for pennies on the dollar so they have room to negotiate.
First, figure out how much you can afford and use it to make your offer. Don’t give up your highest offer right away, though. Americollect will likely counteroffer so make sure you have room to increase your offer.
Besides agreeing to a specific dollar amount, you’ll need to ask for the debt collector to delete the debt from your credit report. This is the pay-for-delete agreement.
You can work out the agreement verbally, but make sure you get the details in writing. Essentially, you’re asking Americollect to accept the amount you offer (or the counteroffer) and in exchange for payment, they remove the debt from your credit report.
They aren’t obligated to accept this offer, so if they agree verbally, get it in writing. Ask them to send you written proof BEFORE you pay the debt. If you pay it and don’t have written proof, you have no leg to stand on and they don’t have to delete it from your credit report.
If you pay it and they don’t delete it, you can use the written proof to dispute the debt with the credit bureaus reporting the debt. When you pay Americollect, pay them with a cashier’s check or money order too. Don’t share your checking account information with them – it’s generally not safe.
4. Have a Professional Remove the Collection
Lastly, if you’re the type of person who would rather have a credit repair company handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair.
They’ll take care of you, and honestly a credit repair company usually get negative items removed quicker than if you try to do it yourself. Give them a call at 1-844-331-6062 or Check out their website.
How to Deal with Americollect Debt Collector
When dealing with a debt collector such as Americollect, it’s best to avoid communicate over the phone. You want to have a paper trail and written confirmation of all interactions. This is especially important when negotiating a pay-for-delete.
The best way to stop collection calls is to inform Americollect that you will no longer communicate over the phone, and then simply block their number on your cell phone.
Whatever you do, never give a collection agent access to your bank account. You can’t trust debt collectors, and you don’t want them to wipe out your bank account.
How Does Americollect Affect Your Credit Score?
A collection account on your credit report will have a significant negative impact on your credit reports. The interesting thing is that both paid and unpaid collections will negatively affect your credit score.
In other words, even if a collection agency tells you that your credit score will improve if you pay the debt, it will not. That’s why they need to provide written confirmation that the collection agency will remove the collection from your credit report if you pay.
The impact that any given collection account will have on your credit score will depend on what your credit score was before you received the collection.
The higher your credit score, the more of an impact it will have. If your score is in the 700s, it could fall as much as 100 points. However, a credit score in the 600s may only fall 30-50 points.
Know Your Rights
When dealing with a debt collection agency such as Americollect, it’s important to understand that you have certain rights.
Debt collectors often assume that you don’t know your rights, and therefore may attempt to behave unethically. Therefore, by understanding your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you get the upper hand.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that specifically lays out the rules collection agencies must abide by. Here is an overview of this federal law.
Debt collectors are prevented from:
- Harassing you so that you pay the debt.
- Contact your friends and family about your debts.
- Call you before 8AM or after 9PM your time.
- Threaten you with jail.
- Threaten you or your property.
Can Americollect Sue Me?
Yes, it is possible that Americollect could sue you over an unpaid medical debt. However, as with any consumer debt collection agency, this is unlikely to be their first course of action.
That is, litigation is expensive for all parties, so they will likely attempt to collect on the debt directly. Wage garnishment usually isn’t a problem, but some states do allow it. So check with your particular state.
Nonetheless, you should remove collection from your credit report as quickly as possible in order to prevent this in the first place.
You should use the do-it-yourself methods outlined above or hire a professional to help you with the collection.