Receiving phone calls or letters from MRS Associates can feel threatening and exhausting. You may wonder what options you have or may just deal with the ‘threats’ because you can’t pay your bill.
While these threats are exhausting and overwhelming, what’s even worse is if MRS Associates is on your credit report. If they report your collection to Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian, it can destroy your credit score.
Your first course of action should be to remove MRS Associates from your credit report. But don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Here’s what you must do.
Validate the MRS Associates Debt
Start by validating the debt. This step must be done quickly though – within 30 days of the first day, MRS contacted you.
When you validate the debt, you’re asking MRS Associates to prove you owe the debt and that they have the right information. What many people don’t realize is they often don’t have enough information, which means they don’t have the right to report the debt to the credit bureaus.
Write MRS Associates a letter asking for as much information about the debt as possible including:
- Name and address on the account
- Name of the original creditor
- Amount of the debt
- Date of the last payment
- Date the original creditor sold the debt to MRS
MRS has 30 days to respond to your request or they must delete the tradeline from your credit report. They must also delete it if they can’t prove everything you asked.
Despite the Debt with the Credit Bureaus
Your next step is to dispute the debt with the credit bureaus reporting it. This requires that you pull your credit reports, but everyone gets free access weekly until 2022. Check all three reports and if you see MRS Associates on there, use these steps to dispute it.
Write to the credit bureau reporting the debt, stating why you believe the information is inaccurate or unfair.
You can dispute the debt for any reason, but here are some common reasons:
- Wrong account number
- Misspelled name
- Incorrect balance amount
- Wrong payment history
- Wrong person
You can dispute the debt for any errors or unfair reasons the information is on your credit report. Don’t leave any stone unturned – the worst the credit bureau can say is ‘no’ and leave it on your credit report.
The credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to your request. If they can’t prove something other than what you claim, they must remove the tradeline from your report.
Arrange a Pay-for-Delete
Your final option is to ask for a pay-for-delete. Everyone will pay the debt at some point. Even if you remove it from your credit report, it doesn’t remove the liability and MRS will hound you until you pay it.
But, if you didn’t have luck removing MRS Associates from your credit report with the steps above, you can include a pay-for-delete agreement.
This means you ask them to delete the tradeline from your credit report in exchange for payment. This doesn’t mean payment in full either. Since MRS likely bought your debt for less than the total, you can negotiate a settlement. Just make sure they also agree to delete the tradeline from your credit report once you pay it in full.
But there’s one more thing.
Get the agreement in writing. Don’t let them verbally agree. You’ll have no proof of what they agreed to if they don’t remove MRS Associates from your credit report after you pay. Even if you negotiate verbally, ask them to follow up with a letter stating the agreement.
If they don’t follow through, you can go back to disputing the debt with the credit bureau, using the letter as proof.
Don’t leave MRS Associates on your credit report. It will do more damage than most negative remarks on your credit report and it stays there for 7 years. That’s a long time for future creditors to see that you defaulted on a debt.
The collection won’t hurt your credit score for 7 years, but its presence can put a damper on securing any new credit. Instead, do what you can to remove MRS Associates from your credit report. If you are unsuccessful, consider hiring a reputable credit repair agency to assist you in your efforts. They’ll use similar tactics, but they are professionals and know how MRS Associates works and what will make them remove the debt from your credit report.