ARS National Services Inc is one of the largest debt collection agencies in the US, and operates in all 50 states specializing in collecting medical debts.
If you’ve been receiving collection letters or phone calls from ARS National and you want to get this debt collector to not only stop harassing you, but also get the collection entry off of your credit report, you’ve come to the right place.
As a general disclaimer, the information in this article is not meant to serve as legal advice. Please seek out a law firm should your case warrant it.
Who Is ARS National Services
Associated Recovery Systems National is a third-party debt collection agency in the United States that collects financial services organizations delinquent accounts, typically medical debts, and credit card companies.
They are a legitimate organization and not a scam. Here is a little bit of their contact information:
- Address: 201 W Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025
- Phone Number: (888) 888-7080
- Other Offices: Houston, Texas, Jacksonville, Florida, Ontario, California
- Ratings: The Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) rates ARS National with an A+. Customers have given in 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on nine reviews. They’ve had 21 complaints lodged against them and 217 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) both companies finding ARS National violated Federal Laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which guarantees consumers certain rights and protections from debt collection agencies.
Steps To Remove ARS National Services From Your Credit Report
You don’t have to put up with harassing phone calls at work and threatening collection account letters.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for taking control of your relationship with ARS National Services.
1. Communicate in Writing
Get the ball rolling by letting this determined and persistent company know that you want written communication in the future.
When there is a paper trail, you will be safer. Phone calls aren’t the smartest way to deal with a collection agency.
During phone calls, collection agents may make promises they don’t keep.
When everything is written down, you’ll have a backup which protects you from problems.
If they call you, let the representative from ARS National know that you understand your rights as laid out in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and then communicate only in writing from that point on.
The next step is demanding proof that the debt in question is rightfully yours!
2. Put Together A Debt Validation Letter
During Step Two, it will be time to craft a letter which is a written demand that the company validates your debt. It’s known as a debt validation letter.
It’s a straightforward request that the company provides you with proof that you owe the money. Sometimes, collection agencies can’t prove this and this may be true in your case.
Companies like this make money by purchasing consumer debt for rock-bottom rates and then collecting more money than they paid for those debts.
Quite often, when collection agencies purchase debt, they don’t get all of the paperwork.
This means that ARS National Services may not have enough information to prove that a debt belongs to you, even if it really does!
After the company receives your debt validation letter, they will have thirty days to validate your debt.
If it can’t, its collection activities with regard to you will need to cease! As well, the company will be legally required to notify the credit reporting agencies and wipe the credit entry off of your credit report.
So, mail out the letter (registered mail is recommended, but not mandatory) and then see what the company sends back.
Go over the information which is provided carefully, look for omissions and inaccuracies.
3. Write an Advanced Dispute Letter
If the company does prove the debt, you should write an Advanced Dispute Letter. This is a letter that is sent to the credit bureaus.
Your letter should dispute inaccurate data from ARS National. This letter is different from the debt validation letter.
To write the Advanced Dispute Letter, you’ll need to access an up-to-date copy of your credit report and then check out the entry from ARS.
Look for problems. Examples include mistakes with dates, the amount owed, your name, the address, the balance, etc.
Next, list the mistakes on the entry in your letter, which will be sent to the big three credit bureaus.
Explain in the letter why the ARS National collections entry is incorrect. Demand that the entry be deleted or fixed so that it’s correct.
The credit bureaus have thirty days to perform investigations.
The three credit bureaus that you will need to write to are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
This method often works because it’s so specific in terms of outlining what’s wrong with a credit entry.
It’s probable that ARS National won’t be able to provide the information that the credit bureaus need.
If this is the case, the credit entry from ARS will be wiped off your credit report, which usually means a better credit score.
4. Pay the Debt to Get It Removed
In a worst-case scenario, where ARS is able to prove the debt to everyone’s satisfaction, you will still have recourse.
I recommend opening up a negotiation with ARS and offering to pay forty to fifty percent of the debt amount, as long as the company is willing to remove the collection entry from your credit report upon receipt of payment (say, within 30 days of receiving your check).
The outcomes of negotiations with collections agencies vary. Try to get the best deal possible.
Get it all in writing. Verbal agreements are not secure agreements.
Do You Need Help With This?
If you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair.
They’ll take care of you, and honestly, they usually get stuff removed a lot quicker.
Why Do You Owe ARS Money?
Many people with medical debt have never heard of ARS National until the agency starts trying to collect on their debt.
If you visited a hospital or clinic and didn’t pay the bill in full — either because of an insurance mix-up or because you couldn’t afford it — the medical provider will eventually stop sending bills.
Rather than continuing to try to collect your debt, the hospital or clinic can sell your debt to ARS at a low rate. The healthcare provider can get at least some of the money you owe this way.
At that point, you owe money to ARS. Even if you pay only a portion of the debt, you’re helping ARS make money.
How to Avoid Dealing with ARS
Just like with medical care, prevention is the best medicine. Paying on your medical bills, even if you can’t pay off the entire balance, can keep your medical provider from selling your debt.
Many hospitals now have financial counseling, financial relief for hardship cases, and payment plans available.
By continuing to work with your medical facility’s billing department, you can avoid dealing with ARS National or another collections agency.
After the hospital has sold the debt to ARS, they may not be able to make accommodations for payment.
What ARS National Services Can’t Do
By their nature, debt collection agencies like ARS seem intimidating such as using obscene language or notify your co-workers of your debt.
These companies have purchased your debt from your medical provider. Any money you pay on the debt reimburses ARS the money it paid for your debt.
So the company has a motivation for staying persistent and maintaining an intimidating presence.
It’s up to you to know and remember your rights and to know the laws ARS must follow. Collection agencies are not required to inform you of your rights or their limits.
Limits to ARS National Services Legal Actions
Because of federal consumer protection laws, ARS has legal limits to the action it can take:
- ARS cannot threaten you with violence.
- ARS cannot use profane language or defame your character.
- ARS cannot shame you by publishing your name.
- ARS cannot prosecute you under criminal law.
- ARS cannot discuss your debt with others.
- ARS cannot charge you interest or fees in addition to what you owe.
- ARS cannot charge your credit card without your consent or change the amount or date of a check you submitted.
What ARS National Services Can Legally Do
ARS National does have the right to try to collect the debt you owe through:
- Phone Calls: ARS can call you on the phone number you provided the hospital or clinic. If you provided a work or cell number, ARS can use the number. You can ask ARS to stop using a specific number, and the agency must comply.
- Letters: ARS can send you letters requesting repayment. They cannot send postcards, only sealed letters.
- Lawsuits: ARS National can sue you, asking for a court to garnish your income from work to cover the debt. ARS cannot garnish Social Security income, veterans’ benefits, military survivors benefits, or federal disaster assistance grants.
If you have older debt, be sure you know about your state’s statutes of limitations on debt which can protect you from lawsuits in many cases.