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If Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc. (CFS) has contacted you about an unpaid bill, whether by phone or collection letter, you may be wondering how to get them removed from your credit report. When you owe money to a debt collection agency, it can disrupt your financial plans and add stress to your daily life.

The advice below will help you stop collection calls, resolve your account and improve your credit score.

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What is CFS?

Created in 2001, CFS is a third-party debt collection agency. While you might question its legitimacy based on its persistent collection methods, the company is legitimate. You can reach an agency representative at the contact information listed below:

Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc.

245 Main St., Dickson City, Pennsylvania 18519-1641
Phone Number: 800-848-2170

The Better Business Bureau ( states that although CFS has a B accreditation, people have lodged complaints against it more than 340 times in the last three years. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that people have filed complaints against the CFS more than 2,500 times, and most complaints show it is in direct violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

You might also see CFS on your credit report under the following names:

  • CFSI
  • CFSI collections
  • Commonwealth collections
  • Comnwlth fin
  • Commonwealth finance
  • Commonwealth financial

It is considered a medium-sized company by industry standards. It operates as an accounts receivable management business, which includes debt purchasing, credit bureau reporting, third-party debt collection and first-party outsourcing. CFS collects many types of consumer debts, such as medical bills or debt, retail balances and financial account debts, such as credit cards and student loans.

How does CFS work?

Debt collection agencies buy debts (accounts that have gone unpaid) at low costs from service providers across several industries. If you notice CFS on your credit report as a collections account, it’s likely for an overdue bill.

CFS is a late-stage, or junk, debt collector, which means they purchase debts from other collection agencies. Once the agency has bought a debt from a company, its representatives have the right to pursue debt payments by calling and writing to you frequently. And, when your credit report lists a collection debt, the negative entry can damage your score for up to seven years.

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3 ways to remove CFS from your credit report

As tempting as it may be to ignore CFS’ calls, it can be devastating to your credit score. Whether you owe money or CFS has invalid or incorrect information about a debt, it’s important to communicate with the collection agency. Here are three simple ways you can resolve an issue with CFS:

  • Submit a debt validation letter
  • Negotiate a payment to CFS
  • Work with a credit repair agency

Submit a debt validation letter

You could dispute your debt, in which case, CFS would remove itself from your credit report. The FDCPA grants you the right to request validation of the debt you allegedly owe. If the collection agency can’t provide adequate evidence of your debt, they must remove the account from your credit report.

This strategy can still work, even if the debt is valid. Since debt collectors purchase second-hand debt from service providers or other collection agencies, they might not have the documentation they need to support their claim. You have 30 days to dispute a claim with a debt validation letter, so it’s important to move quickly if CFS contacts you.

Negotiate a payment to CFS

If you missed the 30-day debt validation window or CFS validated your debt, you can still save money by negotiating with CFS to make a payment and asking them to remove the collections account from your credit report. Collections agencies will often agree to a reduced payment. A good place to start your negotiations is about 50% of the total amount you owe.

As always, you should put all your negotiations in writing, using letters to communicate with CFS representatives. If you negotiate over the phone, it’s more difficult to prove you had an agreement and to remove CFS from your credit report.

Once you’ve agreed on a settlement and made your payment to the agency, make sure that your credit report reflects these changes. If the collections account is still present, it can continue to harm your credit score for several years. Follow up with the agency immediately if they haven’t removed the negative entry from your credit history.

Work with a credit repair agency

While you can most likely succeed at removing CFS from your credit report on your own, it can be a frustrating process. Credit repair agencies are experts at disputing debts and removing collection accounts from consumers’ credit reports. In addition to taking the stress out of credit repair, these companies can often remove debt collection agencies from your credit report more quickly than you could on your own. Whether you pay a company to remove the collection account or you choose to write to CFS yourself, don’t delay fixing your credit report.

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Dealing with CFS

People encounter many issues with CFS that stem from it inaccurately reporting debt and failing to respond to debt validation requests. While the agency may be persistent in its collection attempts, it does have to follow some guidelines under the FDCPA, such as only calling you at appropriate hours and not harassing you at your place of business. The act also allows you to choose how to communicate with CFS and other agencies.

When you deal with a debt collector, you should always opt to communicate through letters. When you write everything down, you have the documentation you need to challenge the debt or hold the agency to a repayment agreement.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of CFPB and BBB complaints against CFS.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on July 2, 2020, on To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: or