The American debt crisis is a growing one. Especially since the start of this year, many Americans have been struggling to manage their bills or make payments on existing debts.
If you have had an overdue bill move to collections, you may begin hearing from a company called ACS Inc.
ACS Inc is a collection agency that works with lenders and creditors to recover payments on defaulted loans or unpaid bills.
They use every trick in the book, including incessant phone calls and strongly worded letters.
While these are intimidating tactics, they are not the worst thing ACS Inc has to offer.
In order to legally collect on your debt, they must first open a collection entry on your credit report.
What is ACS Inc?
ACS Inc is a medium-sized debt collection company that is headquartered in Clearwater, FL.
Originally founded in 2012, they collect a number of consumer debts, including credit card, automotive, utilities, and telecommunication.
While they are a legitimate business, ACS Inc is not popular among their customers. They have had a number of complaints filed with them over the years.
Currently, ACS Inc has 40 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and nearly 200 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Most of these complaints are in regard to violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
If you are having issues with ACS Inc or another debt collector, you may consider filing a complaint against them as well.
Brush up on your rights under the FDCPA to find out if ACS Inc is overstepping their bounds.
How to Remove ACS Inc From Your Credit Report
If you have no clue where to start when dealing with ACS Inc, you’re not alone.
Read on to learn the best steps to take to remove the collection from your credit report and begin rebuilding your score.
Ask for a Goodwill Deletion
If this debt constitutes a minor slip up on your account, ACS Inc may be inclined to let you off the hook.
That is, however, if you have already paid the balance and had a legitimate excuse for being late on your payments.
To qualify for a goodwill deletion, you must prove to ACS Inc that your debt is a rare blunder for you and that you had outstanding circumstances that led to it.
This usually involves writing a letter explaining what was going on in your life that led to your debt.
If you suffered a layoff or medical emergency around the time of the debt, you should mention this in your letter to ACS Inc.
You should note that they will likely ask for documentation to back up your claim, so be sure that you are telling the truth.
Dealing with a debt collector is aggravating and frustrating, but you should refrain from sounding upset in your letter.
ACS Inc would be doing you a favor by granting you a goodwill deletion, so it’s important that you keep your tone polite and apologetic.
Validate the Debt
A goodwill deletion will not work for you if you have not already paid ACS Inc for the debt.
In this case, you should reach out to them to request that they validate your debt information per your FDCPA rights.
During the transition from the original creditor to the debt collector, a lot of information about a person’s debt can get lost in the process.
It’s possible that ACS Inc has the wrong balance, dates of account activity, or even name on the debt.
That means that it’s possible the debt they are hounding you for isn’t yours to begin with.
Even if you are sure that the debt belongs to you, you should still ask ACS Inc to validate your debt.
This is because you may still be able to find false information in their files.
Begin by writing a debt validation letter, also known as a Section 609 letter, to ACS Inc.
This is a formal request for them to investigate your debt and provide you with proof that the debt belongs to you.
ACS Inc is required to respond to you within 30 days of receiving your letter with any documents they have on your debt.
Be sure to review each page carefully and look for any mistakes on the record.
If you can prove that ACS Inc is reporting any inaccuracies about your debt, you can submit a dispute with the major credit bureaus.
They will investigate and remove ACS Inc’s account if they find there to be errors in their reporting.
Negotiate a Settlement
If ACS Inc is able to validate your debt, your next step would be to settle up with them.
However, you should not pay them outright. You should instead use your leverage to negotiate a settlement to remove your collections account.
Known as a pay-for-delete agreement, this settlement would satisfy your desire to have the damaging account removed from your record as well as ACS Inc’s need for your payment.
This type of settlement can be difficult to strike with a debt collector, but you can achieve success if you are persuasive enough.
Start by offering to pay ACS Inc anywhere from 30% to 50% of your total balance.
This will create some resistance from them, but you can work your way up and hopefully end up paying less than your full balance.
The most important objective when working out a pay-for-delete agreement is getting the debt collector to agree to completely delete the collection entry.
ACS Inc may try to talk you down to changing the status to paid, but this will still negatively impact your credit score down the line.
Make sure that, no matter how much you pay, you get them to agree to delete the account.
Once you come to a compromise with ACS Inc, have them send you a written agreement through U.S. mail.
Don’t make your first payment to them until you receive this document.
You should notice that ACS Inc’s account disappears from your credit report within about 30 days of receiving your payment.
If it does not, reach back out to them and let them know they need to remove the entry.
Work with a Professional
Working with debt collectors is notoriously difficult, and not everyone is able to successfully negotiate a deletion.
If you are running into roadblocks with ACS Inc, you may benefit from the help of a credit repair professional.
Credit repair companies specialize in removing damaging accounts from your credit report so that your score can improve over time.
They can help you challenge a variety of entries, including collections, bankruptcies, and liens.
Oftentimes, it’s entries like these that are standing in between you and a higher credit score.
Credit repair professionals can remove them without your having to intervene at all. In fact, you may never hear from ACS Inc again.
Not all credit repair companies are worth the money, so it’s important that you work with one that is reputable.
I recommend Lexington Law to those looking for a consummate professional with a proven track record.
They have over 28 years of experience removing collections accounts from credit reports, and they can help you deal with ACS Inc too.
Your credit history is a lot like your report card when it comes to your finances.
It tells the history of your credit and financial decisions, and unfortunately, it can include some of your mistakes as well.
The best way to improve your credit score is to clean up your credit report.
Start by removing collection accounts like ACS Inc’s, and you can be well on your way to improving your score.
Everyone can improve their credit with a little patience and a lot of knowledge.
Read some of our top articles to learn more about how you can mend your credit today.