How to Remove Hunter Warfield from Your Credit Report
If Hunter Warfield, Inc., has appeared on your credit report, you probably have an old debt. It’s likely that Hunter Warfield bought the old debt from your original creditor, and now, this Tampa, Florida-based debt collector wants you to pay. Alternatively, Hunter Warfield could have received your name and contact information by mistake when it bought a bundle of old accounts from an apartment complex you once lived in.
Either way, a collections account wreaks havoc on your credit report, damaging your credit score for up to seven years. Below, you'll find our guide to removing Hunter Warfield from your credit report and getting your credit score back on track.
What is Hunter Warfield?
Hunter Warfield buys a variety of debt, including:
- Medical debt
- Credit card debt
- Unpaid utility bills
- Property management debt
The agency may appear as “hwarfield” on your credit report.
When it buys an old debt, the third-party debt collection agency pays a low rate — pennies or nickels on the dollar. When you pay the debt, the agency makes a profit. Every penny you pay, in addition to Hunter Warfield's debt-purchase price, goes directly to the agency's bottom line.
If Hunter Warfield has appeared on your credit report, you've likely already heard from one of its agents. This agency has a reputation for incessant telephone calls, including threats and abusive language. This is one reason so many people dread working with collection agencies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received nearly 2,000 complaints about Hunter Warfield, while the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has received more than 420 in the last three years. Most of these complaints cite harassment, inaccurate reporting and failure to validate debts.
Four ways to remove Hunter Warfield from your credit report
Removing negative entries from your credit report is the best way to get your credit score back on track. A collections account could pull down your credit score by as much as 100 points. If you follow our directions quickly and thoroughly, you may be able to remove Hunter Warfield's negative credit items without paying anything. Or, if you do owe some money, you could remove this negative credit mark by paying just a fraction of the balance due.
Here's what to do:
- Get everything in writing
- Send a debt validation letter
- Negotiate a settlement
- Seek professional help
Get everything in writing
Writing letters and mailing them at the post office feels so 20th century — or even 19th century! It seems especially strange to stand in line at a post office with a smartphone in your pocket that could instantly communicate with anyone in the world. Nevertheless, you should communicate only through letters when dealing with Hunter Warfield.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you the right to choose how Hunter Warfield communicates with you. So, you should insist it only communicates with you through letters because when you talk to a debt collector over the phone and come to an agreement, you may discover that debt collectors have bad memories. Once you've held up your end of the bargain and made your payments, the collections agency may forget its side of the deal.
Unless you have the agreement in writing, you won't be able to jog the agent's memory. Essentially, it’s your word against theirs. And Hunter Warfield Collections didn't earn one of the highest recovery rates in the business by maintaining a respectful approach to revenue recovery. If your agent insists on making phone calls, inform the agency that it is violating the FDCPA and hang up.
Keep every piece of communication you receive from Hunter Warfield, as this will serve as evidence when you enter the negotiation process. These communications also serve as a tool to prevent additional harassment, as an agent will not break the law in a letter you could forward to the CFPB.
Send a debt validation letter
The next step in the process is to send a debt validation letter to Hunter Warfield. Debt collectors obtain inaccurate debt all the time. It’s part of the business model. They aren’t very worried about accuracy because they bought the debt, and your payment will translate into profit.
Sadly, many consumers don’t realize they never owed the debt to begin with. These consumers will pay an alleged debt to stop the harassing phone calls. However, the FDCPA gives you the right to verify whether an alleged debt belongs to you. This ensures a third-party collection agency has accurate information.
If the debt isn’t yours, the agency will have to dismiss it. You won’t have to pay a dime, and Hunter Warfield will have to remove the negative credit items within 30 days.
Do not ignore Hunter Warfield when they first contact you. This will only make things worse. After Hunter Warfield first contacts you, you have only 30 days to send a debt validation letter. If you wait longer than that, they are not obliged to respond to you.
When you send the debt validation letter, request a return receipt so you can verify that the agency received your letter. You should hear back in about 30 days with documents and proof that the debt is yours. If Hunter Warfield can’t validate your debt, they must contact all three major credit bureaus and remove the debt. This will solve your problem.
Negotiate a payment plan
If Hunter Warfield confirms the debt is yours, the next step is to negotiate a settlement with the agency.
You should negotiate a pay-for-delete settlement.
The collection agency should agree to stop reporting your debt to the three major credit bureaus in exchange for your payment. Notice that we did not say “full payment.” Hunter Warfield does not volunteer this information, but it almost always accepts less than the full amount. Any amount you pay pads the company's bottom line.
