Are you having trouble paying back Bank of America for a loan or financial services? If so, you run the risk of having the debt moved to their Bank of America Collections team.
Having a debt move to collections can mean trouble for your credit score. They will report the debt to credit reporting agencies, which will result in a collection account on your credit report.
Collection accounts are dings on your record that show you have a history of failing to pay your bills.
They can remain on your report for up to seven years and may impede your ability to qualify for credit cards and loans – especially if your collection history is with a financial institution.
Bank of America Collections are an intimidating bunch, but you can remove their account from your record and stop their calls with a few simple steps.
About Bank of America Collections
Bank of America is obviously a name that rings a few bells.
They are a leading financial institution in the United States and offer a number of services, such as credit cards, loans, and investing.
The Bank of America collections team handles recovering assets on behalf of the entire operation.
You will hear from them if you have failed to make payments after a few warnings.
In addition to their in-house team, Bank of America has been known to use a law firm called Hunt & Henriques.
If you see Hunt & Henriques on your credit report, it is probably related to your Bank of America debt.
Does Bank of America Collections Have Any Complaints?
It shouldn’t surprise you that Bank of America Collections has a number of complaints against their team.
Bank of America’s use of aggressive collection tactics and inaccurate reporting have resulted in complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The major issue when it comes to Bank of America Collections is their infractions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). We will discuss what the FDCPA is and how it protects you later on.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
How to Deal with Bank of America Collections
Here is everything you need to know about dealing with Bank of America Collections.
Know Your Rights Under Federal Law
There are laws in place that dictate how a debt collector must engage with its customers.
As soon as you start getting calls from Bank of America Collections, you should get to know your rights under federal law.
They have to adhere to a number of guidelines when they contact you for a debt.
This includes refraining from profane or obscene language, calling during reasonable hours, and never contacting anyone except for you about your debt.
Commit some of the rights under laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to memory.
Keep them at the front of your mind when you communicate with Bank of America Collections representatives.
If they or their third-party collector violates any of your rights, you can report them to the CFPB.
You may also work with legal representation to collect damages for each infraction.
Ask for Validation on the Debt
One of your rights under federal law is the ability to ask a debt collector for validation on the debt.
Debt validation allows you to ensure that a debt collector isn’t reporting erroneous information about your debt to a credit reporting agency.
If they are, you can file a dispute and have the account removed from your record – without paying a penny to the collector.
Because Bank of America is the original creditor and therefore not sending information to a third-party agency, this likely won’t be as effective.
However, your right to debt validation still stands, so be sure to take advantage of it.
To ask for validation on the debt, send Bank of America Collections a letter formally requesting that they send you all the information they are reporting to credit bureaus.
Make sure you send this letter within thirty days of the first contact with them. Otherwise, they may not respond.
Bank of America Collections should send you proof that the debt is yours and that the information they are reporting is accurate.
If you find any discrepancies between what they send you and what is on your credit report, you can file a dispute.
This is a way that you can remove a collection account from your credit report and get out of paying a debt in one fell swoop.
Promise to Pay in Exchange for a Deletion
It’s unlikely that you’ll find anything amiss with your collection account entry if Bank of America is collecting it using their in-house team.
In that case, your next best bet is to promise to pay them in exchange for account deletion.
Collection accounts are bad news for your credit health. They can cause your score to drop as much as 100 points and continue to affect your score for as long as seven years.
In the event that you have to pay your debt, you should negotiate with Bank of America Collections to remove their entry from your credit report.
This will serve you in the long run and improve your chances to qualify for mortgages or other loans in the future.
Start by offering to pay half your balance in exchange for them to remove their account from your credit report.
They will likely balk at this offer, which means you’ll have to raise your offer. Go back and forth with them until you reach an amount at which they agree to remove their account.
Once they agree, have them send you a letterhead that explicitly states their promise to delete the account in exchange for payment.
Hang onto this in case they try to pull a fast one on you.
Bank of America Collections should remove their account within a month of receiving your first payment.
If they don’t, reach out to them and let them know that you have the agreement in writing.
Work with a Credit Professional
If going up against Bank of America Collections feels like facing off against Goliath, you can always work with a credit professional.
Credit repair professionals specialize in working with debt collectors on behalf of their customers.
They can identify and remove damaging accounts from your credit report so that you can start to repair your credit and boost your score.
There is a bunch of credit repair companies out there, and some are more effective than others.
Be sure to do your research on top companies before you hand over your money.
Dealing with Bank of America Collections is intimidating but not impossible.
The key to success is understanding the rules of engagement and how you are protected under the law.
If worse comes to worst, you can always work with a professional.
I recommend working with Lexington Law because of its stellar track record and amazing customer service.
Do you have any tips for dealing with a collections agency? Let us know in the comments section below.