[caption id="attachment_3141" align="alignleft" width="160"] mercantile adjustment bureau charge offs and collection accounts can prevent you from living the life you deserve. You can get them legally, ethically and legitimately removed by following the advice we offer to you here.[/caption]
If one or more of your debts gets sold into collections with a company like Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, it's usually just a matter of time before your credit score begins to suffer.
In an attempt to pressure you into paying, Mercantile Adjustment Bureau will report your debts as collection items or charge offs to the credit bureaus. Each collection item or charge off can lower your credit score by up to 100 points, and stay on your credit history for 7 years.
If your credit has been damaged by collection items, there are three main strategies you can use to repair your credit.
The first strategy is repayment. Generally, this is the last thing people want to do! If you must repay your debt, be sure to get the terms in writing and fully understand the interest and fees involved. Also, be sure to make the debt collector agree (in writing) to remove your collection items as soon as you start paying.
The second strategy is to prove that the debt in question is invalid, inaccurate, or unverifiable. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such debts cannot be reported to any third party, including the credit bureaus.
Examples of invalid debts include:
- Debts that belong to another person
- Debts that were previously paid in full to the original lender
- Debts that were created by an identity thief
- Debts that were discharged in a bankruptcy
- Debts currently in deferment
- Debts whose statutes of limitations have expired
- Debts showing incorrect balances
You can use a debt validation letter to make the debt collector prove that the debt they wish to collect does not fall into any of the above categories.
The third strategy is to threaten to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Obviously, use of this strategy is dependent upon having evidence of violations.
Violations may include:
- Calling just to harass you
- Calling before the debt validation process is complete
- Calling you directly after you've hired a lawyer
- Calling before 8 am or after 9 pm
- Calling your employer if they've been instructed not to
- Making baseless threats of legal action--threats that they either will not or cannot make good on
No matter which strategy you use, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer. Often, just seeing a letter on legal stationery is enough to make the debt collector back off.
Debt collectors count on consumers to be ignorant of their own rights and hence easy to manipulate. But once they know you've hired a lawyer, their perceived advantage over you disappears. They realize they will not be able to get away with any monkey business!