If ARS appears as a collection entry on your report, you may have questions about the agency and how to deal with it. This article explains the basics of debt collection practices and your legal consumer rights and gives some pointers for getting this collection entry off your credit report.
What is ARS?
ARS isn’t a lender, provider or retailer. It is, however, a legitimate debt collection agency. Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC, has its headquarters in Illinois, U.S. and describes itself as a full-service asset recovery management company. Although it’s a legitimate company, it has numerous negative reviews on file with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in regard to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act violations.
If you’re not familiar with ARS, it collects a wide range of debts, including:
- Auto loans
- Consumer debt
- Credit card debt
- Retail debt
- Student loans — for companies such as Navient
3 ways to remove ARS from your credit report
Don’t let ARS damage your credit any longer. Try using one of the following approaches to delete its collection entry from your credit report:
- Request debt validation
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
- Get help from professionals
1. Request debt validation
A collection agency can’t contact you demanding payment for a debt without evidence that it belongs to you. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request this documentation. If you send ARS a debt validation letter within 30 days of its initial contact, it must provide evidence and validate details, such as the account number, balance and the name of the original creditor. Without this information, ARS doesn’t have a case and must remove the collections entry from your credit report and stop contacting you.
You can use this strategy regardless of whether you owe the money, as long as you do it within the specified time frame. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Taking a few moments to draft and send a validation letter can result in the deletion of the collection entry without you having to pay a dime.
You can send your letter to ARS at the following address:
2200 E Devon Avenue
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Other contact details:
Phone number: 888-678-0087
2. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If you miss the 30-day window, you’re still in luck. While paying the debt outright won’t remove it from your report, a pay-for-delete arrangement will. In a pay-for-delete agreement, the debt collector agrees to delete the entry if you pay an agreed-upon amount. It’ll often settle for far less than what you owe, so consider negotiating a payment amount.
Remember to communicate with ARS in writing only. In this way, you will have documentation of your agreement and can hold the agency accountable. Keep tabs on your credit with a free credit monitoring app to ensure the deletion of the entry after you make your payment.
3. Get help from professionals
Sometimes, the best option is to consult with experts on financial issues. If it’s only a single collection entry, you may feel confident confronting ARS yourself. However, if a collection entry from ARS is one of multiple credit issues, you might need help from a credit repair company.
A credit repair company can personalize a plan to assist you. It can seek debt validation, hold the agency to the tenets of the FDCPA and get negative entries off your credit report. Start by researching to find a reputable credit repair company. It will take on the hassle of dealing with debt collectors so you don’t have to.
How does ARS work?
There are many types of debts that can subject you to ARS collection attempts. If your debt remains unpaid for an extended period of time, the original creditor may sell it at a heavily discounted price to a debt collector. In other cases, it’ll hire a debt collector to help with collections. When a debt goes to collection, it affects your credit score with the three main credit reporting agencies.
While the severity of the effect decreases over time, it can stay on your report for seven years. ARS can call you, leave messages and send you letters seeking payment. It can also sue you or garnish your wages. But there are steps you can take to help prevent any judgments against you.
Dealing with ARS
Consumers file complaints against ARS and other collection agencies with the CFPB and the BBB. Many of these relate to:
- Incorrect reporting: Sometimes debt collectors contact consumers in error or report inaccurate information to the credit bureaus.
- Harassment: Collection agencies are often intimidating in their collection efforts and use aggressive techniques to collect payments.
- Debt validation: Many agencies fail to validate debts upon request.
Fortunately, the FDCPA protects you by keeping debt collectors in check and requiring them to treat consumers with respect. For example, it prohibits agencies from calling you late at night, contacting your family or friends regarding your debt or bothering you at work.
It also allows you to put an end to the annoying phone calls by requesting all communication in writing. When you deal with ARS, inform it that you’re aware of your rights under the FDCPA and state that you only want to communicate via certified mail. This will ensure that you have concrete evidence of all your correspondence if you run into any issues in the future.
The U.S. is experiencing an economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many consumers must choose between putting food on the table and paying a utility or medical bill. A long-standing unpaid debt can result in a collection entry on your credit report, drastically lower your credit score for as long as seven years and seriously impact your ability to secure future consumer loans. It can also result in tiresome, harassing phone calls and frequent letters until you make a payment, which is why you should deal with ARS today.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current contact information for ARS.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on October 14, 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/