How To Remove First Financial Asset Management from Your Credit Report
First Financial Asset Management is a debt collection company that may contact you to pursue an old debt. It’s unpleasant to deal with and can create problems for your credit score by reporting a collection account to the credit reporting agencies. A First Financial Asset Management entry on your credit report can impact your credit score for up to seven years, even if you pay off the debt, which can impair future credit card or loan applications. The best way to deal with First Financial Asset Management is to remove its entry from your credit report.
What is First Financial Asset Management?
First Financial Asset Management is a medium-sized debt collection agency based in Peachtree Corners in Atlanta, Georgia and offers accounts receivables management and debt acquisition services for original creditors. Its typical clients are insurance companies and healthcare organizations. Originally founded in 2002, First Financial Asset Management is fairly new in comparison to other debt collection agencies.
Is First Financial Asset Management legitimate?
Many consumers are unfamiliar with First Financial Asset Management and question its rights when it contacts them, but the agency is legitimate and not a scam. Because it’s a relatively new company, it has significantly fewer complaints against them on file than some of its competitors. However, it doesn’t have a clean slate. It had 20 complaints in 2020 on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 43 complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the last three years. Consumers claim that it’s guilty of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations, such as attempting to collect inaccurate debts and failing to respond to debt validation requests.
How to remove First Financial Asset Management from your credit report
A First Financial Asset Management entry on your credit report is extremely damaging. Negative information can cause your credit score to drop by as much as 100 points, so it’s important to remove a collection entry from your report ASAP. The following steps will help you to remove a First Financial Asset Management collection account from your credit report:
- Know your rights
- Communicate in writing
- Send a debt validation letter
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete-agreement
- Seek professional help
Know your rights
You don’t need to visit a law firm to know your consumer rights. Debt collectors, such as First Financial Asset Management, take advantage of the fact that most consumers aren’t aware of how federal legislation protects them. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the FDCPA, which is a federal law that prevents collection agencies from engaging in practices that involve harassing, abusing or misinforming customers. Under the FDCPA, debt collection agencies can’t:
- Contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Continue to call you after you ask them to stop
- Harass you or anyone else in regards to the debt
- Use abusive, aggressive or profane language
- Contact your place of employment
- Threaten legal action that they can’t or won’t take
- Misrepresent themselves when contacting you
- Misrepresent information regarding the debt
- Try to acquire a debt that exceeds the statute of limitations
- Ignore a debt validation request
If an agent from First Financial Asset Management attempts any of the above in their dealings with you, make a note of the time and date of the interaction. If you choose to file a complaint with the CFPB, each infraction may entitle you to a payment of $1,000. This may require enlisting the services of an attorney, but if you win, it’s possible that First Financial Asset Management will cover their fees.
Communicate in writing
Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request that all contact with First Financial Asset Management is via U.S.P.S. Certified Mail. It’s important to request this early in your communications. Debt collectors can say something over the phone and not act on it, and it’s difficult to hold them accountable. Getting everything in writing prevents this and stops them from harassing you.
If First Financial Asset Management calls you, make it clear that you’re aware of your rights under the FDCPA and request that all future communications be via certified mail. If the agent becomes indignant or combative, tell them that they’re in violation of the FDCPA and hang up. If the agency continues to call you, send a cease-and-desist letter. Make sure you keep a copy of all written correspondence in case you need it in future negotiations.
Send a debt validation letter
It's possible for information to get lost in the transfer from the original creditor to First Financial Asset Management, which means that some of the information regarding your debt may be incorrect or that the debt may not belong to you at all. This is why debt validation is incredibly important; it can even get you out of paying the debt altogether.
If a collection agency contacts you, don’t ignore them. You only have 30 days from their initial contact to validate the debt, after which there’s no legal obligation for the agency to respond. Send your debt validation letter to First Financial Asset Management within the 30-day period, and make sure you request a return receipt so you have confirmation when First Financial Asset Management receives it. If it doesn’t respond, you can file a complaint with the CFPB.
Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If First Financial Asset Management validates the debt and proves it’s yours, your final step is to request a pay-for-delete agreement. In a pay-for-delete agreement, the debt collector offers to make a payment on the debt in exchange for the deletion of the collection entry with the three major credit bureaus. This means you can remove First Financial Asset Management from your credit report.
Many debt collectors will settle for less than the full balance because the balance is likely an inflated total of the actual debt amount. Start by offering First Financial Asset Management 50% of the balance and negotiate from there. Once you reach a compromise, get it in writing to prevent First Financial Asset Management from breaching the agreement after you start paying. Check your credit report 30 days after you make your first payment to ensure that First Financial Asset Management deletes its entry. If it doesn’t, file a dispute with the three credit bureaus and remind the agency of its promise.
Seek professional help
If the process is too much for you to handle on your own, you can reach out to a reputable credit repair company to deal with the debt collection agency on your behalf.
First Financial Asset Management contact information
You can contact First Financial Asset Management at:
3091 Governors Lake Drive,
Suite 500 Peachtree Corners,
Phone number: 800-542-8714
May appear on your report as: First Financial Asset Management, Inc. or FFAM
Dealing with First Financial Asset Management
Removing First Financial Asset Management from your credit report can help you to get your credit score back on track and achieve your financial dreams. There are other articles available that provide more information and tips on how to improve your credit score. Take action today to improve your financial well-being.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the number of current BBB and CFPB complaints against First Financial Asset Management.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on July 14, 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/