If you’ve been dealing with unwanted phone calls from the debt collection agency ERC, you’re probably eager to put an end to your relationship with them. During your financial journey, you might forget about a bill or lack the funds to pay your debt. When this happens, the original lenders sell your debts to a collection company to get the bill paid.
Table of contents:
- What is ERC?
- How ERC works
- Who does ERC collect for?
- Steps to remove ERC from your credit report
- ERC ratings
- Dealing with ERC
- How to remove ERC from your credit report FAQ
There are many debt buyers in the U.S., and most of them use annoying and relentless tactics. Outstanding debt can lead to more than just irritating calls, though. It can damage your credit score and stay on your record. If you're unable to pay the debt, the credit bureaus Equifax, Transunion and Experian will open a collection account on your credit report or pursue legal action.
The information below can help you with credit repair and effectively end your contact with ERC.
What is ERC?
Based on their tactics, you might think ERC, LLC is a scam, but it’s a legitimate debt collection agency. They are headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.
ERC is one of the largest and most successful third-party debt collectors in the country, collecting for original lenders such as:
- telecommunication/cell phone companies
- credit card companies
- financial services
- student loan providers
- utility companies
Their interest also extends to businesses processing outsourcing and market research.
How ERC works
When a company gives up on its attempts to collect unpaid bills due to missed or late payments, they often sell ownership of the debts to a collection agency, such as ERC. ERC can profit from these debts by purchasing them for a much lower price and attempting to collect the full amount due from the debtor.
You can expect ERC to contact you by way of persistent phone calls, emails, texts and letters. If you check your credit report and notice collections listed, it could potentially damage your score for up to seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out. Your credit score helps lenders gauge your trustworthiness, so if you have a low score or no credit history, you're less likely to get a loan or negotiate one with low-interest rates.
The following tips can help you remove collections from your credit report, potentially improving your score and overall financial portfolio.
Who does ERC collect for?
Before learning how to deal with ERC, it’s important to know who you’re working with. For starters, ERC may show up on your phone, mail or credit report under several names, including:
- Enhanced Recovery
- ERC Company
- Enhanced Recovery Co
- Enhanced Recovery Company
- ERC Collections
- ERC Collection Agency
- Enhanced Recovery Corp
Whatever name it’s operating under, the agency collects for major mobile/telecommunications providers, such as Sprint and AT&T.
Steps to remove ERC from your credit report
Getting the dreaded phone call from a debt collection agency or seeing a big drop on your credit report can be stressful. While it’s important to act quickly to resolve the situation, there’s no need to panic. The tips below can help you to settle your debts, dispute your credit report and part ways with ERC.
Step 1. Ask ERC to validate your debt
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) allows you to demand evidence that a debt collection agency’s claim is well-supported and not inaccurate credit reporting. Even if you do owe the amount they are requesting, ERC isn’t the original creditor and may not have the documentation it needs to validate the accuracy of the debt and amount. This is especially important now, when identity theft is on the rise. The debt could be fraudulent and leave you responsible for someone else's decisions.
You can use a sample debt validation letter to request proof, but you need to do this within 30 days of first hearing from ERC. Sending in a validation letter could result in the company dropping its charge and removing the account from your credit report altogether. If your contact with ERC was more than 30 days ago, you might fare better with a different approach.
Step 2. Consider making a partial payment
If the company is able to verify your debt, or if your contact with ERC exceeds a month, consider paying your debt — at least partially. ERC may request $100 from you for an unpaid phone bill, but that doesn’t mean they won’t accept less. Because collection agencies can buy debts at a cheaper price, they’ll profit even if you negotiate a lower price in exchange for removing the collection account from your credit report.
A good starting point for negotiations is to offer to pay half the total amount you owe ERC. To document your agreement, the best practice is to negotiate with the agency by letter. After you send the agreed payment, you should monitor your credit report to ensure they update it accordingly. If you don’t see a change within 30 days of making your payment, you should contact ERC and make sure they uphold their end of the deal.
Step 3. Get professional help
Removing items from your credit report can be a time-consuming and frustrating ordeal. If you feel overwhelmed or you’re simply tired of dealing with ERC, seeking professional help from one of the best credit repair companies might be a good idea.
A forgotten phone bill from years ago shouldn’t affect your future financial goals. Whether you choose to write to the agency yourself or work with a company to improve your score, getting ERC removed from your credit report is simple.
The contact details for ERC are:
- Address: 8014 Bayberry Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256-7412
- Phone number: 800-383-5979
- Website: ercbpo.com
The Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) gave ERC a B rating, and they have 1,100 consumer complaints lodged against them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has over 7,000 consumer complaints against them. Both companies record complaints regarding FDCPA violations.
Dealing with ERC
ERC is within its rights to seek payment for debts it purchases legally, but you also have rights under the FDCPA. Under this act, you may choose to only interact with the agency via mail. Using this recommended mode of communication documents your case and holds the agency accountable for any agreements you make, such as repaying your debts and thereby removing the account from your credit report. Communicating by mail also helps to alleviate the stress of constant calls from the agency.
Many of the complaints filed with the BBB and CFPB concern ERC’s failure to respond to requests for proof of debt and incorrect debt reporting. These complaints highlight the need to document your conversations with ERC representatives.
How to remove ERC from your credit report FAQ
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about how to remove ERC from your credit report.
Is ERC legit?
Who does ERC collect for?
Why does ERC keep calling me?
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the number of current BBB complaints against ERC. ERC’s contact information has been updated.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on June 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/