Have you noticed a company called Phoenix Financial Services on your credit report? Collection accounts on your credit report can have a significant negative impact on your credit score for up to seven years. Banks may even turn you down for loans and credit cards because of it.
It’s important to remove any negative marks from your credit report as soon as you can. This means negotiating with the debt collector, which many people don’t know how to do.
What is Phoenix Financial Services?
Originally founded in 2014, Phoenix Financial Services is a small debt collection agency out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Phoenix Financial is not a scam. It specializes in collecting debts from things like medical bills, student loan debts and government obligations.
It may show up on your credit report under various names, including:
- phnx finan
- phoenix financial
- phoenix pendrick
Phoenix Financial complaints
Despite only being eight years old, Phoenix Financial Services has a significant number of complaints. There are roughly 930 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and over 145 in the last three years with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The majority of these complaints are concerning harassment, failure to validate debts and inaccurate reporting, all of which violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Most debt collectors have complaints against them, but Phoenix Financial Services certainly has more than the average.
How to remove Phoenix Financial Services from your credit report
The only way to prevent extensive damage from Phoenix Financial Services to your credit report is to remove its entry as soon as you can. Here are the fundamental steps you can take to remove it from your credit report and get your credit score back on track.
- Ask for a goodwill deletion
- Request debt validation
- Make a pay-for-delete agreement
- Hire a credit repair company
Ask for a goodwill deletion
If you have already paid the debt to Phoenix Financial Services, you may be worried that you don’t have any bargaining power. That’s not the case. You may be able to get the collection entry removed from your credit report by asking for a goodwill deletion.
A goodwill deletion is when a debt collection agency deletes an entry from your credit report out of goodwill. A debt collector is more likely to grant you a goodwill deletion if you are in good standing with your current creditor. If they can see that it was a one-time occurrence, they may be willing to wipe the slate clean.
To request a goodwill deletion, you will need to write a letter to Phoenix Financial Services and explain the reason for your late payment. You should also explain why you would like the entry removed, such as wanting to qualify for a mortgage or a car loan. If a debt collector can see that you were going through a hard time and simply couldn’t make the payment, it may inspire sympathy.
Request debt validation
Goodwill deletions aren’t always possible. Alternatively, you can try to get the debt deleted on a technicality. You can do this by checking for inaccurate or incomplete information through a debt validation request.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to request that the debt collector confirm that the information is correct. This process can identify if there is any inaccurate information tied to your debt, as it's common for information to get lost as it moves from the original creditor to Phoenix Financial Services. That’s why it’s important to verify the information as soon as you can.
To request debt validation, you will need to write a debt validation request letter. This is a formal request for the company to confirm various details of your debt, such as the name, date and amount of the debt. You must send this letter within 30 days of the first contact with Phoenix Financial Services, as it may ignore your request if it's sent too late.
After you send the debt validation letter, the debt collector should return with proof that the debt belongs to you. However, make sure to comb through this information and note anything that seems inaccurate, because their information may not line up with what you have.
If this happens, you can file a complaint with the three major credit bureaus. The law requires Phoenix Financial Services to remove the entry and dismiss the debt.
Make a pay-for-delete agreement
If Phoenix Financial Services has all the correct information about your debt, your next option is to make a pay-for-delete agreement. A pay-for-delete agreement is when you agree to pay a portion of the debt in exchange for the company removing it from your credit report. This is often a long shot, but it can work if you and the debt collector are desperate to come to a solution.
First, you will need to negotiate a settlement in writing with Phoenix Financial Services. Start by offering to pay half of the total balance in exchange for deletion.
Then, you will work with the company until you both come to an agreement that you are happy with. It’s important to tell Phoenix Financial Services to send you the full agreement in writing. After you get the contract and approve it, you will make your first payment.
After 30 days, check your credit report to see if the entry is still there. You should find that the company has removed it. However, if it remains, reach back out and remind the debt collector of your arrangement.
Hire a credit repair company
Finally, you can always hire a credit repair company to clean up your credit report. A credit repair company helps people remove incomplete, inaccurate or fraudulent entries from their credit reports. It can also look at your current financial habits and let you know where you can improve.
Ultimately, its goal is to help you get your credit back on track, so you never have to deal with a collection company like Phoenix Financial Services. However, not all credit repair companies are the same, so it’s important to work with one that you know is legitimate.
Credit Saint is a reputable company that can help you improve your credit report. Their agents are experts in dealing with companies like Phoenix Financial Services and can challenge any negative entries.
Can Phoenix Financial sue me?
The most common question people ask is, "Can a debt collection agency sue me?" Unfortunately, the answer is yes. However, consumer protection laws prevent any company from filing a lawsuit against you without notifying you first.
Phoenix Financial contact information
Here's the relevant contact information for Phoenix Financial Services, LLC:
Mailing Address: PO Box 361450 Indianapolis, IN 46236
Phone Number: 855-342-6567
Dealing with Phoenix Financial Services
The U.S. is still struggling under the weight of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Some Americans must choose between food and paying bills.
Obviously, dealing with debt collectors is no one’s idea of fun, but handling them promptly can help you prevent extensive damage to your credit score. Phoenix Financial Services is a daunting collector, but you will be happy that you removed its entry on your report when your credit score improves. Ultimately, cleaning up your credit report is an excellent way to boost your score and achieve your financial goals.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of CFPB and BBB complaints against Phoenix Financial Services.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on September 9, 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/