If a company called Works & Lentz, Inc. has started calling you out of the blue, it is probably because of an old debt.
You are probably wondering if they are a legitimate debt collector or not.
Works & Lentz, Inc. is completely legitimate, and they aren’t going anywhere until you pay up – or you remove their collections account from your credit report.
Before they are allowed to pursue you for debt recovery, they must first open a collections account with the major credit bureaus.
This account is damaging to your credit and can remain on your credit report for nearly a decade.
When dealing with Works & Lentz, Inc., the main objective is removing this account from your record so that your credit can begin to mend.
Luckily, there are tried-and-true ways to accomplish this.
About Works & Lentz
Originally founded in 2001, Works & Lentz, Inc. is an average-sized debt collector that is currently headquartered in Tulsa, OK.
They have a headquarters staff of 110 employees, and their annual revenue clocks in at about $13 million.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that customers don’t like hearing from Works & Lentz, Inc.
In fact, they have amassed a number of complaints against them in their two decades in the industry.
They have about 25 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 3 complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
They have also had at least 3 cases of civil litigation brought against them.
The rub when it comes to Works & Lentz, Inc. is their collection tactics. Some of their methods are not considered above board.
They have been known to neglect the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when contacting customers for payment.
Their infractions include failing to validate debts, calling multiple times a day, and reporting inaccurate information to credit bureaus.
If you experience FDCPA violations when dealing with Works & Lentz, Inc., you should file a complaint with the CFPB.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
How to Get Works & Lentz, Inc. Off Your Credit Report
If you want to remove a collection from your credit report, you will need to follow the four steps outlined below.
Request Written Communication
When it comes to your money, you shouldn’t hold debt collectors to their word.
They are known for saying one thing on the phone and doing the opposite when it comes to brass tacks.
That’s why it is important to request that Works & Lentz, Inc. only communicate with you in writing.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives you the right to ask for communication strictly via U.S. Mail.
This is meant to help you hold debt collectors accountable for the agreements they make with you.
Additionally, you can hold onto each piece of mail that they send you to help back up your case if they begin overwhelming you with letters.
Request written communication from Works & Lentz, Inc. is relatively simple.
Next time they call you, simply ask for them to only contact you through registered U.S. Mail moving forward.
If Works & Lentz, Inc. begins pushing back, tell them that they are in violation of the FDCPA and hang up.
Write a Debt Validation Letter
The next step is one that could get your debt removed with minimal effort.
You need to write a letter to Works & Lentz, Inc. asking them to validate your debt. Debt validation is another right that you have under the FDCPA.
Its purpose is to allow you to review the information Works & Lentz, Inc. has to ensure that you are making payments on a debt that is valid and – most importantly – yours.
Many people don’t bother requesting debt validation because they know that the debt is, in fact, theirs.
However, they are missing a prime opportunity to get the debt removed on a technicality.
If Works & Lentz, Inc. has any information wrong about your debt in their records, they are required to remove their entry from your credit report and stop collections.
The CFPB takes inaccurate reporting very seriously, so it’s worth it to see if there is anything amiss about Works & Lentz, Inc.’s collection entry.
HOW TO REQUEST DEBT VALIDATION
To formally request debt validation, you must write a debt validation letter.
This letter is also known as a Section 609 letter and asks them to confirm the details of your debt.
It is highly important that you do not procrastinate when sending this letter. The FDCPA only protects your right to ask for debt validation within the first 30 days of hearing from a debt collector.
If you wait beyond that, they may not honor your request.
If Works & Lentz, Inc. is unable to provide information about your debt at all, they must remove their account from your credit report.
However, they will probably return with several documents that list various details about your account.
Go through each page and look for any inaccuracies or omissions. If you find anything, you can file an advanced dispute with the major credit bureaus to have Works & Lentz, Inc.’s account removed.
Negotiate a Settlement
If debt validation doesn’t work out, your next step is to negotiate a settlement.
Works & Lentz, Inc. may be able to provide full and accurate details about your debt. In that case, you must repay the debt to them.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to walk away completely empty-handed.
You could get away with paying less than the total balance or getting the collection account removed from your record.
Start negotiations with Works & Lentz, Inc. by offering them part of the total amount of the debt. This gives you some wiggle room when it comes to compromising on terms.
The one thing you should not compromise on is Works & Lentz, Inc. deleting the account.
Removing the account will boost your credit and lower your interest rates when you apply for loans and credit cards later on.
After you settle on terms and conditions, work up a contract that both you and Works & Lentz, Inc. can sign.
Don’t make any payments on the debt until they have agreed to the terms and signed the contract.
Works & Lentz, Inc. should contact the credit bureaus and remove their account once they receive your initial payment.
It takes about one month for the entry to disappear, so monitor your report to ensure that it goes away.
Hire a Credit Professional To Deal with Works & Lentz
You may feel uncomfortable taking on a debt collector like Works & Lentz, Inc. all on your own.
Luckily, there are professionals out there that can deal with them for you.
Credit repair professionals specialize in identifying and removing damaging accounts from your credit history. This goes beyond just collection accounts.
They can help you with judgments, bankruptcies, liens, and more.
Like many industries, there are companies in the credit repair space that are simply not worth the money.
It’s important that you do your research before you hire professional help.
People who are contacted by a debt collector will sometimes try ignoring them in the hopes that they will go away.
This never works and will certainly make things worse for you down the line.
If you are dealing with Works & Lentz, Inc., it is best to deal with the situation as promptly as you can.
If you follow the four steps above, you should be able to remove them from your credit report.
This will save you many headaches in the future when you apply for loans or credit cards.
Everyone has the ability to repair their credit and boost their score.