Are you receiving phone calls from Wakefield and Associates or did you find them on your credit report?
You may think you’ve never done business with them, so why are they call you, right? There’s good reason – they are a debt collection agency and they think they have ownership of a debt you own.
They might and if they do, it’s important to know how to remove Wakefield and Associates from your credit report. If they are incorrect, you have even more reason to remove them from your credit report.
Collections sit on your credit report for 7 years, hurting your credit score and chances of securing future credit so the steps below are important to save your credit score and chances of securing future credit.
Validate the Debt within 30 Days
If you’re lucky enough to be aware of the Wakefield and Associates tradeline on your credit report right away, you can validate the debt.
When Wakefield calls you or sends you a letter, they must tell you that you have 30 days to validate the debt. This means asking them questions and ensuring that they have the right person, right account, and the right information to put a collection on your credit report.
Here’s a secret.
Oftentimes they don’t have the right information or the right to put the collection on your credit report, but most people don’t realize it.
Don’t be one of them. You have 30 days to validate the debt with Wakefield and Associates. All this means is writing them a letter and asking pointed questions about the debt they claim you own. If they can’t answer your questions AND provide proof, they can’t have their debt on your credit report.
Again, you have 30 days to do this or you must move onto the next step.
Dispute the Debt with the Credit Bureaus
If you couldn’t validate the debt, your next step is to dispute the debt with the credit bureaus. The process is similar, but instead of writing to Wakefield and Associates, you’ll write to the credit bureau reporting the debt (TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax).
In your letter state why you are disputing the debt. Is the information inaccurate or unfair? Both are reasons to dispute the debt, but you should provide the credit bureau with as much information as possible.
You can dispute the debt whenever you find it – you aren’t under a specific timeline, but the credit bureau has 30 days to respond to your request. This gives them time to investigate with Wakefield to determine if the collection is legitimate.
If they can’t prove anything other than what you stated, they must remove the collection from your credit report. If they can prove it, the collection will stay and you’ll have to work out a pay-for-delete agreement with Wakefield and Associates.
Creating a Pay for Delete Agreement
No matter the outcome from the steps above, you may still have to satisfy the debt. Unless you proved the debt didn’t belong to you, Wakefield and Associates still wants their money.
Here’s the good news.
They likely bought the debt for pennies on the dollar. This leaves you room to negotiate the settlement. Start at an amount lower than what you can afford because they will likely counter your offer.
There’s more good news.
If the debt is still on your credit report, you can include a pay for delete request in your offer. This means if you pay the debt as agreed (even a settlement amount), Wakefield and Associates can remove the debt from your credit report.
This is an important step since leaving the debt on your credit report can hurt your credit score and your chances of securing future credit. Collections stay on your credit report for up to 7 years, which is a long time especially if you satisfied the debt.
Don’t leave Wakefield and Associates on your credit report. With the right steps, you can remove Wakefield and Associates from your credit report and satisfy an old debt. While they are just trying to help your old vendor, they can use aggressive tactics to get the money which can be unnerving.
Don’t let them get the best of you. Use the tactics above to deal with the debt and make sure your rights are adhered to even if you do owe the debt. With the right steps, you can make good on the debt and remove it from your credit report.