Summary: Follow these steps to resolve your debt and remove LVNV Funding LLC from your credit report.
If you have ever received a phone call from a debt collection company, then you know the emotional roller coaster those calls can bring.
Aggressive collection agencies like LVNV Funding consistently step over the line. They can also stomp your credit by placing a collection account on your credit record.
You can fight back and get the upper hand on LVNV Funding the next time they call.
Who Is LVNV Funding LLC?
If LVNV Funding LLC has popped into your life, then you either owe someone money or someone borrowed money fraudulently in your name.
In either case, LVNV Funding will not go away if you just dodge their calls and ignore them. You could even find yourself facing a lawsuit.
They have purchased your debt at a discounted price and are now going to take every legal (and sometimes illegal) measure to get paid.
LVNV Funding LLC is a debt collection company that specializes in recovering past due money that was owed to places like your credit card company, bank, utilities, cellphone company, or lender. LVNV has multiple options they may take to collect on the debt you may owe.
Generally, they will first give you a phone call and attempt to settle the debt quickly, possibly even offering you a discounted one-time payment option.
If you fail to settle with LVNV Funding LLC during that initial phone call, they will report a collection account to the three big credit bureaus.
When a collection is on your credit history, you will see a significant drop in your credit score.
LVNV will also send letters to your home while calling every available phone number they have for you, including family and friends numbers.
Luckily, you do have some options to level the playing field and give you the chance to make a good financial decision and remove LVNV Funding LLC from your credit report.
What You Can Do
Here’s what you need to do to deal with LVNV Funding.
1. Know Your Rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) spells out the rights of debtors and the obligations of debt collectors.
- 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.
Send the letter to LVNV Funding by certified mail.
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.
Remember that even if you know the debt is yours, the more important issue is whether they know it’s yours.
Because guess what?
If they can’t prove it’s yours, they can’t report it to the credit bureaus.
They might not be able to come up with that proof. Remember, LVNV Funding purchased your debt, in bulk with a bunch of other debt, from the original creditor.
Who knows what was lost in the shuffle?
The onus is on them to provide proof. If they can’t, they’re required by law to remove it from your credit report.
Remember the Statute of Limitations
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.
The statute of limitations clock begins on the date when the debt was first reported as delinquent.
Remember that making a payment or acknowledging that the debt is yours can restart the statute of limitations.
The expiry of the statute of limitations will not remove an account from your credit record. If the statute of limitations has expired or will expire soon there’s a good chance that the seven-year period of appearance on your credit record is also nearly up.
If the statute of limitations is nearly up your best bet might be to just wait it out.
3. Stop Calls from LVNV Funding NOW
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 and ask them to stop.
Follow these simple steps to stop the calls.
- Write a “stop contact” or “cease” letter telling them to stop contacting you.
- Make a copy for yourself and mail the original to LVNV Funding.
- 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.
Pro tip: Send the letter by certified mail with “return receipt requested” so you have proof the company received it.
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.
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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.
Pay for Delete
A collection agency may agree to remove your account from your credit record if you settle your debt. This is 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 they accept the settlement you will no longer have to deal with the collection agency, and that’s a big plus.
Get Your FREE Pay for Delete Letter Template
After much testing, we have put written a great pay to delete letter you can use to get started.
What If They Sue?
Collection agencies will take you to court, sometimes over quite small amounts. If you do get sued, don’t ignore the case.
If you don’t respond, the judge will probably issue a summary judgment against you. You will be ordered to repay the debt. If you don’t, your wages could be garnished. In some states, your assets could be seized.
Not all companies will exercise their right to file a lawsuit against you, but it’s a harsh reality when dealing with an aggressive debt collector.
Important! Read up on what to do if you get sued by a debt collector to make sure you take all the right steps.
You have two options when it comes to dealing with an LVNV Funding LLC collection company. Doing nothing is not an option!
The first option is to negotiate a settlement on your own. Another option is to hire a reputable debt relief company to negotiate a settlement. The debt relief and credit repair industries have earned a bad reputation and scams are rampant, but there are still some legitimate companies that can assist you.
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