LJ Ross Associates is a debt collection agency based out of Michigan. They specialize in debt collection for medical, utilities, government, education, and financial industries. Like most debt collection agencies, they are known for rude and unprofessional behavior.
If you recently discovered LJ Ross on your credit report, and are wondering where it came from, keep in mind that LJ Ross may have purchased a debt from an original creditor and are now attempting to collect on it.
This debt may not even be yours. Many times collection agencies have incorrect information, but this doesn’t stop them from attempting to collect on a debt.
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How to Deal with LJ Ross Associates
The first thing to keep in mind when dealing with any collection agency is that you have certain rights that the collection agencies have to not only acknowledge, but also abide by.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Collection agencies often assume that you are unaware of your rights and therefore routinely ignore them. Your right fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
These rights dedicate how debt collection agencies must conduct themselves when collecting on a debt. The most important thing to take away from this law is that collection agencies cannot harass you.
In addition to being prohibited from harassing you, collection agencies are also prohibited from:
- Calling you outside of 8:00am and 9:00pm local time.
- Continuing to contact you after you request they stop.
- Contact you at your place of employment.
- Attempting to collect on a debt after you have requested validation that the debt is yours.
- Threatening legal action or arrest.
- Using profane language.
- Threatening to report false information on your credit report.
How to Communicate with LJ Ross
When LJ Ross contacts you on the phone, first let them know that you know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Secondly, request that all future communication be done via the mail. Also, tell them to never contact you at your place of employment.
Many times this will catch them off guard because again, most people are simply unaware of their rights. If at any time they become abusive or combative, remind them that they are in violation of the FDCPA.
Finding LJ Ross on Your Credit Report
If you haven’t been contacted by LJ Ross, either over the phone or by mail, but you find LJ Ross on your credit report in the form of a collection, you need to make sure that it’s actually your debt.
Like I mentioned before, many debt collection agencies buy old debts with inaccurate information and it’s not uncommon that they attempt to collect from the wrong person. If you don’t recognize the debt, you need to dispute it with all three of the credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Once you have disputed the negative entry, they will have 30 days to investigate.
How to Remove LJ Ross From Your Credit Report
When you’re unable to remove the LJ Ross collection from your credit report by disputing the entry, you have a few more options. It’s generally easier to remove older collections than newer ones.
The problem is, debt collection agencies have been known to “re-age” accounts. This basically results in the negative entry looking much newer than it really is. Since newer collections impact your credit score more significantly, a re-aged account can really affect your ability to get a loan or get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Your first option to get the entry removed from your credit report is to demand that LJ Ross validate the debt. Debt validation is another right you have under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Basically, you can ask that a collection agency provide you with documentation that validates the debt is actually yours. If they are unable to provide the validation documentation, they will have to stop attempting to collect the debt and remove the negative entry from your credit report.
A debt validation letter is the first thing you need to start with if you receive a collection letter from LJ Ross. Check out my debt validation letter template to get an idea of what you should write.
One potential problem you might run into is technically you only have 30 days from their first contact to get them the debt validation letter. However, that shouldn’t prevent you from sending it anyway.
Pay in Full for Deletion
If the debt validation letter wasn’t successful because they were able to provide you with documentation that the debt is indeed yours, your next step is to offer to pay the debt if they agree to remove it from your credit report.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when using this method. First, don’t assume you have to pay the full amount they are asking. In fact, if it’s an older debt, it’s likely they’ll accept much less than the full balance. The point is, you have room to negotiate when dealing with collection agencies.
It’s acceptable to negotiate over the phone, but once a deal has been made, make sure you get everything in writing. Never agree to pay them over the phone or give them access to your bank account.
Once you have the agreement in writing, write the check and wait 30 days for them to update your credit report. If after 30 days the collection hasn’t been removed from your credit report, contact them regarding the agreement.
How I Removed LJ Ross Associates From My Credit Report
When you have been unsuccessful in removing the LJ Ross collection from your credit report using the steps I’ve outlined above, you might want to consider having a professional remove it.
This is usually the quickest way to get negative entries removed, and it’s worked many times for me (and my readers).