LJ Ross Associates is a debt collection agency based out of Michigan. They specialize in debt collection for medical, utilities, government, education and financial industries. Like most debt collection agencies, they have a reputation for behaving in a rude and unprofessional manner.
If you discover LJ Ross on your credit report and wonder why they appear, keep in mind that LJ Ross purchases a debt from the original creditor and then attempts to collect on it. This debt may not even be yours. Collection agencies often have incorrect information, but this doesn't stop them from attempting to collect on a debt.
Table of contents:
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- How to communicate with LJ Ross
- Finding LJ Ross on your credit report
- How to remove LJ Ross from your credit report
The first thing to keep in mind when dealing with any collection agency is that you have certain rights that they must acknowledge and abide by.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Collection agencies often assume that you’re unaware of your rights and, therefore, routinely ignore them. You have rights under the FDCPA. These rights dictate how agencies must conduct themselves when they collect debts. The most important thing to note is that collection agencies can’t harass you. They’re also prohibited from:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. local time
- Continuing to contact you after you ask them to stop
- Contacting you at your place of employment
- Attempting to collect a debt after you request a debt validation letter
- Threatening legal action or arrest
- Using profane language
- Threatening to put false information on your credit report
How to communicate with LJ Ross
When LJ Ross contacts you on the phone, start by telling them that you know your rights under the FDCPA. Secondly, request that all future communication is via mail. Also, tell them not to contact you at your place of employment. This will often catch them off guard because they assume most people are simply unaware of their rights. If they become abusive or combative, remind them that they’re in violation of the FDCPA.
You can write to LJ Ross at the following address:
- LJ Ross Associates
- 4 Universal Way
- Jackson, MI 49202-1455
Finding LJ Ross on your credit report
If LJ Ross doesn’t contact you via phone or mail but they appear on your credit report in the form of a collection, you need to make sure that it's actually your debt. As previously mentioned, many debt collection agencies buy old debts with inaccurate information, and it's not uncommon for them to attempt to collect from the wrong person. If you don't recognize the debt, you need to dispute it with the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. After you dispute the negative entry, they have 30 days to investigate.
How to remove LJ Ross from your credit report
If you're unable to remove the LJ Ross collection from your credit report by disputing the entry, you have other options. It's generally easier to remove older collections than newer ones. The problem is, some debt collection agencies re-age accounts, which results in the negative entry looking much newer than it really is. Since newer collections impact your credit score more significantly, a re-aged account can affect your ability to get a loan or pre-approval for a mortgage.
Your first option to get the entry removed from your credit report is to demand LJ Ross validate the debt. Debt validation is another right you have under the FDCPA. You can ask a collection agency to provide you with documentation that validates the debt is actually yours. If they can’t provide the validation documentation, they must stop attempting to collect the debt and remove the negative entry from your credit report.
A debt validation letter is the first thing you need if you receive a collection letter from LJ Ross. Look up a debt validation letter template to get an idea of what you should write. One problem you may face is that you technically only have 30 days from their first contact to provide them with the debt validation letter. However, this shouldn't prevent you from sending it.
Pay in full for deletion
If the debt validation letter isn't successful and they provide you with documentation proving the debt is yours, you can offer to pay the debt if they agree to remove it from your credit report. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using this method. First, don't assume you have to pay the full amount. In fact, if it's an older debt, it's likely they'll accept much less than the full balance.
You have room to negotiate when dealing with collection agencies. It's acceptable to negotiate over the phone, but once you come to an agreement, make sure you get everything in writing. Never agree to pay them over the phone or give them access to your bank account. Once you have the agreement in writing, issue the check and wait 30 days for them to update your credit report. If the collection still appears on your credit report after 30 days, contact them regarding the agreement.
If you can’t remove the LJ Ross collection from your credit report using the steps above, you might consider getting a professional to do it. This is usually the quickest way to get negative entries removed, and many people say they achieve success by doing this.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect LJ Ross’s current contact information.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on September 6, 2017, 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/