If you default on a loan or forget to pay a bill, the Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc. debt collection agency may contact you. Unfortunately, the likelihood of default is currently higher due to the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to constant phone calls, Pioneer Credit Recovery will also appear as a collection account on your credit report that the three major credit reporting bureaus provide. This can cause problems for your credit score and future financial opportunities in the U.S. unless you remove it. Even if you pay the debt, a collection account on your credit report can impact your score for up to seven years, so removing it ASAP is the best way to prevent it from wreaking havoc for years to come.
This article will give you information regarding Credit Recovery and tips on how to remove it from your credit report.
What is Pioneer Credit Recovery?
Also known as Pioneer Landing, Pioneer Credit Recovery is a medium-sized debt collection company with headquarters in Arcade, New York, and offices in several other locations, including New Jersey. Pioneer Credit Recovery has been in business for more than 40 years and it collects debt on behalf of creditors, such as:
- Federal student loan servicers
- County and municipal courts
- Credit card companies
- Government agencies, including the IRS
Is Pioneer Credit Recovery legit?
Pioneer Credit Recovery is a legitimate business and not a scam, but this doesn’t make working with it a pleasant experience. It has had 62 complaints in the last three years 136 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where the company holds an A+ rating despite the high number of consumer complaints. Most of these complaints relate to inaccurate reporting, failure to validate debts and harassment, and several complaints pertain to threats of legal action and garnishment of wages, social security checks and income tax refunds.
In fact, the Washington State Attorney General sued Navient Corporation, a large student-loan servicer and offshoot of Sallie Mae, for violating consumer rights, alleging aggressive and misleading collection practices. Due to this legal action, the Department of Education canceled its contract to collect student loan debt with Pioneer Credit Recovery. If you had a similar experience while dealing with Pioneer Credit Recovery, consider filing a complaint too.
Steps to Remove Pioneer Credit Recovery from your credit report
Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to dealing with a debt collection agency, but you can follow these simple steps to ensure that Pioneer Credit Recovery stops harassing you and removes its collection account from your credit report:
- Know your rights
- Request debt validation
- Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
- Hire a professional
Know your rights
Debt collection companies make their money by coercing you into making payments. They often do this through questionable tactics, such as harassment and threats. Many consumers don’t know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects them from this type of abuse. Debt collectors won’t inform you of your federal rights, so it’s up to you to understand what the FDCPA prohibits.
The FDCPA prevents various forms of harassment, abuse and deception, including:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Harassing you by telephone
- Using profane or abusive language
- Calling after you requested that they only contact you through U.S. Mail
- Misrepresenting themselves when communicating with you
- Reporting false information to credit bureaus
- Contacting your friends, family or place of employment regarding your debt
By familiarizing yourself with your rights under the FDCPA, you can gain the upper hand when negotiating with Pioneer Credit Recovery. Knowledge is power, and knowing your rights can help you keep Pioneer Credit Recovery in check.
Request debt validation
After you know your rights under the FDCPA, your next step is to request debt validation. You only have 30 days after Pioneer Credit Recovery first contacts you to do this, so don’t procrastinate.
The debt collection process isn’t perfect, and sometimes information gets lost in the transfer from the original creditor to the third-party collector. It's possible that the debt isn’t even yours. The purpose of requesting debt validation is to confirm that Pioneer Credit Recovery has the correct information regarding your debt.
Your debt validation letter is a formal request asking Pioneer Credit Recovery to verify information, including the name of the creditor, debt amount and date of debt acquisition. If it can’t do this or the information is incorrect, you can dispute the debt with the three major credit bureaus. They’ll remove the entry and get you out of paying the debt altogether.
Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement
If you can’t delete the entry based on inaccurate reporting or another technicality, your next step is to work out a pay-for-delete agreement. This means you’ll offer to pay a portion of the debt if Pioneer Credit Recovery agrees to stop reporting your debt to credit bureaus. Sometimes it’s possible to get away with paying less than the full balance because third-party collectors often purchase the debt for pennies on the dollar and only need to collect a portion of the debt to make their money back.
Start by offering to pay Pioneer Credit Recovery half of the debt and negotiate until you reach a compromise. It's important that Pioneer Credit Recovery agrees to delete the account because if the account still appears but shows as paid, it’ll still impact your credit score. Once you reach an agreement, ask Pioneer Credit Recovery to send you a written agreement that clearly states the terms.
Don’t make your first payment until you receive this document and approve of the wording. After you make a payment, wait 30 days and then check your credit report to make sure the collection account no longer appears. If it does, contact the agency and ensure it upholds its end of the bargain.
Hire a professional
If you are unable to make a pay-for-delete agreement, you may consider asking a credit repair company for help. A credit repair company can identify and challenge negative entries on your credit report and remove them if possible. In addition to cleaning up your credit report, they can review your financial habits and show you ways to boost your credit score and improve your financial wellbeing.
While there are plenty of reputable credit repair companies out there, some are not reliable and will waste your time and money. Consider contacting Credit Saint. They have many years of experience in helping customers to remove negative entries from their credit reports.
Pioneer Credit Recovery contact information
Pioneer Credit Recovery's most recent contact information is below:
Address: P.O. Box 158, Arcade, New York 14009-1012
Phone number: 800-836-2442
Dealing with Pioneer Credit Recovery
No one enjoys dealing with debt collectors, but it’s better to face them head-on than deal with their effect on your credit score. Your credit report tells future lenders about your ability to pay back loans, so it’s important that you clean up any dings on it to help your cause. By taking the time to remove negative accounts that are dragging down your score, you are helping yourself to get your credit score back on track and reach your financial goals.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect the current number of BBB complaints against Pioneer Credit Recovery. Contact information for Pioneer Credit Recovery has been updated and unverifiable information has been removed.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on September 8, 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/