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If you receive phone calls and letters from AMCOL Systems, you may have questions. A debt collector is typically annoying, and the effect of a collection account on your credit score is even worse than the constant harassment.

You might think that paying off your debt is the best way to get a collection agency such as AMCOL Systems off your report, but it can do more harm than good. Instead, you can use the strategies in this article to stop AMCOL Systems entries from damaging your credit score. It’s important to do this ASAP because collection entries on your report can prevent you from qualifying for credit cards or loans in the future.

What is AMCOL Systems?

AMCOL Systems, Inc. is a legitimate, verified debt collections agency with headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina. It provides insurance claims resolution, bad debt recovery and self-pay collection services. Originating in 1976, the third-party collection agency provides accounts receivable collection and management services for the health-care industry in the U.S., ensuring health systems, such as hospitals and doctor's offices, recover their medical debts.

How does AMCOL Systems work?

To get an entry off your report, it’s important to understand how the debt collection process works. If you fall behind on a medical bill, the creditor can turn the debt over to a third-party debt collector to pursue payment.

A debt in collection will appear on your credit report with the three major credit bureaus. A collection account damages your credit score and can remain on your report for up to seven years, which is longer than hard credit inquiries and some other negative entries. Even if you pay the debt, it’ll hurt your score unless you employ one of the strategies in this article.

3 ways to remove AMCOL Systems from your credit report

The following are strategies you can use if you want to delete an AMCOL Systems entry from your credit report:

1. Send a debt validation letter

The first — and potentially the best — way to delete AMCOL Systems from your report is to ask for proof of your debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires a debt collector to provide you with documentation showing that the debt is yours if you request it within 30 days of its first contact with you. You can use a free online template if you need help writing a debt validation letter.

There’s a chance you can get out of paying AMCOL Systems even if you do owe it money. A third-party debt collector doesn’t always have enough information to validate a debt, and if AMCOL Systems can’t provide verification, it must remove its collection account from your report. This will also put an end to the annoying phone calls.

Regardless of whether you believe AMCOL Systems is contacting you by mistake, you’re a victim of identity theft or you owe the money, this strategy is a great starting point. If the agency contacted you within the last 30 days, submit a debt validation letter ASAP.

You can send your letter to AMCOL Systems at the following address:

P.O. Box 21625
Columbia, SC 29221

Phone number: 803-849-8500

2. Negotiate an agreement

Debt validation doesn’t always work. Sometimes a debt collector has the proof it needs to validate the debt. If this happens, or you miss the 30-day window, you still have options. Your next step is to try to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement, where you make partial payment in exchange for the deletion of the collection account from your credit report.

AMCOL Systems may agree to accept half of what you owe on your medical bill, so it’s important to negotiate. Once you reach an agreement confirming the removal of the entry, make sure you get it in writing before you make a payment. After AMCOL Systems receives your payment, the entry should disappear from your report. Check your credit report with the credit bureaus after 30 days to ensure this happens and contact the agency if it doesn’t.

3. Work with a credit repair company

You may find it easy to remove a single collection entry, but if you’re facing more challenging credit issues, consider contacting a credit repair company. It can work on your behalf, confront debt collectors about FDCPA violations, dispute claims and negotiate settlements. It can also help you recover from identity fraud, bankruptcy, judgments and other complex credit problems.

A company like Sky Blue can help you boost your credit score. It’ll deal with AMCOL Systems so you don’t have to. If you want to say goodbye to debt collectors and improve your credit score, start with the strategies in this article.

Dealing with AMCOL Systems

AMCOL Systems has hundreds of consumer complaints against it, which you can review on the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau websites. Many of these complaints relate to:

  • Reporting incorrect information
  • Failing to respond to debt validation requests
  • Harassing collection practices

The FDCPA protects consumers from unethical collection tactics and reporting errors. For example, it limits the hours during which a debt collector can call you and prohibits it from divulging your information to other people. Most importantly, the FDCPA allows you to choose how you communicate with a debt collector. Always correspond with AMCOL Systems and any other debt collections agency by mail so that you have clear documentation of all your conversations.

Update: This article has been updated to provide current contact information for AMCOL Systems.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on October 7, 2020, 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/