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. Either way, they want their money and if they reported the debt on your credit report, it’s ruining your credit.
Fortunately, there are ways to remove Americollect from your credit report. Here’s what you must know.
Request Debt Validation First
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
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:
- Incorrect name (even misspelled names)
- Incorrect balance or payment amounts
- Incorrect dates
- Wrong account number
Any incorrect information, you may dispute and have removed from your credit report.
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 still owe the debt.
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 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 them 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.
If Americollect is on your credit report, it’s important to remove it right away. A collection hurts your credit score considerably and it will stay on your credit report for 7 years. While the collection doesn’t hurt your credit score as much for the full 7 years, it works against you when you apply for new credit.
New lenders will see the collection and know that you don’t make good on your debts. While medical collections are different than defaulting on a credit card or loan, it’s still a sign that you can’t manage your finances and it could hurt your chances of getting credit.
The faster you remove Americollect from your credit report, the less damage it will do to your credit score. Don’t ignore it and take all steps necessary to remove it.