ConServe is a debt collection agency hired by creditors to collect outstanding debts. It may also purchase your debt to guarantee it will receive the repayment instead.
Collection agencies are notoriously difficult to work with, and their presence on your credit report can impact your credit score in the long run. Any time you can’t fulfill a financial obligation such as a student loan or credit card debt, you risk being reported to the three major credit reporting agencies (i.e., Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).
Removing a collection account from your credit report is one way to get your score back on track.
What is ConServe?
Established in 1985, ConServe specializes in collection solutions with headquarters in Fairport, New York. It provides accounts receivable management services and collects debts for:
- educational institutions
- government agencies
- financial institutions
- commercial and consumer markets
Is ConServe legit?
ConServe is a legitimate debt collector. However, this shouldn’t imply that the company is ethical. As evidenced by customer complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), customer experiences are far from positive.
ConServe is prone to harassment, inaccurate reporting and failure to respond to debt validation requests. It also incurs infractions due to violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The biggest complaint involves Conserve requiring consumers to jump through hoops to find its consumer resources page. Once there, the only option is redirection to a third-party website.
You have rights under several fair debt collection bureaus that protect against unethical business practices, which also apply to harassing phone calls.
Steps to remove a ConServe collection from your credit report
A common question is whether a debt collection company can sue you or garnish wages. Yes, they can and will. However, don’t let it discourage you. If you need to remove ConServe from your credit report, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the essential steps to stop annoying collection calls and avoid long-term damage to your credit score:
- Validate the debt
- Negotiate a settlement
- Hire a professional
Validate the debt
Settling accounts in arrears is a tricky business and isn’t perfect by any means. Sometimes information is lost in the transition from the original creditor to the debt collector. The debt collector thus acquires incorrect information about your debt from the start, which could lead to them pursuing you for a liability that belongs to someone else.
So, remember to validate the debt upon initial contact from ConServe. The goal is to confirm that ConServe has the correct information concerning your debt before you initiate repayment.
To accomplish this, send a debt validation letter via certified U.S. mail. Ensure your correspondence requests confirmation of details such as the name on the debt, the total amount owed and the date of debt acquisition.
This is a time-sensitive step, so you must do it right away. If you need help, a debt validation letter template is a good start.
Once submitted, ConServe will likely respond with documentation to prove the debt is your burden to bear. Review the documents with a fine-tooth comb and note all inaccuracies. If you find any, file a dispute with the major credit bureaus. Doing this helps remove a collection from your credit report or non-payment of the debt altogether.
Negotiate a settlement
If you fail to remove an erroneous entry, the next step is negotiating a pay-for-delete settlement.
Pay-for-delete is a strategy you can use to pay a portion of the debt in exchange for ConServe deleting the debt from your credit report. While this tactic is rare, you can sometimes pay less than the amount owed.
Most debt collectors purchase the debt from the creditor for pennies on the dollar. They make a return on their investment even if you don’t pay the debt in full. Ultimately, it’s a win-win situation overall.
Inform ConServe that you’re willing to pay half the total amount owed in exchange for the deletion. Negotiate until all parties mutually agree on specific terms. Also, don’t make a payment until a legally binding agreement is firmly in place. Once it is, you’re free to move forward.
When you make the first payment, wait 30 days before checking your credit report.
You should notice that ConServe no longer appears on it, which means it upheld its end of the bargain. If not, contact ConServe and inquire about the settlement.
Remind them that until they uphold their end of the deal, you won’t make another payment on the debt. Hopefully, this will inspire the agency to delete the entry accordingly.
Work with a professional
If all else fails, you can always hire a credit repair company to work its magic on ConServe. These companies help customers remove any dings or negative marks on their credit. Instead of dealing with ConServe independently, they step in to handle everything for you.
Working with one will help you land a favorable outcome. You’ll even have an opportunity to review your spending habits and learn ways to improve your financial outlook and boost your credit score.
It’s best to work with the right brand, though. Some credit repair companies fail to meet expectations.
Credit Saint or Lexington Law are good options when looking for high-quality credit repair services. They’re consummate professionals with an established history in successfully handling collection cases.
You can find ConServe at the agency’s main office address:
- 200 CrossKeys Office Park
- Fairport, NY 14450-3510
Dealing with ConServe collections
Removing ConServe from your credit report isn’t easy, but it pays off in the long run. Cleaning up your credit report improves your credit score and opens doors to future credit opportunities.
Although it's a tedious process, following the steps here will put you on the right track to financial recovery. Your goals are well within reach.
Update: This article was updated to reflect current contact information for ConServe.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on August 31, 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/