Is AWA Collections flooding your phone and mailbox, claiming you owe money?
Or did a new entry from this collection agency just appear on your credit report?
Either way, you should take action to minimize the damage AWA Collections can do to your credit score while also stopping the company’s phone calls and letters.
If you’re wondering how best to proceed with a debt collector like AWA Collections, we’ve got you covered.
What Is AWA Collections?
AWA Collections isn’t a well-known name, but it is a legitimate company.
Short for Adler Wallach & Associates, Inc., AWA is a small debt collector that has been operating since 1991, according to its BBB profile.
AWA’s corporate offices are on W. Katella Ave. in Orange, California, while its client services are based in Dickson, Tennessee.
You can contact AWA Collections at their mailing address:
100 Church Street
Dickson, TN 37055
The company’s phone number is 1-866-260-3631 and its website is located at www.awacoll.com.
But don’t call or write about your collections account yet! Let’s talk about some best practices first.
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 AWA Collections from Your Credit Report
Now that you have a better idea of who AWA is and are familiar with the FDCPA, it’s time to get to work removing the debt collector from your credit report.
Use the pointers below to get started.
Write a Debt Validation Letter
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector can’t require payment from you without first validating you owe the debt.
From the first time AWA contacts you, you have 30 days to dispute your debt and ask for more information.
You might get the negative item deleted from your credit profile with nothing more than a debt validation letter.
If the negative items from AWA appeared on your credit report because of an error, sending a debt validation letter should clear up the problem.
AWA will have to investigate your dispute to find out whether you actually owe the money. In this process it should discover the error and delete it.
But even if you do owe the debt, this strategy might help.
Agencies like AWA are third-party debt collectors. This means they might not have access to your original creditor’s full records on your debt and may not be able to prove you owe the money.
If they can’t prove you owe the money, they’d have to update the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to have your negative items deleted.
That means they’ll stop calling and sending you letters, too. You could still pay off the balance whenever you’re able, but in the meantime, AWA’s collections account wouldn’t keep pulling down your score.
Now, AWA Collections may very well find the documentation it needs to prove you owe the debt. In this case, it’s time to move on to the next step: negotiating.
Negotiate a Payment
Let’s say AWA validated your debt, or this collection agency has been contacting you for longer than a month.
In this case, you’ll need to make a payment to get AWA Collection Services off your back.
But it’s not good enough to make a phone call and pay off the balance. If you do that, the negative items will still stay on your credit file up to seven years.
Instead, you need to get the collection agency to agree, in writing, to withdraw its collections account from your credit report in exchange for your payment.
When you enter negotiations with AWA, start by asking if the agency will accept 50% of what you owe to close your account and delete its negative items from your credit history.
There’s a solid chance you’ll be able to get the negative item removed at a negotiated rate.
Once again, be sure to get this agreement in writing so you and AWA are on the same page.
You should see the negative item deleted from your credit report within a month of making your payment.
Hire a Professional Credit Repair Company
If you don’t have time to write debt validation letters or call AWA Collections to negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement, you may want to bring in the professionals.
Credit repair companies can handle every element of repairing your credit, even if your problems go deeper than a collections entry or two.
They can work on your behalf to ensure that AWA Collections follows the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in its dealings with you, and they’ll do what it takes to get them off your credit report — assuming it’s possible to do so.
Credit repair companies also help out with issues like:
Their assistance can also be key to recovering from identity theft, which could be to blame for debt collectors contacting you.
Whatever your credit needs are, take a look at our list of the best credit repair companies to choose one that’s a good fit for you.
How Does AWA Collections Work?
AWA Collections wants to be a one-stop resource for businesses. Its services include:
- Early out services
- Third-party debt collections
- Litigation filing and judgments
- Credit Bureau Reporting
That means this collection agency could contact you at multiple stages — even if the debt has not yet reached the collections stage.
Third-party debt collectors are often hired by companies to collect on unpaid debts. Other times, they buy debts from your original creditors for pennies on the dollar.
What Kind of Debt Does AWA Collect?
AWA Collections takes on third-party debt from a variety of creditors, including:
- Government agencies
- Hospitals and clinics
- Banks and other financial service providers
- Public utility providers
- Telecommunications providers
So if you have a past-due balance from just about anywhere, AWA Collections may be called in to help collect your debt.
Why Does AWA Collections Hurt My Credit?
Once your debt reaches the collections stage, a negative item will likely appear in your credit report.
Collections entries factor into your payment history, which accounts for a massive 35% of your overall credit score.
These entries will remain on your report for seven years, having more of an effect on your score in the first few years.
Along with hurting your credit score, collections accounts can interfere with your day-to-day life.
You can expect to receive regular phone calls, letters, and automated messages from AWA until you make a payment.
While it may seem like paying AWA Collections the total amount you owe is the best solution, it won’t help your credit.
Dealing with AWA Collections
Step one for dealing with AWA Collections or any other debt collection agency: learn your rights.
Your rights as a consumer are included in the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA is a law that was created with your best interests at heart. It provides you with several protections that hold debt collectors to ethical practices.
For example, it means that:
- Debt collectors can only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your time zone.
- Collection agencies can’t share your info with your employer, family, or friends.
- These agencies must validate any debts they attempt to collect.
- They cannot threaten to take illegal actions against you.
AWA has been the subject of a slew of consumer complaints, as you can see on its Better Business Bureau profile and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website.
People often complain about the issues above, along with inaccurate reporting.
Communicate in Writing
The FDCPA lets you set the terms of your communications with AWA. Specifically, you could stop the agency’s phone calls and demand it communicate with you only in writing.
In most cases, we recommend you avoid talking to AWA’s representatives over the phone. Write letters instead. If you’re negotiating a pay-for-delete agreement, as described above, making a phone call can speed up your discussions.
However, you have to get your agreement in writing before making any payment. Otherwise, the collection agency could take your money but not keep its promise of removing its negative items from your credit report.
Communicating in writing gives you a paper trail you can refer to later if you need to show proof of your agreement.
Will AWA Collections Sue Me?
AWA Collections has the right to sue debts in an attempt to collect on a debt. Ordinarily, debt collectors won’t resort to legal action since it tends to cost more than they’d receive in payment of the debt.
Just to be clear: A collection agency (or any other kind of debt collector) cannot have you arrested or prosecuted in the criminal justice system.
If you feel threatened by a collection agent, you should file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.