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If Harris & Harris collection services is filling up your voicemail and your mailbox, read on to learn how to respond to them the right way and improve your credit score. It is not unusual for a bill to slip through the cracks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, no one wants to answer phone calls from a debt collection agency.

If a debt collector has your number on its calling list, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. But answering the call and paying the amount you owe won’t necessarily solve the problem either. Even when you pay off a collection agency, it can hurt your credit score for up to seven years.

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What is Harris & Harris?

Harris & Harris Ltd. is a legitimate collection agency, though its spammy communications might lead you to believe it’s a scam. In fact, the agency has been collecting debt across the U.S., from New York to California, since its inception in 1968, with about 500 employees today. Its headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois. It may show up under a number of names on your credit report, such as Harris and Harris Debt Collectors, Harris and Harris Ltd., Harris Collection, Harris Harris, Harris Ltd., or Harris & Harris Limited.

3 ways to remove Harris & Harris from your credit report

With these simple steps, you can quickly and efficiently remove the collection agency from your credit report.

1. Write a letter to dispute the debt

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collections agencies must validate your debt if you write a letter of request. We suggest sending your written debt validation letter request via certified mail, leaving a clear paper trail. If the collection agency is charging you for a debt that you’re certain you don’t owe, you should definitely dispute it. But even if you are responsible for the debt that Harris & Harris is requesting payment for, submitting a debt validation letter is still worth a shot.

Since debt collectors are third-party agencies collecting on behalf of other companies, there’s a strong likelihood they don’t have valid documentation for your debt. If that’s the case, they should remove you from their calling and mailing lists and take the account off your credit report promptly.

The key to this method is acting fast. You can only dispute the claim within 30 days of the agency notifying you of your debt. If it has been on your report for less than a month, you should definitely submit a debt validation letter.

2. Make a payment

If the window for debt validation has closed, your best bet may be to contact them about a partial payment. There’s a good chance the agency will be willing to negotiate a smaller payment in exchange for removing the collections account from your credit report. We recommend starting your negotiations at around half of the amount you owe.

When you negotiate a payment, it’s imperative to communicate by mail. This solidifies your agreement and holds the debt collector to their agreement to remove the account from your report. Once you’ve come to an agreement on paper and made your payment, you should be able to see the changes on your credit report. If it’s been more than 30 days and you’re still waiting for your report to update, you should follow up with the agency.

3. Let a credit repair company assist you

While you can certainly succeed with the DIY methods above, confronting a collection agency can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you’re looking to play a less active role in the process but still improve your credit, you’re in luck. A good credit repair agency or law firm can handle the whole process for you, making sure that what it is reporting is accurate and fighting to remove it from your credit profile. Be sure to gather all your legal advice from an actual law firm, which can stop debt collectors from hurting your credit score and end their ceaseless calls and letters.

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Harris & Harris contact information

Who does Harris & Harris collect for?

It collects for a wide variety of businesses across several industries. Their main areas of service include:

  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Utilities

How it works

When consumers miss a payment, it can be challenging for a company to collect the debt. Companies often turn to debt collection agencies, which can devote more time and effort to collecting payments. Once a company has turned your debt over to a collection agency, it will reflect on your credit report as a collections account.

When this happens, it can deal a serious blow to your credit score in the present and future. Even if you eventually pay off your debt, it can remain on your score for up to seven years, with late payments comprising 35% of your score. Outside of damaging your credit score, the agency can call you, send letters and email you persistently until you settle your account.

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Dealing with Harris & Harris debt collectors

Consumers often complain about debt collection agencies and file complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). People have filed more than 150 complaints in 2021 against Harris & Harris with the CFPB and 242 in the last three years with the BBB. The most common complaint is the agency’s failure to respond to a debt validation request. Other complaints include inaccurate credit reporting, with many consumers claiming they settled their account, but their credit report did not reflect the payment.

The BBB has accredited Harris & Harris, which currently has an A+ rating based on its response to complaints, communication and transparency with the public. If you’re forced to deal with them, you should first educate yourself on the FDCPA. This act holds debt collectors to certain ethical communication standards, like limiting their calls to reasonable hours and prohibiting them from contacting your loved ones. It also gives you the right to demand that the agency only communicates with you by letter, which can be a huge source of relief if they are calling you repeatedly, but it serves a more significant purpose.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect changes to the number of employees, complaints, and contact information for Harris & Harris.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on July 7, 2020, on To find the most relevant information concerning collections or credit card inquiries, please visit: or