If you have an unpaid medical bill hanging over your head, it may be accompanied by calls and letters from a company called AMCOL Systems.
They are a debt collector that is trying to coerce payments from you.
However, the onslaught of calls and letters is the least of your worries.
The real issue when it comes to debt collectors is their effect on your credit.
They need to open up a collection account on your credit report before they can collect a debt from you.
This account will cause your credit score to drop significantly.
A lower credit score will mean higher interest rates in the future, which means that their entry could cost you in the long run.
The best way to stop AMCOL Systems in their tracks is to remove the entry from your credit report. Check out the pointers we’ve outlined below to learn the best way to do just that.
What is AMCOL Systems?
AMCOL Systems is a medium-sized debt collection company that is headquartered in Columbia, SC.
They specialize in collections on behalf of healthcare industries, such as hospitals, physician groups, and health systems nationwide.
But how exactly does AMCOL Systems make money?
They earn money in one of two ways; collecting on behalf of your original creditor or purchasing the debt from your creditor at a discount.
If a hospital or physician has tried and failed to get you to pay your bill, they may turn to them to do it for them.
They will get you to pay up, and your original creditor will pay them for the effort.
The other way is when a healthcare provider cuts their losses on the debt and sells it to AMCOL Systems for pennies on the dollar.
This allows them to still legally collect the full amount and claim the difference as a profit.
No matter how AMCOL Systems came into possession of your debt, you can be sure of one thing; they will not stop contacting you until you pay up.
How to Deal with AMCOL Systems
Dealing with AMCOL Systems is nerve-wracking, but there are proper steps you can take to ensure they can’t take advantage of you.
Here are the best steps to follow to ensure that you get rid of the collection account once and for all.
Request Validation on the Debt
The FDCPA gives you certain rights that you can and should take advantage of.
One of those is the right to request debt validation from a debt collector.
Debt validation allows you to ensure that AMCOL Systems has the right information about your debt.
This is how you can know whether or not they are trying to get you to pay for someone else’s debt.
Even if you know the debt belongs to you, you should still request debt validation. That is because they may have gotten wires crossed during the transition of debt information.
If you can prove that they are reporting false information, the debt will be dropped from your credit report.
Send AMCOL Systems a letter requesting them to validate your debt.
Make sure to list specific pieces of information that you would like verified, such as the debt amount and date of last account activity.
They should return with paperwork that supposedly verifies that the debt is yours. Comb through this information and mark anything that conflicts with what you have.
You can then file a dispute with the major credit bureaus, and they will remove the account if they find that AMCOL Systems is reporting in error.
It’s important to remember that you only have 30 days from AMCOL Systems’ first contact with you to request validation.
Otherwise, they may ignore your request altogether.
Ask for a Goodwill
If you have paid for the debt already, you may feel a little panicked at the prospect of not being able to get the collection entry removed.
Don’t worry, though. There is still a chance that you can get rid of the entry through a goodwill deletion.
If AMCOL Systems can tell that the debt was due to special circumstances, such as a job lay off, they will let you off the hook just once.
However, you must have paid the balance of the debt already.
Write a letter to AMCOL Systems that states your reasons for being late on your payments. Whatever your reasons are, make sure that they are the truth.
Debt collectors can tell when you’re lying and will probably ask you for documentation that backs up your story.
Also, make sure that you are polite in your letter. A goodwill deletion is much different from a debt validation letter in tone.
Debt validation is your right under the FDCPA. A goodwill deletion, however, is a favor that is granted to you.
You’ll get a lot further with AMCOL Systems if you’re kind rather than demanding.
Make a Pay-For-Delete Settlement
Sometimes, you aren’t able to get a collection entry removed through either a goodwill deletion or debt validation.
In that case, you can work out a pay-for-delete settlement with AMCOL Systems to remove the entry.
With a pay-for-delete agreement, you have to pay AMCOL Systems for the debt, but you can sometimes get away with only paying a portion of the balance.
That is because they may have bought the debt at a discount anyways and are eager to make a portion of their money back.
You should begin negotiations with AMCOL Systems at half the total amount of the debt and work from there.
Once you reach a compromise, have them send you the full terms in writing. This way, you can review them and make sure that they are correct before you submit payment.
After AMCOL Systems receives your payment, they should drop the collection account from your credit report within 30 days.
If they don’t, you will need to call them up and remind them.
Hire a Professional
Debt collectors are never fun to deal with. They are anxiety-inducing and can cause major problems for your credit score.
However, you can get rid of their collection attempts and credit report entry with a few simple steps and a little patience.
But, if you feel you can’t handle this on your own, we recommend you seek help from a professional credit repair company.
Does AMCOL Systems Have Any Complaints?
AMCOL Systems has been in business since 1984, and they have amassed a number of complaints against them in that time.
As of this year, AMCOL Systems currently has 493 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 2 complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
These complaints are in regard to violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA is federal legislation that protects consumers against abuse, harassment, and deception from debt collectors.
Violations of the FDCPA include threatening legal action that a collector cannot take, using obscene language or taunts, and contacting family or friends regarding your debt.
If you are experiencing these kinds of issues with AMCOL Systems, you should think about filing a complaint against them.
You may be able to walk away with a settlement if you work with proper representation.
If you have any tips on how to deal with AMCOL Systems, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.
The power to rebuild your credit score begins with you.