If Harris & Harris collection services is filling up your voicemail and your mailbox, read on to learn how to respond to them the right way and improve your credit score.
It is not unusual for a bill to slip through the cracks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, no one wants to answer phone calls from a debt collection agency.
But if your number has made its way onto a debt collector’s calling list, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Answering the call and paying the amount you owe won’t necessarily solve the problem, either.
Even when you pay off a collection agency, it can hurt your credit score for up to seven years.
What Is Harris & Harris?
Harris & Harris Ltd is a legitimate collection agency, though its spammy communications might lead you to believe it’s a scam.
In fact, the agency has been collecting debt across the United States from New York to California since its inception in 1968, with close to 600 employees today.
They are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and profited over $60 million in 2019 on its collections.
The agency may show up under a number of names on your credit report, such as Harris and Harris Debt Collectors, Harris and Harris Ltd, Harris Collection, Harris Harris, Harris Ltd, Harris & Harris Limited, or http://www.harriscollect.com.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
3 Ways to Remove Harris & Harris from Your Credit Report
With the simple steps here, you can quickly and efficiently get the collection agency removed from your credit report.
1. Write a Letter to Dispute the Debt
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collections agencies must validate your debt if you write a letter of request.
We suggest sending your written debt validation letter request via certified mail, leaving a clear paper trail.
If you’re being charged a debt that you’re certain you don’t actually owe, you should definitely dispute the debt.
But even if you are responsible for the debt Harris and Harris is requesting payment for, submitting a debt validation letter is still worth a shot.
Since debt collectors are third-party agencies collecting on behalf of other companies, there’s a strong likelihood they don’t have valid documentation of your debt.
If that’s the case, you’ll be removed from their calling and mailing lists, and the account should be taken off your credit report promptly.
The key to this method is acting fast. You can only dispute the claim within 30 days of being notified of your debt.
If they have been on your report for less than a month, you should absolutely submit a debt validation letter.
2. Make a Payment
If the window for debt validation has closed, your best bet may be to contact them about a partial payment.
There’s a good chance the agency will be willing to negotiate a smaller payment in exchange for removing the collections account from your credit report.
We recommend starting your negotiations at around half of the amount you owe.
When you negotiate a payment, it’s imperative to communicate by mail.
This solidifies your agreement and holds the debt collector to their agreement to remove the account from your report.
Once you’ve come to an agreement on paper and made your payment, you should be able to see the changes on your credit report.
If it’s been over 30 days and you’re still waiting for your report to update, you should follow up with the agency to see what the issue is.
3. Let a Credit Repair Company Assist You
While you can certainly find success with the DIY methods above, confronting a collection agency can be frustrating and time-consuming.
If you’re looking to play a less active role in the process but still improve your credit, you’re in luck.
A good credit repair agency or law firm can handle the whole process as outlined above for you, making sure that they are reporting is accurate and fighting to get them removed from your credit profile.
Be sure to gather all your legal advice from an actual law firm.
They can stop debt collectors from hurting your credit score and end their ceaseless calls and letters.
Harris and Harris Contact Information
Their contact information is as follows:
- 111 W Jackson Blvd Ste 400
Chicago, IL 60604
- 111 W Jackson Blvd Ste 400
- Phone Number: 1-321-727-9100
Who Do They Collect for?
They collect for a wide variety of businesses across several industries.
Their main areas of service include:
How They Work
When consumers miss a payment, it can be challenging for a company to collect the debt.
They often turn to debt collection agencies, who can devote more time and effort to collecting payments.
Once your debt is turned over to them, it makes its way onto your credit report as a collections account.
When this happens, it can deal a serious blow to your credit score in the present and future.
Even if you eventually pay off your debt, it can remain on your score for up to 7 years, with late payments comprising 35% of your score.
Outside of damaging your credit score, the agency can call you, send letters, and email you rather persistently until you settle your account.
Dealing with Harris & Harris Debt Collectors
Debt collection agencies get a lot of consumer complaints, many of which are filed with the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Harris and Harris are among them, with over 500 complaints filed with the CFPB and 142 to date with the BBB.
A lot of these complaints are centered around the same issues, like the agency’s failure to respond to a debt validation request.
Others cited inaccurate credit reporting, with many claiming their account was settled and the changes were not reflected on their credit report.
They are accredited by the BBB and currently has an “A+” rating based on their response to complaints, communication, and transparency with the public.
If you’re forced to deal with them, you should first educate yourself on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This act holds them to certain ethical communication standards, like limiting their calls to reasonable hours and prohibiting them from contacting your loved ones.
It also gives you the right to demand that the agency only communicates with you by letter.
This can be a huge source of relief if they are calling you repeatedly, but it serves a more significant purpose.