Your credit report is one of the most important aspects of your financial life. Unfortunately, according to the FTC, 5% of consumers have at least one error on their credit reports that can worsen the terms of a loan.
If you have a collections agency such as Wakefield and Associates on your credit report, your credit rating can suffer dramatically.
Here’s what you can do about it if this happens to you.
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What Is W&A and How Do They Work?
As a debt collection agency, Wakefield and Associates is not something you want to see on your credit report. If you do see them on there it is likely that you have some unpaid debt outstanding.
It is common for creditors who lend money to consumers for various reasons (credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, etc.) to engage a collections agency to help collect overdue payments.
If you borrowed money and missed one or more payments, did not update your contact information, or had a number of other reasons, your lender may have “sent your account to collections.”
Lenders may either hire a collections agency like W&A to collect debt on their behalf. Or they may have sold the unpaid debt to W&A at a discount. In either case, Wakefield and Associates have the right to collect that debt from you.
They may attempt to contact you by a number of means including phone, postal mail, and email.
They may also take measures that negatively impact your credit history. For example, they may report to one or more of the major credit bureaus that you have an outstanding unpaid debt.
How To Remove Wakefield and Associates From Your Credit Report
In 2020, only 1 in 3 Americans checked their credit report in the previous year. If you’re included in that statistic, you may not even know a debt collector is on your credit report.
Wakefield and Associates may appear on your credit report by many names. Look for “wakefield collections”, “wakefield rrc”, “wakefield associates”, “wakefield payment solutions”, or “wakeassoc”, to name just a few.
You can sometimes pay Wakefield and Associates to remove them from your credit report. You must specifically send a request for them to remove themselves from your credit report. This may be in exchange for payment, if you go this route.
This is also referred to as a pay-for-delete agreement. This is done on a case-by-case basis, however, and may ultimately prove unsuccessful.
Another option is to send the company a goodwill letter. This explains why you cannot make a payment. If you attempt to do this, be honest about your circumstances, as they are likely to ask for documentation.
Request a Debt Validation Letter
If it has been less than 30 days since your initial contact with Wakefield and Associates, you can request a debt validation letter from them. Use certified mail so you have a record of your communication. This will force them to verify your debt to be sure it is genuine. If they can verify it, you will have to pay them.
However, if they cannot verify it, then they have a legal obligation to contact all three credit bureaus and remove themselves from your credit report.
Note that Wakefield and Associates has a reputation among consumers for inaccurate debt reporting. They have also been reported to fail to acknowledge debt validation requests. So be prepared in case none of these options work for you.
Even if you’ve settled with Wakefield and Associates, they are a collections account. This may harm your credit rating for up to seven years either way.
It may be very difficult to handle the situation on your own, even if you try all the aforementioned methods. It may be wise to seek out a credit repair service that knows the laws and has the skill necessary to remove this collections agency from your credit report.
At Fiscal Tiger, we provide a guide for the best credit repair companies you can find in the U.S. in 2021.
What Is a Debt Validation Letter?
Errors in debt collection are typical. If you’re not sure if you owe anything to Wakefield and Associates, a debt validation letter can prove whether it’s legitimate.
Debt collectors are legally required to validate your debt. They must provide you with a detailed explanation of what debt you owe and its amount.
Wakefield and Associates must send you one within five days of initial contact. If they don’t, you may request one.
A debt validation letter should include specific details about the debt, such as how you can dispute it. It should also include the amount of the debt owed and the name of the creditor looking for payment.
Because Wakefield and Associates has a reputation for being an aggressive debt collector, it might be useful to request a debt validation letter to temporarily pause their attempts to collect from you. It’s also useful if you want to pay the debt.
However, if your debt is nearing the statute of limitations, it may be best to ignore communications entirely, as any attempt at reaching out may bring undue attention to your debt.
Why Am I Getting Calls From Wakefield and Associates?
You may have missed a loan payment or have other outstanding debt. This could include a loan you cosigned on or debt in your name due to identity theft.
It’s possible that Wakefield and Associates have been commissioned by the original lender to collect overdue payments from you. Though the most common type of collections they do is for third-party debt they have acquired.
This means they buy your debt for less than what it’s worth, then turn a profit when you pay it off.
If this happens to you, you will almost certainly receive frequent phone calls and letters to pay your debt. These communications are often aggressive, and they will not stop until you agree to pay. However, even if you do pay, they may not remove themselves from your credit report.
Can Wakefield and Associates Sue Me?
Yes, though it’s rare. Whether they can depend on the statute of limitations, which varies from state to state. If they want to sue you but are outside of the statute of limitations, legally they will be unable to do so.
Is W&A Legit?
Wakefield and Associates is a legitimate company and not a scam. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. However, this does not mean their appearance on your credit report is authentic. The company has a reputation for buying debts that are unverifiable, inaccurate, or invalid.
Who Does Wakefield and Associates Collect For?
They collect for a variety of lenders across different industries, including finance, education, real estate, and healthcare. They might appear on your credit report if you fail to pay a bill.
Is Wakefield and Associates Real?
Yes. They are a real company located in Aurora, CO. They have offices in New Jersey, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wyoming, and maintain over 100 employees.
Protect Yourself From Wakefield and Associates
It’s always bad news when a collections agency such as Wakefield and Associates appears on your credit report. This is particularly true if you don’t believe the debt is accurate.
Thankfully, there are a variety of resources that can help. At Fiscal Tiger, we host reviews of services that can repair your credit rating in case this happens to you.
Whatever you decide to do, be aware of all of your options so you can swiftly resolve the matter and keep your credit rating intact.
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