If your credit report shows LJ Ross Associates, you’ve defaulted on a debt and LJ Ross bought it. They aren’t the friendliest collection agency (like most) and are difficult to deal with if you don’t know your rights.
LJ Ross buys old medical, utility, education, and financial industry debts. They’ll use relentless tactics to get you to pay the debt.
Before (and if) you pay the debt, know your rights.
Your Rights with LJ Ross Associates
LJ Ross must follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
They must treat you fairly. If you ask them to stop calling, they must stop. They cannot call past 8 PM or before 8 AM, or bully you. This includes using profane language or threatening you to scare you into paying the debt.
If you feel they violated your rights, contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit FTC.gov and follow the instructions online.
Only Communicate in Writing
If LJ Ross contacts you, the only thing you should say is ‘please send it in writing.’ Don’t communicate anything verbally. There’s no proof of verbal agreements.
If you are comfortable, tell them you know your rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. They count on consumers not knowing their rights. When you throw that tidbit out there, they’ll know you mean business.
Removing LJ Ross from your Credit Report
Once you know LJ Ross is on your credit report, because they called you or you found it when reviewing your credit report, take these steps:
- Request debt validation – You have 30 days from the first day they contact you to validate the debt. Write a letter requesting validation. Ask for as much information as possible, so they can’t validate it. A few examples include the original date of the debt, the original amount, the current balance, the account number, and the date you defaulted.
The key is to catch them off guard so they can’t provide all the information you request. If they can’t, they must remove the debt from your credit report.
- Request a Pay for Delete – If they validate the debt, write another letter, but this time a Pay for Delete letter. This is an agreement to pay the debt (not necessarily the full amount) if they agree to delete it from your credit report.
Don’t do this verbally. They can tell you they will delete the debt, but once you pay, they’ll disappear. Get everything in writing and don’t be afraid to negotiate the amount you pay. While they’d love payment in full, they bought the debt for pennies of what it’s worth, so negotiate what you can afford.
- Pay the debt – Once you have the agreement in writing, pay the debt via check. Do not provide your bank account information. Wait 30 days after you send the check and pull your credit again.
- Follow up – If LJ Ross didn’t remove the debt as agreed, follow up with them reminding them of the agreement. If they still don’t, dispute it with the credit bureau using the letter and your canceled check to prove you held up your end of the bargain.
Why Remove LJ Ross from your Credit Report
It may seem like a lot of work to remove LJ Ross from your credit report, but it’s important. Collections stay on your credit report for 7 years. Any time you try to get new credit, lenders will see the collection. Even if you paid it, they’ll know that you defaulted on a debt.
If you want to explain yourself every time you apply for new credit or worry that it will bring your credit score down, leave it. If you’d rather have it gone, and have no one know about it, use the steps above.
Get Help Removing LJ Ross from your Credit Report
If it’s too much work to remove LJ Ross from your credit report or you feel intimated, hire a credit repair service to help. The professionals do this day in and day out. They know what they say and how to get collections off your credit report using legal measures.
They’ll use the same steps we named above, but at a much higher level than you or I are capable of doing. Either way, you’ll have a clear credit report without LJ Ross Associates on it, so no one will know of your mishap.