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If a debt collection company like CBE Group comes after you, you need to pay attention.

CBE Group contracts with companies and the government to collect debt on their behalf. The collection company may start repeatedly calling you over unpaid bills. But the calls aren’t your most pressing concern. Once a debt collection account makes its way onto your credit report, it can significantly damage your credit score.

This guide will explain exactly how CBE Group works and provide you with the resources you need to kick it to the curb.

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About CBE Group

If you’re dealing with CBE Group, you may have questions like: Is it legit? What does CBE stand for? And why are they calling?

CBE Group is a well-established debt collection agency, and it’s actually one of the collectors the IRS uses for recovering unpaid taxes.

Founded in 1933 and incorporated in 1985, CBE Group contracts with various companies and collects debt on behalf of them. CBE Group has its headquarters in Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to the Better Business Bureau. The debt collector had about 1,300 employees in 2020.

It turns out “CBE” isn’t an abbreviation — it’s just the name of the company. The full name is CBE Group, Inc, a subsidiary of CBE Companies.

How does CBE Group work?

CBE Group makes its money by collecting payments for debts. It works with a number of companies, organizations, lenders and even the government. Depending on the industry, it handles both first and third-party collection. First-party collections are efforts by companies to recover money that's not too long past due, whereas third-party collections happen later when a debt is way overdue.

CBE Group targets individuals who owe money to one of the companies it works with. This may involve pursuing a $20 balance on a cable bill or larger balances like a college tuition payment. It then calls and sends letters to the individual until they settle the debt. The agency’s entry will also appear on the individual’s credit report as a collections account, which can lower their credit score for up to seven years.

What does CBE Group collect?

CBE Group collects debt for a vast range of businesses and organizations. Common types of debt it collects include:

  • Cable and satellite TV bills
  • Credit card debt
  • Education costs
  • Medical bills
  • Health care debt
  • Phone bills
  • Student loans
  • Taxes
  • Utility bills
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3 ways to remove CBE Group from your credit report

Typically, you're entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. But at least through at least Dec. 31, 2023, you can request these reports for free on a weekly basis.

If CBE Group has shown up on your credit report, you're likely wondering how you can get it removed. If you answer one of CBE Group's phone calls and hand over your payment information, it’s important to know that simply paying what’s due won’t guarantee the removal of CBE from your report. Instead, you can use one of these three strategies to get the collection off your credit profile:

1. Send a debt validation letter to CBE Group

One of the easiest ways to remove a debt collection agency from your credit report is to contest the claim with a dispute letter. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires debt collectors to produce proof when they receive a debt validation letter.

Often, third-party collectors such as CBE Group don’t have adequate validation that you owe the amount they claim you do. If the collection agency can’t provide adequate proof, they must remove the collections account from your credit report.

Regardless of the circumstances, it can’t hurt to submit a basic debt validation letter. Just make sure you send the letter within 30 days of CBE Group first appearing on your credit report.

2. Negotiate for the removal of the account

If you are unsuccessful in disputing the debt or the agency validates it, negotiation is your best strategy. Debt collectors will often accept payments that amount to a fraction of the actual amount you owe. When you negotiate a payment with CBE Group, you can ask it to remove the collections account from your credit report altogether.

Make sure you type or write this agreement so that you and the agency have the agreement on paper. This obligates the agency to honor the negotiations and remove the account as promised. It's important to monitor your credit score after you make payments to ensure the removal of the account. If the account still shows up on your credit report after a month, you’ll need to contact CBE Group again. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you can also dispute inaccuracies on your credit report and the credit bureaus will have to investigate.

3. Work with credit repair experts to get CBE Group off your report

With the strategies above, you can work to remove CBE Group and its damaging effects on your own. An alternative is to employ the assistance of a credit repair company and let them take the reins.

When you pay for credit repair, should handle all the dispute negotiations for you, including dealing with CBE Group and getting the agency to remove the account from your credit report quickly.

Dealing with CBE Group

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act dictates how and when debt collectors can contact you and restricts them from sharing your information. It also allows you to set the terms of communication by giving you the option to request that all interactions with CBE Group are by mail. You should take advantage of this provision, as letters guarantee you'll have a record of communications and provide further verification, which is critical in the credit repair process.

Consumer complaints and CBE Group

Like most debt collection agencies, CBE Group has hundreds of complaints on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives CBE an A rating, and the organization has 399 complaints for CBE Group in the past three years. Complaints mention aggressive collection tactics and the company’s pursuit of debts that people say they don’t owe.

CBE Group contact information

You can contact CBE Group at:

  • Address: The CBE Group, Inc., P.O. Box 900, Waterloo, IA, 50704
  • Additional call center facilities: New Braunfels, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Waterloo, Iowa
  • Phone numbers: 800-925-6686 or 866-912-1312
  • Website: https://www.cbecompanies.com/cbegroup/
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FAQs for removing CBE group from your credit report

What is CBE Group on my credit report?

If CBE Group appears on your credit report, it's likely a collection account, and you'll need to take action. CBE is a debt collection company that contracts with businesses and organizations including the IRS. You may owe money that you'll want to pay off after you get CBE Group to agree in writing that it will remove the collection account. There could also be an error that you will need to contest to protect your credit history.

Who is CBE Group collecting for?

CBE Group contracts with hundreds of clients, which could be private companies, organizations or government agencies like the IRS. If CBE Group goes after you, you'll have to investigate to see which company you allegedly owe.

Why am I getting so many phone calls from CBE Group?

Debt collection companies can be relentless in their pursuit of debt, which can get frustrating, especially if you don't think you owe any money. Don't make the mistake of agreeing to a collection company's every request over the phone. Follow the steps in this guide to get out of whatever situation you're in with CBE Group.

How do I remove CBE Group from my credit report?

Some of the best strategies for removing a collection account from your credit report include making them validate the debt and trying to negotiate for the removal of the account (making sure to get any agreements in writing). You can also consider working with a credit repair company.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on July 2, 2020, on BetterCreditBlog.org. It has been updated with the current contact information for CBE Group and recent consumer complaints. To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit inquiries, read: How to Remove Collections from Your Credit Report or How to Remove Negative Items from Your Credit Report.

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