Who is Allied Interstate, LLC, and why are they calling you and harming your credit score? Read on for advice and tips to help get this debt collection agency off your credit report and off your back.
Who is Allied Interstate and what do they do?
Allied Interstate, LLC, is an aggressive debt collection agency that buys old debts from other companies and then makes a profit by collecting on the debt. If you’re reading this, you've probably received a collection letter or a phone call from Allied Interstate — or you have just found a negative item on your credit report with Allied Interstate listed as the creditor.
You probably don’t recognize this company’s name and may be wondering how it got your information and ended up on your credit report. There are two possible reasons for this:
Allied is trying to collect on a debt that isn’t really yours, or it bought one of your old debts and this agency is attempting to collect on it.
How did Allied Interstate get your old debt?
Allied Interstate probably bought the debt from another creditor. As an example, let’s say you had a Home Depot credit card and were several months behind on the payments.
Home Depot may have attempted to collect on the debt for a while, but after a certain amount of time, usually about a year, Home Depot wrote off the debt as a loss. At this point, in order to recoup some of the money, Home Depot sold the debt to a third-party collection agency for pennies on the dollar. The third party, Allied Interstate in this case, now owns the debt and has begun the process of collecting on it.
Ways to remove Allied Interstate from your credit report
Now let’s get into how to deal with the collection entry on your credit report and ways you can get it removed.
- Debt validation letter
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
- Hire a professional
1. Debt validation letter
Debt collectors sometimes attempt to collect a debt from the wrong person. Start by writing Allied Interstate a letter asking for debt validation. Debt validation is a right that you have under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It requires debt collectors to prove the debt they are attempting to collect is, in fact, yours.
Once Allied receives your debt validation letter, it has 30 days to provide the documentation. If it can't provide the documentation, the agency must stop contacting you and remove the negative entry from your credit report.
If you haven’t heard back in 30 days, be sure to follow up and demand they completely remove the entry from your credit report. For this to work, you have to send your debt validation letter within 30 days of your first contact with Allied Interstate. If you don't write within 30 days, you're implying that you agree that the debt is valid.
2. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If Allied Interstate validates the debt — or if you hadn’t sent the debt validation letter within 30 days — you'll need to negotiate a payment to get this creditor off your credit report.
As mentioned above, Allied bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. This means just about any payment you make translates directly into profit for the agency. Knowing this gives you some leverage as you negotiate.
You should start offering to pay 50% of the amount due. You may want to offer even less. It's up to you, but don't offer to pay 5% or 10%. Make a serious offer.
Allied may counter with a higher number. That's okay. You can counter back if you'd like. Eventually, you'll agree on a number.
Be sure you get this agreement in writing. The agreement must include the following stipulation: that Allied will remove the negative marks from your credit report in exchange for payment.
Once you have this agreement in writing, you can make the payments you agreed upon. Following your first payment, give Allied 30 days to remove your derogatory credit items, then check your credit report to confirm.
3. Hire a professional
If you’re the type of person who'd rather not deal with Allied Interstate, consider hiring a professional to remove the collection account from your report.
For this, check out Credit Saint. A credit repair company won't do anything you couldn't do yourself. But it can act faster, more efficiently and more effectively.
Can an Allied Interstate collection hurt your credit score?
A collection entry on your credit report may significantly drop your credit score. In fact, if you had a decent credit score to begin with, your score could drop by up to 100 points.
To make matters even worse, the debt Allied Interstate is attempting to collect on may not even be yours. Collection agencies sometimes get inaccurate information about who owes a debt. Maybe you already paid off the original creditor (Home Depot in our example above), or maybe you never owed the debt to begin with, and your account number got sold to Allied by mistake.
What to do when Allied Interstate contacts you
A very important point is to avoid communicating with debt collectors over the phone. Often, they won't write down anything or record the conversation.
It's up to you to keep good records and communicating in writing provides the best way to do this. Fortunately, you have the right to insist on written communication because of the FDCPA.
How to protect yourself against their harassments
You can stop Allied Interstate (or any collection agency) from harassing you by citing your rights under the FDCPA. This law outlines all the rules debt collectors have to follow when attempting to collect on a debt.
Most collectors simply assume that you don’t know your rights and feel like they can intimidate you. Fear inspires payments, and even a partial payment can be a big profit for a collection agency. When you state that you understand your rights, debt collectors instantly become less aggressive.
Tips for dealing with Allied Interstate collections
The number one rule for dealing with Allied Interstate collections or any other debt collection agency: Stay calm. These agencies depend on your discomfort, prompting you to make an immediate payment. If that doesn't work, they'll keep contacting you in hopes that their persistence prompts you to make a payment just so they'll stop calling your phone number.
Knowing your consumer rights takes away this power. The FDCPA gives you the power to decide how and when Allied contacts you. It also prevents Allied from threatening criminal prosecution, violence, shaming or fearmongering.
Debt collection services that skirt the law will almost always treat you differently when you cite the law, for example, the FDCPA and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCPA), as well as your rights under the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
What Allied Interstate can and can't do
Knowing what a debt collection service can and can't do will help you negotiate a better solution.
Legally, Allied can’t do the following:
- Prosecute you in the criminal justice system
- Get a wage garnishment without a court order
- Talk to your family, friends or co-workers about your debt
- Call you at odd hours or at work if you've asked them to stop
- Threaten you with violence or a personal visit
Legally, Allied can do the following:
- Contact you using the contact information provided by your original creditor
- Sue you in civil court for repayment of the debt
- Sell your debt to another third-party debt collector
Here is the current contact information for Allied Interstate collections:
P.O. Box 19312
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Phone number: 800-811-4214
Where to complain about Allied Interstate collections
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has created a forum for consumer protections. If you'd like to share your experiences, search for Allied Interstate on the BBB website and leave a comment. Allied is a subsidiary of iQor Corp.
If a company has violated your rights and you're a citizen of the U.S., visit the CFPB to seek advice and to file a complaint. You could also hire a law firm for legal advice if you'd like to take legal action against the company.
Update: This article has been updated to provide current contact information for Allied Interstate.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on September 27, 2017, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: https://money.com/how-to-remove-collections-from-credit-report/ or https://money.com/get-items-removed-from-credit-report/