Have you heard from Action Financial Services, LLC? If so, you may have failed to make payments on the student loan debt that’s hanging over your head.
Action Financial Services is a debt collection agency that may have been hired by the original owner of your debt.
This firm has a reputation as an aggressive and relentless collector.
In order to pursue you for the debt, Action Financial Services (AFS) has to first open a collections account on your credit report.
This entry can cause your credit score to plummet, and negative information can stay on your report for up to seven years.
What’s worse: AFS’s credit entry can be seen by potential lenders, jeopardizing your ability to qualify for loans or credit cards.
To stop Action Financial Services from harming your credit, you can remove its entry from your credit report.
Keep reading to learn the best methods to stop AFS’s harassment and boost your credit score in the process.
About Action Financial Services
Action Financial Services is a medium-sized debt collection agency headquartered in Central Point, near Medford, in Oregon.
This firm was originally founded in 2009. It collects on behalf of higher education institutions and the U.S. Department of Education for non-payment of student loans.
AFS services states in the Western United States as well as Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam.
Not surprisingly, AFS isn’t particularly popular among the people it collects from. Like many collection agencies, AFS has a number of complaints filed against it.
It has nine complaints on record with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 37 complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Specifically, customers have cited problems with billing and collections. Other online reviewers have accused AFS of being a scam, but it is not.
It’s a legitimate debt collector who believes you owe it money.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
Steps to Remove Action Financial Services from Your Credit Report
When you’re getting countless phone calls and letters from a debt collector, you may feel helpless, especially if the collection agent threatens wage garnishment.
However, you can take steps to regain your power and fight these collection attempts.
Following these steps can get Action Financial Services to remove the collection from your credit report:
Communicate Through U.S. Mail
The key to dealing with any debt collector is understanding and insisting on your rights as a consumer.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to request how and when Action Financial Services contacts you.
You can choose the phone number the agency uses to call you, or you can ask the agency to never call you again.
When they do contact you, the first thing you should do is ask AFS to contact you only through the U.S. Mail in the future.
Why? Because debt collectors can be sneaky. They like to communicate over the phone because they can push the limits of the law without leaving any evidence of their misdeeds.
And, they tend to make promises over the phone which they don’t remember or follow through on later. Or the agent you speak with might leave the agency and his or her co-workers can’t find evidence of your prior conversations.
This is why it is crucial to request all communication through mail as soon as possible.
When you get all of Action Financial Services’ correspondence through the mail, you can hold onto each piece of mail and refer back to them later.
It will also become important later when you make a settlement to remove their entry from your credit report.
Ask Them for a Goodwill Deletion
Sometimes, people are inclined to pay off Action Financial Services right away to get the agency off their back.
This isn’t the best method for handling debt collectors, but it is completely understandable.
If this describes your situation, you may benefit from asking for a goodwill deletion.
When Action Financial Services grants a goodwill deletion, it is agreeing to stop reporting the debt to the credit bureaus as an act of goodwill.
This is a great option when the debt is your only credit blemish or when you have a legitimate reason — such as a job loss or injury — to miss monthly payments.
To ask for a goodwill deletion, write Action Financial Services a letter explaining the circumstances around your debt. Explain why you would like the collection entry deleted.
Make sure you always tell the truth as debt collectors are very good at finding out whether you’re reporting accurate information.
They may also request documentation that backs up your reasoning.
For example, AFS may ask why you didn’t use your federal student loan servicer’s income-based repayment programs or loan rehabilitation program.
You can save time by explaining your situation in your first goodwill letter, but make sure you remain polite when you are crafting your letter. You’re asking for a favor, after all.
It would serve you best to keep your tone respectful and courteous throughout the letter.
Send a Debt Validation Letter
This is arguably the most important and time-sensitive step.
No matter what your situation is, you should always take advantage of your right to validate the debt.
When a debt collector acquires a debt from the original lender, the transfer process is often quick and riddled with oversights.
Ultimately, Action Financial Services is interested, primarily, in getting your basic information that will allow it to open a collections account on your credit report.
Sometimes, borrowers have gotten a new loan consolidation, paying off the account just before it went into collections.
Other times, AFS or another debt collector may even receive entirely false information – meaning the debt isn’t even yours.
To find out if Action Financial Services has the correct information about your debt, you can enact your right under the FDCPA to request debt validation.
You will need to write a debt validation letter, also known as a Section 609 letter, to formally request that Action Financial Services verify your debt.
To begin, write a letter asking Action Financial Services, LLC, to send definitive proof showing the debt belongs to you.
Be sure to request specific information such as the total amount of the debt, the name, and the date of the latest account activity.
Under the FDCPA, Action Financial Services is required to respond to your request within 30 days.
If they receive your letter and don’t respond, you can file a complaint with the CFPB for a violation of your FDCPA rights.
Action Financial Services will respond with a series of documents proving it is collecting a lawful debt.
If you find information that doesn’t match your own debt papers, you can file a dispute with the major credit bureaus.
They will investigate and delete the entry as necessary.
Negotiate a Settlement
If you cannot secure a goodwill deletion or Action Financial Services can validate your debt information, your final step would be to negotiate a settlement in the form of a pay-for-delete agreement.
True to its name, a pay-for-delete agreement is when you make payments on the debt in exchange for the collection account’s removal from your credit report.
This is often a longshot as debt collectors are hesitant to delete collection entries, but you can get Action Financial Services to agree to this if you are persuasive enough.
Begin by offering to pay Action Financial Services half of what you owe.
They will likely give you some push back, but you should work with them until you reach an agreement that works for both of you.
No matter how much you end up paying, make sure AFS agrees, in writing, to fully delete the account and not simply change the collection account’s status to paid.
After you come to a compromise, have Action Financial Services send you the agreement in writing so that you can review the terms.
Once you receive this written contract, make your first payment. You should notice that Action Financial Services’ account is removed after 30 days.
If it hasn’t been removed as agreed, reach back out to AFS and remind the agency it must uphold its end of the deal.
Ask a Professional for Help
If you’d rather not deal with AFS yourself, consider hiring a professional credit repair company.
I suggest Lexington Law to most readers. This law firm has attorneys and paralegals who will work on your behalf to remove inaccurate information from your credit reports.
Final Words About Action Financial Services, LLC
Debt collection is a pervasive part of American life.
If you are hearing from a debt collector about your student loan debt, credit card debt, or past-due cell phone or cable TV bills, you can take control of the situation.
By following the steps outlined above, borrowers can remove Action Financial Services’ entry from your credit report and begin to repair your score.
Improving your credit score is an achievable goal for everyone.
For additional tips, check out some of our most popular articles. Make this the year that you regain control of your finances and credit.
And, if you plan to be in touch with AFS, take a few minutes to learn your rights so you’ll know what a debt collector can and can’t do. For example, the collection agency can’t garnish your wages without taking you to court first.