If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen the name Americollect appear on your credit report or heard it in a voicemail. When you forget or cannot afford to pay a medical bill, healthcare facilities may send your outstanding balance to a debt collection agency, such as Americollect. Americollect will not only phone you multiple times and send you letters, but they’ll also likely place a collection account on your credit report, which can hurt your credit score for up to seven years.
You can cancel your debt by paying the amount you owe, but it won’t improve your credit score. To remove Americollect from your credit report, you will need to dispute the debt or negotiate a payment for removal agreement.
What is Americollect?
Chances are you’ve never heard of Americollect until you see the name on your credit report. It’s really not a household name. However, it is a legitimate debt collection agency that specializes in medical debt collection, handling overdue accounts for healthcare providers since 1964.
Based in Manitowoc, Wis., Americollect bills itself as “the ridiculously cool collection agency.” If this pledge of cordiality is remarkable for a debt collection service, its agents have only one goal: to make you repay your medical debt.
When you make a payment, Americollect benefits. This article will tell you how you can use this fact as leverage.
3 Ways to Remove Americollect from Your Credit Report
Unpaid medical debt shouldn’t haunt you year after year. They limit your borrowing power and prevent you from achieving your financial goals. You can use these three strategies to remove a collection agency from your credit report.
- Send Americollect a Debt Validation Letter
- Negotiate a payment-for-deletion agreement
- Hire a credit repair company
1. Send Americollect a debt validation letter
Since most agencies are third-party debt collectors and not the original creditor, the debts recorded are not always 100% accurate. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires debt collectors to show proof of the debt they claim you owe – if you request validation within 30 days of your first contact with the agent recovery. By using a debt validation letter template, you may be able to get a collections entry removed from your credit report without paying a penny.
If they can’t validate your debt, you can file a claim to have the agency remove the account from your credit report. You can also submit a request to have the company stop contacting you. Whether you have unpaid medical bills or got on Americollect’s radar by mistake, always ask for debt validation first.
Try to act quickly and send a debt validation letter as soon as you notice Americollect on your report or the first time they call you. If you don’t send the letter within the first 30 days, you are effectively conceding the debt.
2. Negotiate a payment-for-deletion agreement
If Americollect has been harassing you for more than a month, or if the agency has already validated your debt, the next step is to see if you can negotiate a payment for deletion agreement. As mentioned earlier, simply paying off the debt will not help your credit score. But you can ask Americollect to delete negative credit information in exchange for your payment. Remember that debt collectors make money when you pay off a debt.
Since you are offering a plan to pay off the balance owing, this may motivate Americollect to consider your terms. You could even negotiate to pay a fraction of the balance owing in exchange for a guarantee that Americollect removes the negative entry from your credit report. But if you want a waiver payment agreement to work, you need to get a written agreement before you pay anything.
When arranging payment, submit a cashier’s check or money order, if possible. This way, you won’t divulge sensitive information like your bank account or credit card number to the debt collector. Once you have paid the agreed amount, Americollect will remove the negative entry from your credit report within one month. If your report is the same after 30 days, send a follow-up letter, including a copy of the payment contract for deletion, to Americollect reminding them of the agreement.
3. Hire a credit repair company
Dealing with debt collectors is stressful and dealing with agencies like Americollect is time consuming and frustrating. This is especially true when you’re in a discussion with a health insurance company about a medical debt, which likely means you’ve been sick. Sudden illnesses like COVID-19 or chronic illnesses that change your lifestyle can generate huge debt. If you don’t have the time or energy to negotiate with Americollect, you can hire a credit repair company instead.
Credit repair companies negotiate on your behalf and usually charge monthly or upfront setup fees. In exchange, the credit repair company strives to get your credit history back on track quickly and efficiently, even if your situation is complex.
How does Americollect work?
If Americollect or another debt collection agency contacts you, your medical provider has engaged the agency to collect a debt on their behalf. In some cases, the vendor sells your debt to the collection agency. The agency has the right to contact you and request reimbursement, using the information available on file with your health care provider.
In addition to collection calls and letters, Americollect also reports your debt to one or more credit bureaus, resulting in a collection entry on your credit report. This type of entry lowers your credit score and affects it for seven years, with the damage slowly fading after the first three years. See the steps above on how to remove Americollect from your credit history, but when Americollect contacts you, know that it’s not a scam and that having a collection account in your credit history hurts your good. – be financial.
Doing business with Americollect
Americollect follows strict federal laws. While fewer people have filed complaints against Americollect than other agencies, between the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission, there are several hundred complaints against it.
The Americollect office address is:
- 1851 S. Alverno Road
- Manitowoc, WI 54220
Its main mailing address is:
- Americollect, Inc.
- Box 1566
- Manitowoc, WI 54221
Consumer complaints typically include:
- Inaccurate reporting of debts to the three credit reporting agencies
- Failure to validate debt upon request
- Contacting customers via inappropriate phone numbers
These problems often persist because customers are unaware of their rights under the FDCPA. If you believe Americollect has violated your consumer rights, you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can also consult local law firms that specialize in debt collection.
This federal law limits the hours that Americollect can contact you and prohibits them from coercing you into making a payment. One of the best benefits of the FDCPA is that it allows you to completely block Americollect from calling. You also have the right to inform debt collectors of your preference to communicate by mail rather than by telephone.
Keep in mind that stopping collection calls will not eliminate the debt. You still need to fix the problem. Also, putting everything in writing is a wise decision. It ensures that the agency tracks and removes the collection entry from your credit report when you reach an agreement.