You should start by offering to pay half the debt in exchange for deletion. You can work from there to come up with an arrangement that both parties will accept. Once you have both accepted the terms, you should request that Hunter Warfield provides the official agreement in writing. Do not make a single payment until you receive this agreement in the mail.
Once the contract arrives, you can make your first payment to Hunter Warfield. After 30 days, check your credit report with all three major credit bureaus. You should notice that Hunter Warfield has removed the collection entry from your report. If it is still there, contact Hunter Warfield and remind them of your agreement.
Seek professional help
The steps above could put your financial life on the mend within a couple of months. But you'll have to be persistent, thorough and determined. When you have a job, a family and other everyday concerns, finding the time to write and mail letters and follow up with credit bureaus add a lot of stress.
If you'd rather not deal with Hunter Warfield directly, you could always hire a credit repair company to do the legwork. Credit Saint has plenty of experience in and success at removing negative entries from credit reports. Credit repair companies won't do anything you couldn't do yourself. But they deal with revenue recovery firms every day and can get results quickly and efficiently.
You'll have to pay a monthly fee plus a one-time setup fee. You will probably spend $500 to $600 over the course of four months to repair your credit score. With the right steps and some time, you’ll have your score back on track.
Does the law protect my rights?
Debt collectors prefer that you don’t know your rights. When you have a shaky knowledge of your rights, you're more likely to respond to your fear with immediate payment. If your anxiety doesn't prompt you to pay right away, debt collectors will keep calling. Every time you pick up your phone, you see missed calls from debt collectors.
When you don't have the money to pay, either because the amount due is overwhelming or you're out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to ignore the calls until they go away. You shouldn’t do this. You have rights that allow you to take control of the situation. These laws exist to make sure you don't have to endure abuse, threats and fear-based tactics.
The FDCPA is a federal law that prevents debt collectors from:
- Contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m
- Continuing to call you after you ask them to stop
- Harassing you or anyone else regarding a debt
- Using abusive, aggressive or profane language
- Misrepresenting themselves or information regarding a debt
- Ignoring a request for debt validation requested within the first 30 days
Before dealing with Hunter Warfield or any other debt collection agency, understand your rights under the FDCPA. Arming yourself with knowledge of the law is the best way to protect yourself.
FAQs about Hunter Warfield
We've covered the basics of dealing with Hunter Warfield, but below is further helpful information based on questions we regularly receive about revenue recovery services.
How do I contact Hunter Warfield?
Hunter Warfield's website is helpful and intuitive by industry standards. But, once again, you should deal with this agency only in writing.
- Address: 4620 Woodland Corporate Blvd., Tampa, FL 33614-2415
- Website: www.hunterwarfield.com
- Phone number: 888-494-9120
Is Hunter Warfield a scam?
No; Hunter Warfield, Inc. is a legitimate debt collection agency that partners with apartment complexes, property management companies, medical clinics, credit card lenders, public utilities and even funeral homes to collect old debts. If you're hearing from Hunter Warfield, it thinks you owe it money, and it will hurt your credit score, limiting your chances of obtaining low interest rates on loans. A low credit score also increases your car insurance rate in most states.
How did Hunter Warfield get my phone number?
Hunter Warfield bought your contact information when it bought your old debt. It has a right to call you once a day unless you request that it stops. The agency's site, hunterwarfield.com, has a “Stop Calling” button, but we still recommend writing a letter to make your request official.
Can Hunter Warfield Collections sue me?
Any creditor can sue you in civil court to collect a debt. If your debt is older than your state's statute of limitations on debt, the judge will dismiss the civil lawsuit immediately. Even if the debt is too old for a lawsuit, it will still harm your credit score. Unpaid debt remains on your credit report for seven years.
Can a debt collector or creditor prosecute me for old debt?
No matter what a third-party collection agency says, they cannot arrest you or charge you in the criminal court system due to unpaid consumer debt. Aggressive debt collectors may imply you’ll suffer these sorts of consequences. This is why you should know your rights before discussing anything with a debt collector.
Fear that the police will arrest you or the debt collector will visit you at home or work can cause you to make an immediate payment. But this payment may not remove the negative items from your credit score. Never make any payments to a collection agency until you have a written agreement that your payment will remove the negative entries from your credit history.
Where can I complain about Hunter Warfield?
The BBB has not accredited Hunter Warfield, but you could still complain on the BBB's Hunter Warfield page. A better approach is to file a complaint with the federal CFPB, which enforces the FDCPA and other laws.
If you believe a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, the CFPB could fine the collections agency $1,000 per violation.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the number of current BBB complaints against Hunter Warfield and provide their current contact information.
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/