If a company called Alltran Financial has contacted you, you may have a past-due debt that’s gone into collection status.
Whether the debt is legitimate or a case of mistaken identity, you’ll need to resolve the issue with Alltran Financial as quickly as possible.
While there is often a temptation to ignore calls from collection agencies, that will not make the problem go away. And, if you delay too long, a collection account can be escalated to a judgment.
If that happens, the collection agency will be able to legally garnish your wages and take other measures to ensure full payment of the debt.
The best option is to deal with the account before any of that happens.
About Alltran Financial
Based in Houston, Texas, and founded in 1987, Alltran Financial, LLC, doesn’t actually say what their business is on their website, but all the details clearly point to an obvious business model—collections.
They serve as a collection agency for a wide variety of clientele, including banks, auto loans, credit cards, online lenders, student loans, as well as collections for taxes, courts, tolls, and parking.
On their tax page, they reference the IRS but don’t necessarily declare that they collect for that agency.
But, due to the variety of clients they collect for, their specific collection methodology may vary from one type of account to another.
Unfortunately, Alltran Financial is not rated by the Better Business Bureau, nor is it accredited by the BBB, despite the agency being in business for 33 years.
However, 30 complaints have been filed against the company in the past three years, and all have been answered, while about half have been resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction.
Complaints list harassing phone calls (even to family members), lack of acknowledgment of settlement arrangements, a lack of willingness to provide details about debts, and some complaints specifically referencing arrangements with American Express.
Before You Deal with Alltran Financial
Let’s start by providing some general rules that will help you deal with any collection agency.
These rules will be particularly important because Alltran Financial collects for a diverse group of clients.
Their specific tactics will vary based on the type of original debt involved, and especially based on the size of that debt.
General rules will be important in providing you with a way to deal with the wide variety of accounts Alltran Financial is trying to collect.
There are four general rules to be aware of in dealing with any collection agency:
1. Don’t Deal With Alltran Financial By Phone
Based on complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, Alltran Financial seems to be especially partial to contact by phone.
The reasons for that should be obvious. Collection agents are experts at intimidating consumers. And, since all phone calls from collection agencies are recorded, they can be used as evidence against you.
For those reasons, you should avoid phone calls with Alltran Financial. Though your first contact from the company may be by phone, you must make sure it’s the last.
And, you have a legal right to make that happen. Under federal law, you can demand that a collection agency contact you in writing and not by phone.
Not only will the elimination of phone calls eliminate the intimidation tactics and recordings, but it will also do away with the annoying phone calls to your home, your place of employment, or even to family members.
It will also provide you with a better opportunity to deal with Alltran Financial under less stressful circumstances.
2. Communication with Alltran Financial Should Be In Writing
Not only does written correspondence eliminate harassing phone calls, but it also gives you a written record of all communications with the collection agency.
That will enable you to know exactly what’s going on at every point in the process and to respond accordingly.
When you do write to Alltran Financial, be sure to keep your letters concise.
Your main purpose should be to gather information about the debt while not providing any information that might support their claim.
That’s much easier to do in a letter than it is in a phone call, if only because you have an opportunity to edit unnecessary comments out of your letter before sending it.
Speaking of sending letters, all correspondence from you should be sent by certified mail and return receipt requested.
That will prove that you sent your letters to the company and that they were received and when.
Keep all correspondence—theirs and yours—in one file. It could be your best defense if Alltran Financial chooses to pursue legal action against you.
3. Never Promise Pay
This is the biggest mistake consumers make when dealing with collection agencies.
Many times, in an effort to end a phone call, a consumer will promise to send a payment to the collection agency.
That’s not necessarily a problem—unless either you don’t intend to send the funds or you don’t have the money available to follow through.
Promising to send money and not doing it is a form of breaking a contract, especially if it’s done through a letter or a recorded phone conversation.
The collection agency can use that broken promise as evidence against you in a lawsuit.
It bears repeating—never promise to send payment to a collection agency unless you are both willing and able to do so.
4. Know Your Rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides consumers with certain protections from collection agency abuses.
You can learn these protections by reading the Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Just knowing your rights under federal law may give you the upper hand when a collection agency starts getting ugly.
Get Professional Help in Dealing with Alltran Financial
If, after reading this far, or after dealing with Alltran Financial for a time—you decide that the do-it-yourself approach isn’t for you, you can always get professional help.
The best choice is usually a good credit repair company.
