Is Bank of America bringing down your credit score?
If your credit report is displaying a collections account for Bank of America, it’s probably because you missed a payment somewhere down the line.
How you should respond to a collections entry from Bank of American depends on several factors.
In the guide below, we’ll walk you through a few strategies for dealing with a collections account from Bank of America.
How Does Bank of America’s Debt Collection Work?
Undoubtedly, Bank of America is one of the largest and most well-known banks in the nation.
With a wide range of financial products on offer, Bank of America could end up on your credit report for several reasons.
A collections account could result from unpaid fees, an overdrawn account, a credit card balance, or a defaulted loan.
When you fall behind on payments, Bank of America will likely contact you directly.
However, after some time passes, they may turn to a collections agency for assistance.
Bank of America frequently uses the services of Hunt and Henrique’s, so your credit report may feature:
- Bank of America
- Hunt and Henrique’s
Third-party collections agencies may also purchase your debts from institutions like BOA for pennies on the dollar.
Debt collectors can send you letters and call and leave messages when debt reaches collections.
A collections entry is also added to your credit report, which can lower your score significantly for 7 years if you don’t get it removed.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
How to Deal with Bank of America Collections
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau feature thousands of complaints against BOA.
Specifically, some of these complaints are concerned with billing issues and difficulties with closing accounts.
Before you contact Bank of America or the agency collecting on their behalf, you should understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA keeps debt collectors from being abusive or threatening, and it encourages accurate reporting.
For example, it restricts debt collectors from contacting you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
It also prohibits collections agencies from sharing your personal information with other people in your life.
The FDCPA also lets you choose to only communicate with debt collectors in writing, stopping their phone calls.
So you should take advantage of this provision. It provides you with documentation of your conversations that can help you get a collections account off your report.
3 Ways to Get Bank of America off Your Report
Whether Bank of America is on your report because of a missed payment or you think they wound up there in error, here are three approaches that can help you get the collections account removed from your report.
1.Try Debt Validation
Another advantage of the FDCPA is its allowance for debt validation.
For instance, if you send a debt collector a letter asking for proof within 30 days of being contacted, they are required to furnish you with account information.
Maybe you never had a Bank of America account, or all of your accounts are paid up.
The collections entry could be on your report in error. If that’s the case, a debt validation letter should clear things up.
But you should try sending a debt validation letter even if the collections entry is legit.
There’s a chance that BOA or its collections agency may not have the documentation necessary to validate your debt.
2. Negotiate a Payment
Too late to send a debt validation letter? The next best strategy is to arrange a pay-for-delete agreement.
If you pay off your collections account without an agreement in place, it will settle your account, but it won’t help your credit.
The collections entry will stay on your report for the full 7 years unless you get the bank or debt collector to agree to have the entry removed.
You should send the agency a letter proposing to pay a portion of what you owe if they agree to have the entry deleted.
Make sure that you negotiate with Bank of America by mail rather than over the phone. Otherwise, the agreement might not be upheld.
Once you make a payment, be sure to monitor your credit to ensure the entry gets deleted.
If it hasn’t been removed within 30 days, you should get in touch with the Bank or collections agency representing it to make sure your agreement is upheld.
3. Contact a Credit Repair Company
Feeling overwhelmed by collections?
If you need assistance confronting Bank of America or any other collections agency, you should work with a credit repair company.
These companies are pros at seeking debt validation and negotiating payments to get collections accounts removed from your report.
They’ll look at your credit report as a whole to determine what’s hurting your score and improve it.
In addition to collections accounts, a credit repair company can help with:
- Hard inquiries
- Identity fraud
Meanwhile, take a look at the best credit repair companies to pick the right one for your budget and needs.