What Is Allied Interstate and Why Is It on My Credit Report?

FT Contributor
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Allied Interstate is a debt collection agency. They purchase old or charged-off debts from other businesses, including student loan issuers and credit card companies, and make a profit when they collect payments.

The company is known for using aggressive tactics, including sending multiple letters or calling several times per day.

Chances are, if Allied Interstate appears on your credit report, it is because they purchased an old debt, or because they are trying to collect a debt that doesn’t belong to you.

Most companies try to collect payments using their own collection departments before turning accounts over to a collection agency. However, Allied Interstate often purchases debt that is several years old and contains inaccurate information.

Don’t ignore collection attempts from Allied Interstate, especially if they have reported the delinquency to the credit bureaus. Even if you don’t owe the debt, or what they claim you owe, the derogatory item can affect your score and access to credit.

Instead, take action to have the item removed from your report. Keep reading to learn more about how to do that.

Is Allied Interstate a Real Company?

Allied Interstate is a legitimate debt collection agency. Based in Minneapolis, MN, they have additional offices throughout the U.S. They’ve been in business for more than 67 years, during which time they’ve developed a reputation for aggressive, even harassing, collection methods.

In fact, Allied Interstate has been the subject of multiple government actions related to their collection techniques. In 2017, the company reached a settlement of $500,000 with state regulators of Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Dakota in relation to their violation of the Fair Debt Collections Act and various state-specific rules and regulations.

And in 2018, a California action addressed the company’s tactics of excessive calls, calling even after being asked to stop, calling wrong numbers after being asked to stop, and robocalling cell phones illegally.

Allied Interstate is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They have many complaints, many of which are related to the company’s aggressive tactics, delays confirming the payment of debts, and their inability to confirm debt information.

What to Do if You See Allied Interstate on Your Credit Reports

When you are contacted by Allied Interstate or see that they are on your credit report, take immediate action to protect your credit history. If you respond to their attempt to collect a debt, they will stop contacting you and you can get the negative information removed from your report.

If you do not respond, Allied Interstate may call you multiple times a day, send increasingly threatening letters, and seek a judgment against you in court to seize your property or garnish your wages. Whether they are willing to sue for the unpaid debt depends largely on how much you owe; small debts aren’t likely to land you in court.  

If the debt is legitimate, it’s very likely that you can settle for a lower amount. If you don’t actually owe the debt, paying will only cost you money, and may not even fix your credit report.  

To reduce the effect on your credit, and ensure you only pay what you actually owe, follow these tips for working with Allied Interstate.

Verify That the Debt Is Legitimate

Before agreeing to pay anything to Allied Interstate — or any collection agency — verify that the debt is actually yours and the company has the correct information. The debt may belong to someone else, may have already been paid, or the amount could be incorrect.

By law, you have the right to request that a debt collector verify the debt is in fact yours, and the information provided is correct. When you’re contacted by Allied Interstate, which will happen before they report to the credit bureaus, tell them that you are requesting debt validation, and request that all contact happens by mail. Legally, they must stop calling once you make that request.

Even if you request debt validation over the phone, send the company a debt validation letter, and keep a copy for your records. This letter serves as a formal request for proof of what you owe.

If Allied Interstate cannot furnish this evidence, which must be done within 30 days, then they must cease all collection activity. If they have reported derogatory information to the credit bureau, it can be removed.

In many cases, Allied Interstate will send a letter requesting payment before calling. According to reviews left on Consumer Affairs, the letter will include settlement offers, with the largest discount provided for a single payment.

Even if the offer is attractive, do not immediately pay the demand. You still have 30 days to request a validation of the debt, and settling the debt won’t automatically remove the negative information from your credit report.

If you do not request validation without 30 days, though, the company can assume you agree the debt is valid and continue their collection efforts.

Handling the Debt

If Allied Interstate is able to validate the debt, you can still protect your credit through several methods.

  • Pay the debt. If you owe what they claim, accepting one of their settlement options will result in the account showing as paid on your credit report. However, it will still show as a collection.
    • You may be able to call the company and negotiate an even lower settlement, with the provision that they retract the information sent to the credit bureaus.
  • Work with a credit repair company. Because Allied Interstate usually makes an upfront offer when they start collections, you may not be able to negotiate a better deal yourself.
    • Working with a credit repair company or credit counselor instead may help you achieve better results, especially if you have several collection accounts. They have experience dealing with collection agencies, and are in a better position to negotiate favorite settlement terms.

How to Remove Allied Interstate from Your Credit Reports

If Allied Interstate reports information to the credit bureaus, or if the collection account is due to fraud, you can request to have the information deleted by the credit bureaus. You may need to provide evidence to support your claim that the report was made in error.

If Allied Interstate’s report is accurate, paying off the debt isn’t a guarantee that it will be removed. If you negotiate a settlement that includes deletion, get the agreement in writing. In some cases, you may get the company to agree to a goodwill deletion, especially if you pay your debt in full and on time.

Make goodwill deletion requests in writing, explaining while you need the information removed and reiterating that you held up your end of the agreement.

Allied Interstate Phone Number

To reach Allied Interstate by phone, call (800) 811-8241. You can also email them at  [email protected]. Remember that as a debt collection agency, any information you provide to the company can be used to collect payment.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

 

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