If you have an unpaid medical bill, you may begin to hear from a debt collector known as CMRE Financial Services.
CMRE Financial Services is a collection agency that collects medical debts on behalf of hospitals and other healthcare businesses.
They make their money by coercing payments from you on behalf of original creditors.
They are permitted to do this by opening up a collection account against you on your credit report.
Collections accounts can harm your credit score for nearly a decade, even if you pay off the debt.
The only way to prevent extensive damage to your score is to have the entry removed as soon as possible.
This is a difficult process, but it can be accomplished through a series of steps.
Check out our how-to guide to learn how to stop harassment from CMRE Financial Services and remove them from your credit report for good.
What is CMRE Financial Services?
CMRE Financial Services is a medium-sized debt collection agency headquartered in Brea, California.
They were founded in California in 1996 and collect debts exclusively in the healthcare industry.
This includes hospitals, ambulance services, dental practices, doctor’s offices, and more.
While CMRE Financial Services is a legitimate debt collection agency, they are not popular among their clients.
They have over 1,000 complaints filed against them with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and about 40 complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Customers complain of harassment, failure to validate debts, and inaccurate debt reporting.
How to Remove CMRE Financial Services From Your Credit Report
Where do you begin when you are dealing with a debt collector?
These are the essential steps to take to remove CMRE Financial Services from your credit report.
Know Your Rights
CMRE Financial Services and other debt collectors make their money by coercing payments out of you. They often do this by employing questionable tactics, such as harassment and abuse.
What they don’t want you to know is that you actually are protected from this sort of treatment by federal legislation.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a piece of legislation that regulates the debt collection industry from unethical means of collection.
This includes but is not limited to misrepresenting themselves or information about your debt, using profane or abusive language, contacting people close to you regarding your debt, or threatening legal action that they can’t take against you.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the FDCPA so that you can know if CMRE Financial Services violates it. CMRE Financial Services has been accused of a number of these violations, so it is possible that they may try this with you
I recommend that you request all communication in writing during your first contact with CMRE Financial Services.
This is well within your right under the FDCPA, and they are required to comply with your request.
Communicating in writing will allow you to track your communication with CMRE Financial Services and keep them in line when it comes to how they treat you.
When CMRE Financial Services calls you, tell them that you would like to communicate exclusively through U.S. Mail.
If they begin to argue with you, let them know that they are in violation of the FDCPA and hang up. Tell them that you will not communicate with them unless it is in writing.
Request a Goodwill Deletion
If you have already paid the debt, don’t worry. There is a chance that you can get the entry deleted by requesting a goodwill deletion from CMRE Financial Services.
A goodwill deletion means that CMRE Financial Services will remove the collection entry from your credit report out of fairness.
Don’t expect to get a goodwill deletion if you still haven’t paid the debt though. Debt collectors will typically only grant these if you are in good standing.
To request a goodwill deletion, write a letter to CMRE Financial Services explaining why you were late on your payments in the first place and why you would like the entry removed.
If you had extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss, they may be willing to stop reporting the debt. It is important to be polite and sincere in your letter to them.
If you write to them demanding that they remove the entry, they are going to be less likely to grant you your request.
Validate the Debt
If you are unable to secure a goodwill deletion, your next step is to request debt validation from CMRE Financial Services.
It is important that you do this quickly because you only have 30 days from first contact to legally request this.
Under the FDCPA, you are allowed to ask CMRE Financial Services to prove that the debt belongs to you. After all, you are going to want some proof after they contact you out of the blue demanding money.
This is known as requesting debt validation and can be accomplished in a debt validation letter.
A debt validation letter is a formal request for CMRE Financial Services to verify the information of the debt and their authority to collect it.
This kind of information includes the name tied to the debt, the date of debt acquisition, the total amount, and the original creditor.
This is information that CMRE Financial Services should have, but it is common for information to get lost in the transition from the original creditor to them.
After you submit your request for debt validation, CMRE Financial Services should return to you with various documents that prove the debt belongs to you.
Make sure you look carefully through these and note any pieces of information that seem incorrect.
If anything doesn’t line up with the information you have about the debt, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and have the debt removed.
This is a way that you can avoid paying the debt entirely.
Negotiate a Settlement
If the debt belongs to you, you will need to negotiate a settlement with CMRE Financial Services in the form of a pay-for-delete agreement.
A pay-for-delete agreement means that CMRE Financial Services will stop reporting your debt to the three major credit bureaus in exchange for your payment.
What they are unlikely to tell you is that they are often willing to accept less than the full balance.
This is because they likely paid pennies on the dollar for the debt and don’t need the full amount in order to make their money back.
Begin by offering to pay CMRE Financial Services half of the full amount and negotiate from there. Once you come to an agreement, ask CMRE Financial Services to send the agreement in writing.
You will need to review this document in order to ensure that the wording is exactly what you agreed to.
Once you are satisfied with the written agreement, make your first payment on the debt.
Check your credit report after 30 days to see if CMRE Financial Services still appears as an entry.
If they don’t, continue making payments as usual. If they do, reach back out to them and remind them to uphold their end of the bargain.
Dealing with CMRE Financial Services
The thought of going up against a debt collector such as CMRE Financial Services is daunting, but it will pay off in the long run.
By taking care of negative items on your credit report, you will prevent major damage to your credit score in the future.
Some people may not be comfortable dealing with a debt collector directly, which is understandable.
They are tricky and can be stubborn when it comes to negotiating settlements.
They are consummate professionals that know exactly how to handle debt collectors and clean up your credit report.
I am committed to helping you improve your credit score so that you can achieve your goals and regain financial freedom.
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