When you forget to pay a bill, it might go to collections. Once a debt collection agency becomes involved, you may start to get phone calls from a debt collector, such as IQ Data International, harassing you to repay the debt. This happens when they open a collection account on your credit report, notifying the credit reporting agencies of your delinquency.
Collection accounts on your credit report are damaging to your credit score. Even after you pay the debt, collection accounts can remain on your credit report as paid but negatively impact your score for up to seven years. The best way to deal with a collection report is to have the debt collector remove it.
What is IQ Data International?
IQ Data International, Inc is a medium-sized, third-party debt collector located in the U.S. Founded in 2003, they’re currently headquartered in Bothell, Washington, after moving from Everett, Washington. Like most debt collectors, they’re known for being aggressive and rude to their customers.
IQ Data International works mainly with property management companies to recover unpaid apartment complex rent payments and utility and credit card debts. You might hear from them if you owe a debt on rent or any other property management charge.
IQ Data International also operates under the name Rent Collect Global. If you hear from this company or see a similar name listed on your credit report, you’ll know that you are dealing with IQ Data International.
Steps to remove IQ Data International from your credit report
Dealing with a debt collector isn’t pleasant, but there are some basic steps that can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of. You can use the following tips to help you deal with IQ Data International and get their entry removed from your credit report:
- Know your rights
- Request communication in writing
- Verify the debt
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete
- Hire a professional
Know your rights
Debt collectors consistently take advantage of customers and assume they aren’t aware of their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FDCPA is federal legislation that prevents abuse from debt collectors. This act prohibits specific practices, such as:
- being verbally abusive
- contacting your family or friends
- lying about their identity
- misrepresenting information concerning your debt
Most people aren’t aware of their rights under the FDCPA, and debt collectors take advantage of this. By understanding your entitlements under this act, you are arming yourself with powerful information that can help you in your fight to remove collection accounts from your credit report.
Request communication in writing
One of the most important steps to take when dealing with a debt collector is to request that all communication is via the U.S. Mail. The FDCPA allows you to request IQ Data International contacts you only in writing and not over the phone. This helps prevent consistent harassment, and it also holds them responsible for following through on agreements.
By making sure that IQ Data International is only contacting you in writing, you’re taking control of the situation. Make sure you keep a record of all your communications with them as you never know when you will need to provide proof to them or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Verify the debt
Debt collectors sometimes make mistakes. It’s not uncommon for information to get lost or mixed up when it moves from an original creditor to a debt collector. This is why it’s important to verify that the debt is yours right away and before making any payments. Start by writing a debt validation letter within 30 days of the first contact from IQ Data International.
Ask them to verify the name, dates of account activity, total debt and any other information associated with the debt. The date of the debt is important because of the statute of limitations regarding debt repayment. Each state has a maximum amount of time in which a collector can legally pursue a debt. If they fail to pursue the debt within this time, you’re not obligated to repay the debt.
When you write a debt validation letter, make sure you request a return receipt that shows proof of receipt. This will give you physical evidence if they ignore your request for validation, and you can prove they received it.
Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
Unfortunately, paying the debt will only change the status of the collection entry and won’t get rid of the collection account on your credit report. You need to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement to remove the entry from your credit report.
Many people don’t realize that debt collectors are often willing to settle for less than the full amount. Negotiate with IQ Data International to only pay back a fraction of the total balance. In exchange, they must agree to delete the collection accounts with the three major credit bureaus. Make sure you get this agreement in writing before making your first payment. After you submit the first payment, wait 30 days, and then check with the credit bureaus. If they still have the collection accounts listed on your report, contact IQ Data International and remind them of the agreement.
Hire a professional
If you don’t want to deal with the problem yourself, you can always employ the assistance of a professional credit repair agency. These companies and law firms have staff skilled in dealing with debt collectors and collection accounts. They can help you remove damaging entries from your credit report and get your score back on track. However, make sure you do your research before using them. Some companies are legit, but others are total scams.
Does IQ Data International have any complaints against them?
Unfortunately, yes. It’s fairly common for debt collectors to have complaints against them due to the unpleasant nature of the business. It's easy to Google the company and find the most common complaints and questions.
IQ Data International currently has over 350 complaints filed with the CFPB and about 216 complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Most complaints concern inaccurate reporting of debt information, harassment and failing to respond to debt verification requests.
Experiences such as this may entitle you to a $1,000 payment for each infraction. Keep records of your interactions with IQ Data International, and make a note of when they treat you disrespectfully or misrepresent information relating to your debt.
IQ Data International contact information
You can contact IQ Data International at:
- Address: P.O. Box 340, Bothell, Washington 98041-0340
- Phone number: 888-248-2509
- Fax number: 425-609-2103
Dealing with IQ Data International
No one wants to go through the process of dealing with collection accounts, but it can help you in the long run. Taking care of the issue early will prevent extensive damage to your credit report.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect current CFPB and BBB complaints against IQ Data International.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on July 2, 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/