It’s tempting to ignore the phone calls and letters from Direct Recovery Services. It’s easy to block the agency’s phone number and toss its letters, unopened, into the recycling bin.
Whether or not you actually owe this debt collector money, the voicemails and robocalls won’t stop until you deal with the problem.
More importantly, your credit score will suffer for years if you don’t get Direct Recovery Services removed from your credit history.
So let’s learn about this agency, about your rights, and about the steps you can take to remove DRS from your life for good.
What Is Direct Recovery Services?
Direct Recovery Services’ persistence might have you wondering whether it’s a legitimate company or a scam.
Rest assured, Direct Recovery Services is for real. This established agency profits by collecting debts for service providers. It’s a member of the American Collectors Association.
In other words, it’s 100% legit.
Direct Recovery Services, LLC, Inc has been in business since 2015 with its headquarters in Two Harbors, Minnesota.
How Does Direct Recovery Services Work?
A service provider such as a cable TV company, cellphone company, or credit card lender will try, for a while, to collect unpaid balances from their customers. At some point, though, they give up and turn to third-party agencies like Direct Recovery Services for help.
A lot of debt collection agencies buy old debt for pennies on the dollar and then keep all of the profits they earn from collecting on the debt.
Others, like Direct Recovery Services, don’t buy old debt; they partner with service providers and earn a percentage of the proceeds they collect from you, the consumer.
Direct Recovery Services — which may also appear on your credit report as Direct Recovery Associates — collects on both consumer and business debts.
When you owe a debt to a collections agency like DRS, they can call, mail, and even text message you until you pay the debt or make other arrangements.
They’ll also appear on your credit report as a collection account. When that happens, your credit score can take a hard hit, especially if you had excellent credit to begin with.
The account could remain on your report for as long as seven years, even when payments are made, unless you take action specifically designed to remove DRS from your history.
3 Ways to Remove Direct Recovery Services from Your Credit Report
If you have the money available, you may be tempted to pay Direct Recovery Services and get it over with.
This is the quickest solution, but it’s not necessarily the best solution.
Instead, consider one of the options below to guarantee that Direct Recovery Services stops calling, writing, and doing harm to your credit score.
1. Demand Validation from Direct Recovery Services
If you act quickly, you may be able to get Direct Recovery Services out of your hair with a simple debt validation request.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collection agencies must show sufficient evidence that you owe the debt they’re claiming — if you request this validation within the first 30 days. If you don’t request validation within 30 days, the agency isn’t required to act.
Oftentimes agencies don’t actually have the proof they need, in which case they must remove the collections account from your credit report.
If you think Direct Recovery Services is contacting you in error and you don’t actually owe anything, you should absolutely dispute the erroneous claim.
But even if you did miss a payment on an account, there’s a good chance DRS won’t be able to verify your debt. Just note you have only 30 days to dispute a debt once you’ve been notified by the collections agency.
As soon as you see a collections account on your report, you should draft a quick debt validation letter. See my sample letter here if you need help.
2. Make Direct Recovery Services a Payment
If Direct Recovery Services has been on your report for more than a month, or if the agency was able to validate your debt upon your request, you might want to consider a partial payment.
More often than not, agencies like Direct Recovery Services will negotiate the terms of your debt since any payment you make translates to profit for the agency.
For example, if you moved and canceled your cable service, forgetting to pay the final balance of $120, you might start negotiations at $60.
During this process, it’s more important than ever to communicate by mail. This makes the terms of your agreement crystal clear in case someone forgets.
Your letters should clearly state your payment will ensure the collection account is removed from your report.
After you’ve agreed on an amount and made a payment, your credit report should be amended to reflect the payment.
If the collections account is still present after 30 days, follow up with Direct Recovery Services to make sure it gets updated promptly. Send a copy of your written agreement, if necessary, as a helpful reminder.
3. Let a Credit Repair Company Assist You with DRS
You don’t have to confront Direct Recovery Services on your own. Whether your financial situation is simple or complicated, working with a credit repair expert can help.
Credit repair companies can dispute your claims for you, stop the agency’s phone calls, and get DRS removed from your account ASAP.
Their experienced teams will fight for quick and thoroughly documented results.
Whether you hire the pros or take the DIY approach in Steps 1 and 2, get started right away. The longer you wait to deal with Direct Recovery Services, the fewer options you’ll have.
Tips For Dealing with Direct Recovery Services
By their nature, collections agencies inspire hundreds of complaints from consumers. Direct Recovery Services is no exception.
The agency has earned a score of “B-” from the Better Business Bureau, where it is not accredited.
DRS has been the subject of class-action lawsuits; you can search for the company in PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) to learn more.
And, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives routine complaints about DRS.
Common complaints include:
- Failure to respond to debt validation requests.
- Inaccurate debt reporting.
- Harassing phone calls.
- Contacting family members over debt.
- Threatening illegal actions.
The law allows Direct Recovery Services to contact you until payments are made, but the agency’s contact with you must align with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
For example, under the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot call you at unreasonable hours or pester you at work. In fact, you can request when and on what phone number the agency calls you when needed.
As you begin working with DRS, cite the FDCPA so the agency knows you know your consumer rights. Once again, you should request all communication take place in writing.
Not only does this halt Direct Recovery Services’ frustrating phone calls, but it also ensures that your case is well documented.
What Can DRS Legally Do?
Direct Recovery Services hopes your built-in apprehension about a collections account will inspire you to take action and pay off the debt.
Some agents will stir up your internal fears by insinuating you could be prosecuted by the criminal justice system or have your wages garnished until the debt its paid off.
If you feel intimidated, hang up the phone. Before you have another conversation with the debt collector, take note of what the company can actually do:
- Contact you via phone, email, text message, or letter.
- Take legal action in civil court against you. If the court agrees with the debt collector, a judge could later approve a wage garnishment against you.
- Report your debt to the three credit reporting bureaus.
- Sell your debt to another debt collector.
- Negotiate with you for payment.
What DRS Can’t Legally Do
No matter what agents on the phone may imply, a debt collector cannot:
- Visit you in person to collect the debt.
- Harass you with repeated phone calls that violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
- Threaten you with violence or threaten to shame you publicly.
- Seek criminal charges against you.
- Call you in the middle of the night.
- Talk to your co-workers or family members about your debt.
- Share your personal information with other companies.
Contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) if DRS or another debt collector violates your rights. You could be eligible for $1,000 in fines for each violation although you’d probably have to hire a law firm to help you secure this money.
You also can post reviews on the BBB site.
How to Contact Direct Recovery Services
Here is the current contact information:
- Mailing address: Direct Recovery Services, LLC, 629 7th Ave, Two Harbors, MN 55616.
- Web site: www.directrecoveryservices.com
- Phone number: 646-938-3123
Be sure to include your account number in your written correspondence with DRS.