If you’ve been contacted by Commonwealth Financial Systems about an unpaid bill, whether by phone calls or collection letters, you may be wondering how to get them removed from your credit report.
Owing money to a debt collection agency can put a damper on your financial plans and add stress to your daily life.
With the advice below, you can stop Commonwealth Financial Services’ collection calls, resolve your account, and improve your credit score.
As a general disclaimer, the information in this article is not meant to substitute legal advice. Please seek a law firm for legal counsel if your situation warrants it.
What Is Commonwealth Financial Systems?
Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc is a legitimate third-party debt collection agency, created in 2001 and not a scam.
In fact, here’s more contact information on this United States company:
- Address: 245 Main St, Dickson City, Pennsylvania 18519 also written as 245 Main Street, Dickson City, PA 18519
- Phone Number: (800) 848-2170
- Website: cfsi-arm.com
- Ratings: The Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) states though given a B accreditation, CFS has over 488 complaints lodged against it. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states three are over 2,550 complaints filed with them against Commonwealth Financial Systems, most in direct violation of the FDCPA or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
While you might question CFS’s legitimacy based on their persistent collection methods, the company is actually legit.
You might also see Commonwealth on your credit report under the following names:
- cfsi collections
- commonwealth collections
- comnwlth fin
- commonwealth finance
- commonwealth financial
Medium-sized by industry standards, CFSI amassed more than $25 million in profit in 2019 by participating in the account receivable management business, including debt purchasing, credit bureau reporting, third party debt collection, and first-party outsourcing.
Commonwealth collects on a plethora of consumer debts, including medical bills or medical debt, financial accounts like credit cards and student loans, retail balances, and others.
How Does Commonwealth Financial Systems Work?
Debt collection agencies buy debts at low costs from service providers across several industries on accounts that have gone unpaid.
So if you see CFS pop up on your credit report as a collections account, it’s likely for a bill that slipped through the cracks.
Moreover, Commonwealth Financial Services is a late-stage, or junk, debt collector, which means they purchase debts from other collection agencies.
Once the agency has bought a debt from a company, its representatives have the right to pursue payback by calling and writing to you frequently.
Also, placing CFS on your credit report can do damage to your score for up to seven years.
3 Ways to Remove Commonwealth Financial Systems from Your Credit Report
As tempting as it may be to ignore Commonwealth’s calls, doing so can be devastating to your credit score.
Whether you actually owe a debt or you’ve wound up on Commonwealth’s radar by mistake, it’s important to communicate clearly with the agency to clear things up.
Here are three simple ways you can deal with Commonwealth Financial Systems:
1. Submit a Debt Validation Letter to Commonwealth Financial Systems
Disputing your debt could be the solution to getting Commonwealth Financial Systems removed from your credit report.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act grants you the right to request validation of the debt you allegedly owe.
If the collection agency cannot provide adequate evidence of your debt, they’ll be required to remove the account from your credit report.
Even if you actually do owe the debt the agency is seeking to collect, this strategy can still work.
Since debt collectors purchase second-hand debt from service providers, or in the case of CFS, from other collection agencies, they might not have the documentation they need to support their claim.
You have 30 days to dispute a claim with a debt validation letter, so it’s important to move quickly when the Commonwealth contacts you.
2. Negotiate a Partial Payment on Your Account
Did you miss the 30-day debt validation window? Whether you’re too late to dispute your debt or the Commonwealth is able to validate it, there is another option that could save you money.
You can negotiate with Commonwealth Financial Services to make a payment and get the collections account removed from your credit report.
Collections agencies will often agree to a reduced payment. A good place to start your negotiations is at 50% of the total amount you owe.
As always, you should put all of your negotiations in writing, using letters to communicate with Commonwealth’s representatives.
If you negotiate over the phone, it’s harder to prove an agreement was made and get CFS removed from your credit report.
Once you’ve agreed on a settlement and made your payment to the agency, make sure that these changes are evident on your credit report.
If the collections account is still present, it can continue to harm your credit score for several years, so you should follow up with the agency if it is still present after 30 days.
3. Work with a Credit Repair Company
While you can absolutely get Commonwealth Financial Systems removed from your credit report on your own, it can be a frustrating process.
If you want to sidestep debt validation letters and negotiating prices, you can leave it to the pros.
Credit repair agencies are experts at disputing debts and getting collection accounts removed from consumers’ credit reports.
In addition to taking the stress out of credit repair, these companies can often get debt collection agencies removed from your credit report more quickly than you could on your own.
The company will work tirelessly to dispute Commonwealth Financial System and get your credit score on track.
Whether you pay a company to remove the collection account or you choose to write Commonwealth yourself, don’t delay fixing your credit report.
Dealing with Commonwealth Financial Systems
Consumers have filed over 2,500 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding their experience with Commonwealth Financial Services.
There are also hundreds of complaints on the agency’s Better Business Bureau profile.
A lot of people’s issues with Commonwealth stem from their failure to respond to debt validation requests, as well as inaccurate debt reporting.
While the agency may be persistent in its collection attempts, it does have to follow some guidelines under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as only calling you at appropriate hours and not harassing you at your place of business.
The act also allows you to choose how to communicate with Commonwealth and other agencies.
When you deal with a debt collector, you should always opt to communicate through letters.
Putting everything in writing can provide the documentation you need to challenge the debt, or to hold the agency to an agreement about repayment.