If Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., contacts you, it means it’s pursuing you for an unpaid debt. Many people forget to pay a bill or find themselves short on funds, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, if a bill remains unpaid, the original creditor may employ the services of a third-party debt collection agency to pursue the debt. Hence, the persistent phone calls and emails.
In addition to suffering the annoying and aggressive practices debt collectors, such as Convergent Outsourcing, engage in, a debt sent to collection can have a major impact on your credit score. The best way to prevent an old debt from affecting your future financial opportunities is to remove the collection entry from your credit report.
What is Convergent Outsourcing?
Convergent Outsourcing, formerly ER Solutions, is a U.S.-based debt collector. Originating in 1950, its current headquarters are in Renton, Washington. It collects on behalf of companies and businesses in a variety of industries, including:
- Health care providers
- Telecommunication suppliers — such as Sprint and T-Mobile
- Financial institutions
- Government agencies
- Utility providers
Although it’s incredibly annoying, Convergent Outsourcing is a legitimate business and not a scam. But like most debt collectors, it has a questionable reputation with its customers. Convergent Outsourcing has many complaints against it on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau, mostly regarding:
- Failing to respond to debt validation requests
- Reporting inaccurate information
These violate the Fair Trade Commission-mandated Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Steps to remove Convergent Outsourcing from your credit report
It isn't always easy to remove a collection account, but the following strategies can make it possible:
- Know your rights
- Request a goodwill deletion
- Validate the debt
- Negotiate a pay for-delete-agreement
Know your rights
A debt collection agency will try to coerce payments out of you in any way it can because that’s how it makes money. This often means constant collection calls, annoying letters, profane language, threats of lawsuits and other forms of harassment. It believes you’re more likely to pay if you’re desperate to get rid of it.
When a debt collector contacts them, many consumers are unaware that the FDCPA provides protection from this kind of abuse. This piece of federal legislation prevents debt collectors from harassing customers to pay.
The FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from engaging in specific forms of harassment, including:
- Calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Using profane or abusive language
- Calling you after you tell it to stop
- Misrepresenting itself or information about the debt
- Attempting to collect a debt after the statute of limitations expires
- Reporting false information about the debt
- Contacting you at work or at a time you say is inconvenient
- Contacting friends, family or coworkers regarding your debt
- Calling you after you request contact through U.S. Mail only
While Convergent Outsourcing claims to provide its representatives with FDCPA compliance training, it’s still possible for a representative to commit an infraction. Therefore, it’s important to understand your consumer rights to prevent Convergent Outsourcing from walking all over you. Arm yourself with this knowledge so you can negotiate with Convergent Outsourcing, or any other debt collector, confidently.
Request a goodwill deletion
If you paid the debt and you're currently in good standing with the original creditor, deleting the collection from your credit report is still a possibility. A goodwill deletion is where the debt collector agrees to stop reporting the debt out of goodwill. Collection companies typically only agree to this if you paid the debt and haven’t made any late payments since.
If this describes your current situation, send a letter to Convergent Outsourcing and request a goodwill deletion. The letter needs to explain the reason for your late payment and why you’re requesting removal. For example, you may have a baby on the way or want to apply for a mortgage. Whatever the reason, make sure you’re sincere and friendly in your letter, as Convergent Outsourcing are unlikely to grant your request if you’re demanding and angry.
Validate the debt
If you can’t secure a goodwill deletion, the next step is to request debt validation from Convergent Outsourcing to identify if there’s any inaccurate reporting regarding your debt; this may allow you to delete it. The debt collection process isn’t perfect; reporting mistakes and lost information are common during the transfer of a debt from the original creditor to a debt collector.
It’s possible that the information Convergent Outsourcing has regarding your debt is incorrect or that the debt doesn’t even belong to you. Therefore, it’s important to request debt verification ASAP. This is your right under the FDCPA.
How to request debt validation
You can send a debt validation letter to Convergent Outsourcing asking it to confirm details of the debt, including:
- The amount owed
- The name of the creditor
- The original date of debt acquisition
You can use a template if you need help writing your own letter.
It's advisable to send a debt validation letter via certified mail to get confirmation of receipt and to create a paper trail. Never make an agreement with a debt collection agency over the phone. If push comes to shove and you need to take legal action, it’s your word against the agency’s.
When you receive the documentation from Convergent Outsourcing, review it carefully, and make a note of any inaccuracies. If you find any inconsistencies, you can file a dispute with the three major credit bureaus. If they agree that the entry is inaccurate, they’ll remove it from your credit report.
Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If your attempt to remove an entry due to inaccuracies is unsuccessful, you can try to negotiate a pay-for-delete settlement. This is exactly what it sounds like:
- You pay the debt to Convergent Outsourcing
- Convergent Outsourcing deletes its entry on your credit report
These types of agreements are rare, but a debt collector may agree if it’s desperate for your payment. Start by offering to pay Convergent Outsourcing half of the amount you owe and negotiate from there. Once you reach an agreement, ask to get the terms sent to you in writing via certified mail, and don’t make your first payment to Convergent Outsourcing until you receive it.
Check your credit report 30 days after you make your first payment. The Convergent Outsourcing entry should no longer appear, in which case you can continue to make payments until you repay the debt. If it’s still there, contact the agency and remind it of the agreement, and make it clear that you won’t make another payment until it removes the entry.
Dealing with Convergent Outsourcing
Typically, Convergent Outsourcing is a tough egg to crack. You may find that it won’t budge, even after you try the strategies above. If this is the case, consider contacting a professional credit repair company.
A credit repair company can remove a negative mark from your credit report by communicating with the debt collector on your behalf. It often has more success because of its industry knowledge and negotiation tactics.
Improving your credit takes time, but it’s worth it. There are plenty of articles available if you want more information and tips on how to improve your credit and reach your financial goals.
Convergent Outsourcing contact information
The contact details for Convergent Outsourcing are:
800 SW 39th Street.
Renton, WA 98057
Phone number: 800-444-8485
Update: This article has been updated to reflect current contact information for Convergent Outsourcing and unverifiable information has been removed.
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/