If you’ve recently reviewed your credit report, you may have seen an entity by the name of “AT&T Collections Agency.” This typically means you owe money to the internet and phone provider AT&T Inc.
When an individual fails to pay the balance on their account, it can eventually be turned over to a collection agency. This is an organization that is specifically committed to recouping far overdue funds. If you see AT&T Collections Agency on your credit report, it likely means the telecommunications provider gave up trying to recover the owed money and handed the debt over to its in-house collection agency.
Anything with the word collection in it can be alarming at first sight, and in this case, it’s certainly something that you want to address.
However, it’s also important that you don’t panic. Instead, review the following primer for how to confirm, respond to, and eliminate the AT&T Collections Agency mark from your credit report.
Table of Contents
Is AT&T Collections Agency a Real Company?
The first thing to confirm with any collection agency is whether or not it’s real. In this case, the company is a real entity that operates out of Dallas, Texas.
However, where this collection agency differs from other third-party collection agencies is the fact that it only collects debts for AT&T. In other words, it is merely a branch of the parent company that solely exists to collect delinquent payments for the telecommunications provider.
BBB Complaints About AT&T Collections Agency
As a branch of its parent company, AT&T Collections Agency doesn’t appear to have its own Better Business Bureau page. However, the larger company has over 51,000 combined complaints.
Nevertheless, most of these have been directly responded to by AT&T. Many of these claim the disgruntled customer was contacted and further indicated that their problem was resolved.
What to Do if You See AT&T Collections Agency on Your Credit Reports
Having a collection agency listed on your credit report is never a good thing. While you likely will not be able to resolve the issue overnight, it’s important that you act fast once you’ve discovered the problem.
Left unresolved, a collection agency will continue to report your lack of payment to the three major credit bureaus and submit requests to you for payments. If the situation is dire enough, the agency may even attempt to repossess the asset that you purchased with the borrowed money, such as a car or house.
Rather than sitting on the information, here are a few suggestions for ways that you can ameliorate the issue in every way possible.
Verify That It’s Legitimate
The first thing that you should do is confirm that the collections note showing up on your credit report is real.
This is important, as the legitimacy of the company isn’t the only thing in question here. While AT&T Collections Agency is certainly an existing entity, the debt that they think you owe may not be real.
You can address this concern by sending a debt validation letter to the agency. This letter formally demands that the company verify you owe the debt they are reporting.
A few signs that show a debt is fraudulent include:
- A lack of concrete information about the agency: A real agency should include basic details like the company name, a physical address, an email, and a phone number. If this basic information is missing, it should be a red flag.
- You didn’t get physical mail: If you get a call or an email from a collection agency, be wary. Watch out for a snail mail follow-up. This is the official way that debt collectors communicate. An electronic or phone communication on its own is a good sign that the debt is not real.
- You cannot request further information regarding the debt: You should always be able to request additional information and work with the company. Legitimate debt collectors want to find a reasonable solution. If you find that the collection agency is reticent or, even worse, threatening, that is a good sign that the debt is fraudulent.
Throughout the verification process, you must remember to keep all of your personal information private.
Pay Off Your Debt
If you find that the debt is indeed legitimate, you must do your best to pay it off as quickly as possible. In most cases with a phone or internet bill, the debt should not be too large — especially when compared to medical, auto, or other larger debts.
Whenever possible, try to work with the original creditor to pay off the debt before resorting to paying the collector directly. Often, paying the creditor can provide you with a more lenient resolution.
Consult With a Credit Counselor
If you find that you’re truly stuck in the process, consider contacting a credit counselor. This gives you access to professional services that may be able to:
- Help you create a debt management plan.
- Remove existing collections claims on your credit report.
- Negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
- Rebuild and repair your credit in the future.
Using the best credit counselor you can find is an excellent way to ensure the situation is resolved correctly and to your advantage.
How to Remove AT&T Collections Agency From Your Credit Reports
If you find that a fraudulent debt has been attributed to your account, you can resolve this by filing a dispute with the credit bureaus. This can even be done if you find that the details for a real debt have been erroneously reported.
If the debt collection attempt is legitimate, it’s more difficult to remove the negative mark from the report. However, if you pay off the debt, you can use a good faith letter to request that the item be deleted.
Will You Be Sued by AT&T Collections Agency?
Any collections agency can sue you. However, in the case of phone- or internet-related issues, the debts are typically so small that they will not warrant such a drastic step.
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