Who is Allied Interstate, LLC, and why are they calling you and harming your credit score?
Our advice and tips can help get this debt collection agency off your credit report and off your back.
Who Is Allied Interstate and What Do They Do?
Allied Interstate, LLC, is an aggressive debt collection agency that buys old debts from other companies and then makes a profit by collecting on the debt.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably received a collection letter or a phone call from Allied Interstate — or you have just pulled your credit report and found a negative item with Allied Interstate listed as the creditor.
You probably don’t recognize this company’s name and may be wondering how it got your information and ended up on your credit report.
There are two possible reasons for this:
- Allied is trying to collect on a debt that isn’t really yours.
- One of your old debts was sold to Allied Interstate and this agency is attempting to collect on it.
How Did Allied Interstate Get Your Old Debt?
Allied Interstate probably bought the debt from another creditor. As an example, let’s say you had a Home Depot credit card and got several months behind on the payments.
Home Depot may have attempted to collect on the debt for a while, but after a certain amount of time, usually about a year, Home Depot wrote off the debt as a loss.
At this point, in order to recoup some of the money, Home Depot sold the debt to a third-party collection agency for pennies on the dollar.
The third-party, Allied Interstate in this case, now owns the debt and has begun the process of collecting on it.
Can an Allied Interstate Collection Hurt Your Credit Score?
A collection entry on your credit report can cause a significant drop in your credit score.
In fact, if you had a decent credit score to begin with, your score could drop up to 100 points. Yes, 100 points from a single collections account!
To make the situation even worse, the debt Allied Interstate is attempting to collect on might not even be yours.
Collection agencies sometimes get inaccurate information about who owes a debt. Maybe you already paid off the original creditor (Home Depot in our example above).
Or maybe you never owed the debt, to begin with and your account number got sold to Allied by mistake.
What to Do When Allied Interstate Contacts You
One thing I tell readers over and over again is to avoid communicating with debt collectors over the phone.
I say this so much because debt collectors have bad memories. They’ll agree to a payment plan over the phone, and you’ll dutifully make the payments. Then, they’ll keep calling about the money you owe!
When an agent from Allied gets you on the phone, he or she will agree to just about any payment arrangement as long as you pay something right away. Often, they won’t write down anything or record the conversation.
It’s up to you to keep good records, and communicating in writing provides the best records. If you need to jog the agency’s memory about an agreement, you can produce a copy.
Fortunately, you have the right to insist on written communication because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
How to Protect Yourself Against Their Harassments
You can stop Allied Interstate (or any collection agency) from harassing you by citing your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This law outlines all the rules debt collectors have to follow when attempting to collect on a debt.
Most collectors simply assume that you don’t know your rights and therefore feel like they can intimidate you. Fear inspires payments, and even a partial payment can be a big profit for a collection agency.
When you state you understand your rights, debt collectors instantly become less aggressive.
Ways to Remove Allied Interstate Collections From Your Credit Report
Now let’s get into how to deal with the collection entry on your credit report and ways you can get it removed.
1. Debt Validation
Start by writing Allied Interstate a letter asking for debt validation.
Debt validation is another right you have under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Debt validation requires debt collectors to prove the debt they are attempting to collect is, in fact, yours.
As I mentioned earlier, debt collectors sometimes attempt to collect debt from the wrong person.
Once Allied receives your debt validation letter, it has 30 days to provide the documentation. If it can’t provide the documentation, the agency must stop contacting you and remove the negative entry from your credit report.
If you haven’t heard back in 30 days, be sure to follow up and demand the entry is completely removed from your credit report.
For this to work you have to send your debt validation letter within 30 days of your first contact with Allied Interstate. If you don’t write within 30 days, you’re implying that you agree the debt is valid.
2. Negotiate a Payment in Exchange for Removal
If Allied Interstate validates the debt — or if you didn’t send the debt validation letter within 30 days — you’ll need to negotiate payment to get this creditor off your credit report.
As I said above, Allied bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. This means just about any payment you make translates directly into profit for the agency. Knowing this gives you some leverage as you negotiate.
I recommend offering to pay 50% of the amount due. You may want to offer even less. It’s up to you, but don’t offer to pay 5% or 10%. Make a serious offer.
Allied may counter with a higher number. That’s OK. You can counter back if you’d like. Eventually, you’ll agree on a number.
Be sure you get this agreement in writing! And the agreement must include the following stipulation: That Allied will remove the negative marks from your credit report in exchange for your payment.
Once you have this agreement in writing, you can make the payments you agreed upon. Once you’ve made the payment, give Allied 30 days to remove your derogatory credit items. Then check your credit report to confirm.
3.Hire a Professional
If you’re the type of person who’d rather not deal with Allied Interstate, consider hiring a professional to remove the collection account from your report.
A credit repair company won’t do anything you couldn’t do yourself. But it can act faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.
Tips for Dealing with Allied Interstate Collections
The number one rule for dealing with Allied Interstate collections or any other debt collection agency: Stay calm.
These agencies depend on your discomfort prompting you to make an immediate payment. If that doesn’t work, they’ll keep contacting you in hopes that their persistence prompts you to make a payment just so they’ll stop calling your phone number.
Knowing your consumer rights takes away this power. We’ve already discussed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law gives you the power to decide how and when Allied contacts you.
This law also prevents Allied from threatening criminal prosecution, violence, shaming, or fear mongering.
Debt collection services who skirt the line of legality will almost always treat you differently when you cite the law — the FDCPA and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCPA).
You can also let the agency know you know about the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which enforces laws.
What Allied Interstate Can and Can’t Do
Knowing what a debt collection service like Allied can and can’t do will help you negotiate a better solution.
Allied CAN’T legally:
- Prosecute you in the criminal justice system.
- Get a wage garnishment without a court order.
- Talk to your family, friends, or co-workers about your debt.
- Call you at odd hours or at work if you’ve asked them to stop.
- Threaten you with violence or a personal visit.
Allied CAN legally:
- Contact you using contact information provided by your original creditor.
- Sue you in civil court for repayment of the debt.
- Sell your debt to yet another third-party debt collector.
Contact Information for Allied Interstate LLC
Here is the current contact information for Allied Interstate Collections:
- Address: P.O. Box 19312, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55441-4676
- Website: allied-interstate.com/
- Phone number: 800-811-4214
- Email: [email protected]
Where to Complain About Allied Interstate Collections
The Better Business Bureau has created a forum for consumer protections. If you’d like to share your experiences, search for Allied Interstate on the BBB website and leave a comment. Allied is a subsidiary of iQor Corp.
If your rights have been violated and you’re a citizen of the United States, visit the FTC’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to seek advice and to file a complaint.
You could also hire a law firm for legal advice if you’d like to take legal action against the company.