Summary: Remove Enhanced Recovery Company LLC from your credit report and stop those harassing phone calls with these steps.
One of the most stressful phone calls you will ever receive is from a debt collection agency like Enhanced Recovery Company (ERC). No one enjoys getting phone calls from companies like ERC, and we’re going to explain how you can make them stop.
If you have an account in collections, the calls aren’t your only problem. Collection accounts will hammer your credit, and if you can’t pay the collection agency may even sue you.
If you have an account in collections, you have two challenges.
- You have to resolve the account. A collection agency will harass you and could even sue you as long as the debt is not resolved.
- You have to address the damage to your credit. Collection accounts are a serious drag on your credit score.
These two challenges are related, but they are not the same thing. One involves dealing with the collection agency, the other involves dealing with the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
What Is Enhanced Recovery Company LLC?
Enhanced Recovery Company LLC is confusingly mistaken for many different names, such as; ERC Collections, Enhanced Recovery Corp, ERC Collection, Enhanced Recovery Collections, and even Enhanced Recovery Company L.
Regardless of which name you may have Google searched, it’s never a good thing when Enhanced Recovery Corporation comes into your life.
Whether you find out with a huge credit score drop, a phone call, or by mail, ERC will need to be addressed head-on.
If ERC is contacting you, they have purchased one of your debts and are going to spend every legal and possibly illegal way possible to get you to pay.
ERC specializes in collecting overdue or past-due debt that you may have owed to any number of lenders, credit card companies, banks, utilities, loans, or cell phone companies.
Some of the bigger companies that ERC Collection Agency works with are Sprint, T-mobile, AT&T, & DirectTV.
⚠️ Once a debt collector contacts you, they have five days to provide a debt validation letter.
Luckily for you, ERC does not file lawsuits, so you can take a deep sigh of relief. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of this problem.
What You Can Do if ERC is Calling
If ERC has purchased one of your accounts, you’ll need to deal with the situation. Here’s what you can do.
1. Know Your Rights
The rights of debtors and the obligations of debt collectors are spelled out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Here are some key points.
- A debt collector cannot call you before 8AM or after 9PM.
- A debt collector cannot call your place of employment.
- If you have a lawyer, the collector must communicate with your lawyer.
- A debt collector may not communicate with your friends or family members or tell them about your debts.
- Debt collectors cannot threaten to harm you, your reputation, or your property, or use profane language.
- Debt collectors must identify themselves and the company they represent. They cannot claim to be law enforcement or other officials.
- A debt collector cannot threaten you with imprisonment or seizure of assets.
For a full review of your rights under the FDCPA see this summary from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
2. Validate and Verify the Debt
A debt collector must supply the following information to you within five days of the first time they contact you.
- The amount you owe.
- The name of the creditor.
- A notice that you have 30 days to dispute the debt.
This is called debt validation and the information is usually contained in a debt validation letter.
If you do not dispute the debt within 30 days, it is presumed valid. Always dispute debts. To dispute the account you will send a debt verification letter. Send the debt collector a certified letter asking for the following.
- How much you owe.
- The name and address of the original creditor.
- Proof that you owe the debt.
- The date of the original debt.
- Proof that the collector has legal standing to pursue collection efforts in your state.
Remember the difference between a debt validation letter, which the collection agency sends to you, and a debt verification letter, which you send to them. Once you receive the debt validation letter you have 30 days to send your debt verification letter.
Always check the date of the debt against the statute of limitations in your state. If the statute of limitations has expired, the collector cannot pursue legal action against you. Remember that making a payment or acknowledging that the debt is yours can restart the statute of limitations.
If the collector cannot verify the debt they must cease contact with you and notify the credit bureaus that the debt is unverifiable and should be removed from your credit record.
3. Get ERC to Quit Calling
You could get as many as 15 calls per day, according to a Consumer Credit Card Market Report.
That’s way too many.
But you can’t just call them at 1-800-828-1110 and ask them to stop.
Follow these simple steps to stop ERC from calling you.
- Write a “stop contact” or “cease” letter telling them to stop contacting you.
- Make a copy for yourself and mail the original to ERC.
- To prove you sent the letter, send it by certified mail with “return receipt requested.”
Make sure you follow these exact steps.
If you do, the National Consumer Law Center states, “the collector can only acknowledge the letter and notify you about legal steps the collector may take.”
When you stop the phone calls, you get some breathing room. Remember that you still owe the debt, and the collector can take legal action.
Then you can tackle the next step.
4. Contest the Debt With the Credit Bureaus
If you believe that you do not owe the debt or that the collection agency has failed to validate the debt, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus. You will need to dispute the account separately with each credit bureau.
Credit Reporting Bureau Mailing Addresses
|P.O. Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374-0256||P.O. Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013||P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016-2000|
You can also dispute it online:
The credit bureau must investigate and verify your debt. If they cannot, they must remove it from your credit record.
Remember that even if the debt is removed from your credit record, the collection agency can still pursue collection efforts.
And a word of advice: Only contact them in writing and send everything by registered mail.
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5. Settle With A Pay For Delete Agreement
While occasionally the collection debt isn’t yours, most of the time, it is. If that’s the case, a settlement is one way to resolve the situation.
Remember that debt collectors pay, on average, 4 cents for every dollar of debt that they buy. That gives you room to negotiate. A collector can accept less than you owe and still make a profit.
An article from U.S. News & World Report found that collection agencies will settle for between 40-60% of the balance – which could mean thousands of dollars saved.
You might offer 10% of your balance to see what they say.
They’ll probably ask for more, but don’t let them push you around. With a little negotiation, you can reach an agreement you’re comfortable with.
A collection agency may agree to remove your account from your credit record if you settle your debt. This is called a “pay for delete” arrangement.
When you discuss a settlement, ask the collection agency representative if they will delete your record if you pay. Send a formal “pay for delete letter” to confirm the arrangement and ask for a written commitment.
Remember that you cannot compel a credit bureau to remove a legitimate account from your record. It will be recorded as paid, but it may remain on your credit report for seven years from the date when the account first became delinquent.
A pay-for-delete arrangement is a gamble. It may not work, but it’s worth trying. If the settlement is accepted you will no longer have to deal with the collection agency, and that’s a big plus.
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Will ERC Sue Me?
It is not uncommon for collections companies to file a lawsuit against you to collect the debt you owe.
If a collection company does file a lawsuit, you will need to respond to the lawsuit, or the judge may file a summary judgment against you. Read about other steps you should take in dealing with a lawsuit from a debt collector.
This would mean that you then legally MUST pay back the money, and they could even take it directly out of your bank account.
The good news is that ERC probably won’t sue you, since they don’t use this technique to collect the debt. They could still sell your debt to another collector that does use lawsuits.
Generally, if you are sued by a collection company it is cheaper for you to settle than hire an attorney to defend a lawsuit you probably will lose in the long run.
However, if you truly don’t owe them money and you’ve attempted to show documented reasons why this is the case, you may need to hire an attorney to defend yourself.
Help Is Available
Debt collectors can be aggressive. From phone calls to letters, they never give up!
If you get stuck, reach out to the credit experts. Credit repair companies have experience in dealing with pushy debt collection companies.
This way, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. When you leave it to the pros, you can breathe a big sigh of relief.
It will cost you something and you’ll have to be sure the company you’re working with is credible. Debt relief and credit repair scams are everywhere. If you find the right company and you’re willing to pay, it might be worth it.
Usually, a credit repair company is only a useful choice if you have multiple collection accounts or other issues on your credit report. If it’s a single account, you’re usually better off dealing with it yourself.
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