If you have an unpaid debt, you may receive harassing phone calls from Credit Collection Services (CCS) Offices. CCS Offices is a third-party collection company that collects debts on behalf of an original creditor by either purchasing a debt or collecting a debt and keeping a portion as payment. To do this, it must first open an collection account on your credit report and show that it has the authorization to collect the debt.
A collection entry on your report is extremely harmful to your credit score, and the best way to repair it and prevent future damage is to remove the CCS Offices entry from your credit report ASAP.
What is CCS Offices?
CCS Offices is a legitimate, medium-sized debt collection agency with headquarters in Norwood, Massachusetts. Originating in Delaware in 1969, it makes its money by collecting debts on behalf of creditors or by purchasing debts from creditors in a variety of industries, including health care, financial services, utilities and insurance.
Unfortunately, CCS Offices — or CCS Companies — isn’t popular with consumers. It has over 2,000 complaints against it on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and over 1,000 complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the past three years. These complaints relate to violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as:
- Failure to respond to debt validation requests
- Inaccurate reporting
Steps to remove CCS Offices from your credit report
You can follow these steps to get a CCS Offices collection account off your credit report:
- Validate the debt
- Request a goodwill deletion
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
- Work with a professional
Validate the debt
The first thing you need to do is verify the details regarding the debt. Under the FDCPA, you have a right to ask CCS Offices to provide tangible proof that the debt belongs to you and that it has the authorization to collect it. This requires you to send a debt validation letter, which you must do within 30 days of CCS Offices first contacting you to avoid complications.
How to request debt validation
In your debt validation letter, ask CCS Offices to provide information regarding the debt, such as the name of the original creditor, the amount of the debt and the date of debt acquisition. After receiving your letter, CCS Offices should provide documentation verifying the debt. Read this carefully, and make a note of anything that seems inaccurate or inconsistent.
CCS Offices isn’t the original creditor, and it’s common for information to get lost or mixed up during the transfer to a debt collector; identity theft also occurs. Therefore, it’s possible that CCS Offices has inaccurate or fraudulent information, and if this is the case, it must delete the entry from your report and stop the collection process. This means that you may not have to pay the debt at all.
Request a goodwill deletion
If you paid the debt, don’t worry. It’s still possible to remove the collection account from your credit report by asking CCS Offices for a goodwill deletion, which is where you ask CCS Offices to stop reporting the debt to the major credit bureaus out of benevolence. This typically works if you paid the debt and have a record of making timely payments since.
You can request a goodwill deletion in a letter to CCS Offices explaining the reason for your late payments and why you want the agency to delete the entry. For example, you are trying to qualify for a mortgage or purchase a new car. Make sure your letter is honest and polite, as CCS Offices is more likely to grant your request if you’re sincere and friendly rather than demanding.
Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If CCS Offices validates the debt, your next step is to negotiate a settlement, more specifically, a pay-for-delete agreement. This is where CCS Offices agrees to delete the collection entry from your credit report in exchange for payment of the debt. Agencies will often accept less than the full amount, but it’ll require negotiation.
Consider offering to pay CCS Offices half of the debt amount to start with, and negotiate until you reach an agreement. Ask for the terms of the deal in writing before making your first payment, and never give an agency direct access to your bank account.
Check your credit report 30 days after making the payment to see if the CCS Offices entry still appears. If it doesn’t, continue to make payments until you pay the full agreed-upon amount, and if it’s still there, contact CCS Offices and remind them about your agreement.
Work with a professional
Dealing with collection agencies is difficult, and it’s sometimes impossible to get anywhere on your own. This is when a credit repair company can help. Credit repair companies are industry professionals that dispute negative items on your credit report and remove them. They’ll handle all the communications, negotiations and settlements and save you the stress.
It's important to work with a reputable credit repair company to ensure that you get what you pay for. Consider contacting Credit Saint. It helps thousands of people to remove dings from their credit reports and improve their scores. It knows the industry inside and out and can help you get your credit score back on track.
CCS Offices contact information
You can contact CCS Offices at:
725 Canton Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone number: 617-965-2000x 4491
Dealing with CCS Offices
No one enjoys dealing with a debt collector, but it’s better to handle it promptly to avoid extensive damage to your credit score. Removing a CCS Offices collection account is the best way to get your score back on track and move one step closer to achieving your financial goals.
Improving your credit score is a process and an achievable goal. There are plenty of articles available if you want more tips and guides on how to improve your score and financial habits.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current BBB and CFPB complaints against CCS Offices and provide current contact information.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on August 22, 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/