If you come across First National Collection Bureau (FNCB) while checking your credit report or if you receive a phone call or letter from the agency, you need to respond quickly. Having a collection account on your report is stressful, and the longer it stays there, the more it damages your credit score. This article will explain how the debt collection process works and provide you with some strategies you can use to delete a negative FNCB entry from your credit report.
What is FNCB?
If you’re questioning the legitimacy of FNCB, you can rest assured knowing the agency is valid. Founded in 1983, it’s a certified debt collection agency with headquarters in Nevada. While some third-party debt collectors buy debts for pennies on the dollar, businesses hire FNCB to collect debts on their behalf. An FNCB collection account can appear on your report for debts, such as:
- Credit cards
- Car loans
- Retail cards
If an original creditor, such as a phone or internet provider, doesn’t receive a payment from you, it can hire a collection agency, such as FNCB, to assist. At that point, it’ll open a collection account on your credit report, which can lower your score by several points. The agency will also start calling you and sending letters regarding your debt. A negative entry can remain on your report for up to seven years unless you remove it.
How to deal with FNCB
Like most collection agencies, FNCB receives its fair share of consumer complaints. In fact, it currently has 31 complaints on file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for 2021 and 114 in the last three years with the Better Business Bureau. Most of these relate to its failure to adequately respond to debt validation requests and inaccurate reporting.
Fortunately, you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law regulates how and when a debt collector can communicate with a consumer and how it records debt collection in credit reports. For example, the FDCPA prohibits a collection agency from contacting you outside of business hours or disclosing your personal information to others in its attempt to collect payment.
The FDCPA also allows you to choose how you communicate with a collection agency. It’s advisable to send FNCB a letter explaining that you’re familiar with your rights under the FDCPA and that you wish to correspond by mail only. This ensures you have documentation of every conversation and agreement, which you can use as evidence if you run into any legal problems with the agency in the future.
The contact details for FNCB are:
50 W Liberty Street
Reno, NV 89501
Phone number: 800-824-6191
3 ways to remove FNCB from your credit report
Once you’re familiar with the FDCPA, you can take the following steps to remove an FNCB collection account from your credit report:
1. Ask for debt validation
The FDCPA requires a collection agency to provide proof of a debt if a consumer makes a request within 30 days of initial contact. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of an FNCB entry on your report, you should ask for validation. Reporting mix-ups do happen, and you can experience identity theft, where someone uses your identity fraudulently to obtain credit, so it’s extremely important to verify the debt belongs to you.
Even if you know FNCB’s attempt to collect is legitimate, you can still succeed using this strategy. As a third party, the agency might not have the proof it needs to back up its collection attempt. Regardless of the reason, if a debt collector can’t provide you with information proving the debt is yours, it must delete it from your credit report and cease communications.
2. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If the agency validates the debt or you miss the 30-day window, you can try to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement. A debt collector will often accept a portion of the outstanding balance to settle your account. For example, you could start by offering to pay 30% to 50% of what you owe in exchange for the deletion of the collection account and negotiate from there. The key to this strategy is ensuring the agency agrees to delete the collection entry when you make a payment. If you don’t secure this, your payment will stop the agency’s calls, but it won’t help your credit.
Once you agree on an amount and make a payment, your credit report should update quickly. Keep an eye out by using a free credit monitoring app, and if your report doesn’t reflect your payment within a month, contact the agency again to ensure it follows through on the deal.
3. Employ a credit repair company
If you don’t want to deal with FNCB yourself, consider working with a credit repair company. It can investigate the issues that are affecting your credit score and provide you with a uniquely tailored plan to get it back on track. This includes actions such as disputing inaccuracies, requesting validation and negotiating payments. It can also assist with complex credit issues, including:
- Identity fraud
- Inaccurate hard inquiries
Dealing with debt collectors and credit problems is challenging, and a credit repair company can help. Regardless of whether you choose to partner with one of these companies or get FNCB off your report on your own, don’t delay.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect current BBB and CFPB complaints against FNCB.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on February 24, 2021, 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/