What Is Cavalry Portfolio Services and Why Is It on My Credit Report?

FT Contributor

Receiving a call or letter from Cavalry Portfolio Services, or seeing a collection account with them on your credit report, is never good news. Cavalry is a debt collection company that purchases debts from other companies.

Some of their largest clients include major banks like Chase and Bank of America, but they also purchase debt from medical providers, cell phone companies, and smaller banks.

Cavalry typically purchases debts for a fraction of what’s owed, and profits by collecting payment from debtors. This usually occurs after the original creditor unsuccessfully attempts to collect payment.

What this means for you is that collection accounts reported by Cavalry are often several months or even years old. Sometimes creditors will sell old debt that’s been charged off, for example, and a company like Cavalry will treat it as a new account when reporting to the credit bureaus.  

That doesn’t mean that a debt reported by Cavalry is legitimate or accurate, or that you will have to pay what they say you owe. Cavalry Portfolio Services has been the subject of many complaints to the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Allegations against the company include attempts to collect debts that weren’t owed, harassment, failure to provide written information about debts, and misleading or false statements.

Because Cavalry Portfolio Services typically only contacts consumers about debts after negative information is sent to the credit bureaus, it’s vital to respond to their attempts to collect.

Ignoring the letters or calls could ultimately land you in court, as Cavalry has been known to sue consumers with outstanding collections. However, you may be able to negotiate with the company to reduce your debt or make payments, or even have it deleted from your report.

Read on to learn more about how to deal with this collection agency.

Table of Contents

Is Cavalry Portfolio Services a Real Company?

Cavalry Portfolio Services is one of the largest collection agencies in the U.S. Based in New York, they’ve been in business for nearly 20 years.  

In addition to the many complaints to consumer protection agencies, Cavalry Portfolio Services is currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit. The suit alleges that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by repeatedly contacting consumers without their consent.

Additional class-action suits are pending for other practices, including setting false deadlines for settlements, trying to collect debts in states where the company isn‘t licensed, and incorrectly validating debts.

What to Do if You’re Contacted by Cavalry Portfolio Services

Cavalry Portfolio Services is known for aggressive collection tactics, and ignoring their attempts to contact you will not make them go away. Negative information will remain on your credit report, and depending on how much you owe, the company may take further action, including taking you to court. If this happens, the company could receive a judgment to garnish your wages or seize property to settle the debt.

As with any collection agency, though, do not agree to pay what they demand without first negotiating. Because Cavalry Portfolio Services purchases old debts, it’s possible that the debt has already been paid, or is otherwise incorrect.

Paying the first demand will also likely cost you more money, since Cavalry is known for negotiating settlements with customers.

To get the account removed from your credit report, then, follow these steps.

Verify That the Debt Is Legitimate

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) allows consumers to request validation of any debt from the creditor or collection agency. If Cavalry Portfolio Services contacts you, request that they provide written proof of the debt within 30 days.

This information should include the name of the original creditor, the amount owed, the date when the debt became delinquent, and the date it was purchased by the collection agency. If you do not make a validation request, the company will assume that you agree the debt is valid, and continue collection efforts.

Even if you make this request over the phone, send a written debt validation letter as well for your records. You can also request that all further communication take place by mail, and not over the phone. Legally, the company must stop calling.

If they cannot or do not provide debt verification within 30 days, they must cease collections, and you can request to have negative information removed from your credit report.

Handling the Debt

If Cavalry’s information about your debt is correct, you still may not have to pay the entire amount. You may be able to settle for a much lower payment, and still have the negative information deleted.

Typically, collection agencies offer the most favorable settlements to those willing to make a single payment right away. Even if you need to make payments over time, though, a settlement will save money while clearing up your debt.

You may be able to secure even more favorable settlement terms by working with a credit repair company. These services are familiar with collection agencies and their methods, and will use that experience to help you get control of your debt. Depending on the circumstances, they may negotiate a payment plan, affordable settlement, or even get the debt canceled.

If you decide to work with Cavalry directly on your own, get all agreements regarding payment plans or settlements in writing before making any payments. The collection account will remain on your credit report until it’s paid in full, but the balance will update and the status will change to reflect that you’re making payments.

How to Get Cavalry Portfolio Services Off Your Credit Report

If you pay your debt to Cavalry Portfolio Services, the company will request that the credit bureaus delete the negative information from your credit report. This will only happen once you have paid the debt in full, or settled the account and paid in full for less than the amount owed.

According to the company’s website, this happens within 30 days of the paid-in-full date. It is your responsibility to make sure the item is deleted, so keep detailed records of your payments, and contact the company if your credit report isn’t updated.

Regardless of whether you pay the debt in full, Cavalry Portfolio Services must delete any negative information seven years from the date of delinquency, regardless of how much has been paid.

Cavalry Portfolio Services Phone Number

Cavalry Portfolio Services can be reached at (866) 483-5139 to make payments or ask questions. They also provide an online contact form on their website. Remember that to a debt collection agency, any information you provide can be used to collect payment.

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