Is Wakefield & Associates getting your mood and your credit score down? If a debt collection agency has contacted you, there’s a right and a wrong way to deal with them and get your credit back on track.
It's a disheartening thought that once a collection account hits the credit reporting agencies, it will take seven years to remove the negative mark off your credit report. Don't let threats of garnishment or other legal actions scare you.
About Wakefield & Associates
Wakefield & Associates has been operating since 1986 and its headquarters are in Aurora, Colorado. They have call centers located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Denver and Fort Morgan, Colorado, and Jefferson City, Missouri.
The debt collections agency can appear under several other names on your credit report, including Wakeassoc, Wakefield associates, Wakefield collections, Wakefield payment solutions, Wakefield rrc or Wakefield & assoc.
Is Wakefield & Associates legit?
While the collection company might seem like a scam thanks to its aggressive communication tactics, Wakefield & Associates is a legitimate debt collector. It has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2015 and currently has one out of five stars in customer satisfaction.
3 ways to remove Wakefield & Associates from your credit report
Simply ignoring Wakefield’s calls and letters won’t do you or your credit score any good, but paying off your debt outright might not improve your score either. You have consumer rights through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Read more on those down below.
Instead, give one of the strategies below a try to get the collection agency removed from your credit report:
- Send a debt validation letter
- Arrange a pay-for-delete agreement
- Hire a credit repair company
1. Send a debt validation letter
The FDCPA requires debt collectors to provide you with proof of any debt they claim you owe. As such, you may be able to get the agency off of your report with a simple debt validation letter.
Since a lot of the agency’s collections are for third-party debts, there’s a chance the agency doesn’t have the documentation it needs to validate its claim. So, whether you actually owe the debt that Wakefield is collecting, or it targeted you by mistake, it’s always wise to start the credit repair process with a debt validation letter. Unless the agency has the evidence it needs, they’ll have to stop contacting you and have the collections account removed from your credit report.
Just note that there is a deadline for debt validation; you have 30 days to send a letter to the agency, after which you’ll have to use one of the other strategies below. Using certified mail is a good idea; this leaves a paper trail to prevent a "your word against theirs" scenario.
You can contact Wakefield & Associates at their office address:
Wakefield & Associates
10800 E Bethany Dr.
Aurora, CO 80014
2. Opt for a pay-for-delete agreement
If you’re outside of the 30-day timeframe for submitting a debt validation letter or the company was able to verify your debt, you should consider making a pay-for-delete agreement. As the name suggests, this arrangement involves you agreeing to pay a certain amount of what you owe to get the account deleted permanently.
It’s important to note here that simply paying your balance won’t make the collection entry disappear from your credit report. Instead, you should negotiate an agreement with Wakefield & Associates, in writing, that clearly states it will delete the entry from your report.
Since collections agencies are able to purchase debts for a bargain, they’re usually willing to negotiate a lower payment to settle your account. To see success, you should start your negotiations at 50% of the full amount you owe Wakefield.
Once you’ve agreed upon an amount and made your payment, you should see the results on your credit report within a month. If not, you should follow up with Wakefield to ensure that the agency has reported your payment to the credit bureaus.
3. Hire a credit repair company
Dealing with a debt collection agency can be a frustrating, time-consuming and downright miserable experience. Whatever your situation is, you might want to consider working with a credit repair company.
These companies can help to improve your credit score, whether your score is hurting from an unpaid $50 cable bill or thousands of dollars of outstanding student debt. They’ll handle all of your communications with Wakefield & Associates, disputing their claims, negotiating settlements and stopping their pestering calls.
While you can certainly communicate with a debt collection agency on your own, a credit repair company can simplify the process and get you the results you’re looking for quickly. Whether you decide to DIY your credit repair or enlist the help of a credit repair company, don’t delay the process of improving your credit. With the resources above, you can get Wakefield & Associates removed from your report in no time.
How does Wakefield & Associates work?
Wakefield & Associates provides several forms of debt collection services, including first-party, third-party and early out collections. The agency buys third-party debts from service providers in several industries for pennies on the dollar, profiting on its collections.
- Commercial services
- Educational institutions
- Financial services
- Healthcare services
- Property management
If one of your past payments slipped through the cracks, Wakefield & Associates can legally call and write to you until you settle your outstanding balance. They can also place a collections account on your credit report, which could lower your credit score significantly and stay on your report for as long as seven years, even if you pay the full amount you owe.
The impact of a collections account entry lessens over time, but getting an account removed is still an important part of improving your credit score. With the steps featured below, you can be sure that Wakefield gets removed from your credit report ASAP.
Dealing with Wakefield & Associates
Like all debt collection agencies, Wakefield & Associates is not a stranger to complaints with the BBB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Commonly cited complaints related to the agency are:
- Harassing communication
- Inaccurate reporting
- Lack of response to debt validation letters
Before you reach out to the agency, you should familiarize yourself with your rights under the FDCPA. The FDCPA holds collection agencies accountable for how they communicate with you, providing you with a list of rights. For instance, the FDCPA keeps agencies from:
- Contacting you at unreasonable hours
- Harassing you at your workplace
- Reaching out to your relatives, employers and others
One of the most important provisions of the FDCPA is your right to determine how collections agencies communicate with you.
You should always communicate with debt collectors by mail rather than over the phone; this provides documentation of your interactions that can be important to getting the collections entry removed from your report. It can also provide you with peace of mind, putting a stop to their persistent phone calls.
Update: This article has been updated to remove unverifiable company revenue information.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on August 4, 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/