Not only can they help you settle your account with Alltran, but they’re likely to have more success in cleaning up the damage to your credit report in the process.
If you’re threatened with legal action, you’ll need to hire an attorney. We recommend Lexington Law because credit law is their specialty.
And, having an attorney in your corner is the best way to keep a collection account from going to court.
Specific Strategies for Alltran Financial
Now that you’re familiar with the four basic rules of dealing with collection agencies, let’s dive into specific strategies to get the collection account removed from your credit report:
Demand Alltran Financial Provide a Debt Validation Letter
Collection accounts can rise and fall on the ability of the collection agency to validate the debt.
That means, not only providing evidence that the debt is legitimate, but also that you are the responsible party.
Many collection accounts are a case of mistaken identity, especially if you have a common surname.
That’s why a collection agency is legally required to provide proof of the debt.
You should demand Alltran Financial provide you with a debt validation letter.
It should provide comprehensive information, including the original date of the debt, the name of the original creditor, the date the account went into collection, the amount of the debt, and relevant information connecting you to the obligation.
If they fail to provide a debt validation letter, or if the letter comes back missing important information, you’ll have a basis to dispute the legitimacy of the debt.
Request a Goodwill Deletion
This strategy doesn’t always work, but it’s often worth trying anyway.
Basically, you’ll be asking Alltran Financial to delete a collection that hasn’t been fully paid.
You’ll do this by sending the company a goodwill letter, requesting that they remove the negative information from your credit report as an act of goodwill.
Now, it’s unlikely they’ll do this just because they’re good people. Your letter will need to convey clearly that the debt went into collection due to extenuating circumstances.
Those could include divorce, an extended period of unemployment, a business failure, a health condition, or any other circumstance that limited your ability to honor the debt.
The case for your request will be made even stronger if you can include copies of documentation that substantiate your troubles.
No, there’s no guarantee Alltran Financial will delete the collection account.
But, as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And, obviously, this will only work if you’ve already paid the account in full.
Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement
This is one of the more speculative strategies for dealing with the collection agency, but it might be worth a try anyway.
Pay-for-delete is a strategy in which you offer to pay the full amount of the debt claimed by the collection agency in exchange for their deleting the account from your credit reports.
Since it’s an opportunity for the collection agency to collect the full amount of the debt, they may agree to the arrangement.
You’ll initiate the process by sending a pay-for-delete letter describing your proposal. Proceed only if Alltran Financial agrees to accept the arrangement in writing.
But, even if they do, they may not follow through with deleting the negative information.
Instead, they may accept your payment without upholding their part of the bargain.
The reason they won’t—and why there’s nothing you can do about it if they don’t—is that pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally enforceable.
The company can legally accept your money and legally fail to delete the collection accounts.
Demand Deletion if Alltran Financial Can’t Fully Validate the Debt
Remember that earlier we talked about demanding a debt validation letter from Alltran Financial?
If they don’t provide it or it comes back incomplete, you can challenge the debt’s legitimacy.
Based on their inability to validate the obligation fully, you can demand that they remove the collection account from your credit reports and halt all further collection efforts against you.
If they don’t, you can dispute the account with the credit bureaus.
Law requires them to investigate your claim within 30 days. If Alltran Financial is similarly unable to provide a debt validation letter or it’s missing important information, the credit bureaus will delete the collection account from your credit reports directly.
Even if the credit bureaus remove the collection account, the collection agency may not stop trying to collect a debt from you.
If the debt is large enough, you may need to get legal help to deal with the problem.
Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed
You may need to be a skilled negotiator to make this strategy work, but it’s probably the most popular way collection accounts are settled.
It won’t remove the collection account from your credit reports, but it will enable you to make the collection agency go away, and often for a lot less money than you may think.
Send Alltran Financial a letter proposing to pay a reduced amount in exchange for full settlement of the debt.
Your offer should be no more than 50% of the original amount. If the agency is willing to negotiate, they’ll make a counteroffer.
A series of back-and-forth negotiations will follow until a satisfactory dollar amount is reached.
Once it is, require that Alltran Financial provide you with a written acknowledgment of the agreement. This includes accepting a reduced amount in full satisfaction of the debt and reporting the account as paid with the credit bureaus.
Send no money until you receive this letter of acknowledgment. Without it, you may send the partial payment only to find the collection agency coming after you for the balance of the debt.
And, without a written agreement from Alltran Financial, you won’t have a legal basis to challenge their action.