You may be dealing with a company known alternately as CBCS, CBCS Collections, Revco, or Revco Collections.
As confusing as that sounds, they’re all part of the same organization.
As such, you’ll be dealing with the same people, at the same location, and with the same contact information.
Name confusion aside, it’s always best to deal with a collection account as quickly as possible.
Even if you suspect the account is not legitimately yours, or it represents an obligation long paid, you’ll need to rectify that situation.
Whether the data is legitimately yours or not, the end result of inaction will be the same.
A collection account can stay on your credit report for seven years from the date it was first placed for collection.
It will continue to weigh your credit score down for that entire term.
About CBCS Collections
CBCS Collections once functioned as a standalone collection agency.
But, in 2019, it was taken over—along with Professional Recovery Consultants (PRC), another collection agency—by Revco Solutions, Inc.
A collection account or contact can appear under either name, further complicating dealing with the account.
As CBCS, the company started operations in 1948, and is based in Columbus, Ohio.
CBCS no longer has its own website, but Revco does.
Who Does CBCS Collect For?
CBCS provides collection services for a wide variety of loan and debt obligations, including:
- healthcare companies
- finance companies
Is CBCS Collections Legit?
Revco has a Better Business Bureau rating of “B“, on a scale of A+ to F, making them a legitimate company.
BBB has received 94 complaints against the company in the past three years.
A cursory review of those complaints shows that the majority involve medical collections.
All complaints have been answered by Revco and close to half of been resolved in the consumer’s favor.
This would seem to indicate that Revco/CBCS Collections might be more reasonable to deal with than other collection agencies.
But, at the end of the day, it is a collection agency, and must be dealt with accordingly. Their purpose is always to collect a debt, never to be your friend.
Before You Deal with CBCS Collections
Revco/CBCS Collections collects debts for a wide variety of clients, which will require a flexible response on your part.
For example, it may be easier to settle a small past-due utility bill than a large medical bill.
To help provide that flexibility, follow the four basic rules below that apply when dealing with any collection agency:
1. Don’t Deal with CBCS Collections by Phone
This is our standard advice for dealing with any collection agency, and there are compelling reasons why we say it.
First, collection agencies routinely record phone calls. They’re not doing that for no reason! A recorded phone call is just as much evidence as valid as a written letter.
Collection agencies know this and will use phone calls to get you to provide additional details.
Second, contacting consumers by phone is what collection agencies do best. The agents are trained in how to get the best results (for them) in dealing with the consumer.
It’s an uneven playing field because the agent is trained and experienced at collection-related phone calls, while you are not.
Third, phone contact allows collection agents to annoy or even harass you. They may call you several times a week, or even multiple times in a day.
The call may come to you at home, or worse, while you are at work.
For those three reasons, phone conversations with collection agencies must be eliminated early in the process.
2. All contact with CBCS Collections should be in writing
Even if your first contact with Revco/CBCS Collections is by phone, you have a legal right to end them immediately.
You can do this by insisting all contact be handled by written correspondence. It’s your right under federal law, and the collection agency must comply with your request.
Written correspondence eliminates all the negatives associated with collection agency phone calls. It also enables you to better control the flow of communication.
You can also edit your letters to avoid any incriminating information or promises to make payments that you may not be able to honor.
Just as important, the written correspondence provides you with a paper trail.
That will enable you to better control your negotiations with the agency.
You will also now have a file of all communications that may be your best defense in a legal action.
Be sure that all correspondence you send goes out by certified mail, return receipt requested.
That will prove you sent the letters you claim, and that they were received by the agency.
3. Never promise to make a payment
You must avoid this situation at all costs. If you promise—or even imply—you’re going to send the payment, your statement is legally binding.
Failing to follow through can be interpreted as breach of contract, which will help the collection agency in filing a legal action against you.
For that reason, you should never make anything close to a promise to send payment, unless you have the funds available to do so, and you’re willing to follow through.
4. Familiarize yourself with your rights under federal law
The reviews for CBCS Collections revealed that they were pretty reasonable to deal with.
However, as mentioned before, they are still a collection agency and by nature, can be hard to deal with.
This is why it is important for you to understand your rights as a consumer.
You are protected from certain collection agency abuses via the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Read the Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so you can learn your rights under federal law before dealing with any collection agency.
Get Professional Help in Dealing with CBCS Collections
Dealing with CBCS Collections, or any collections agency, can be a challenge because it’s not something we do all the time.
If you feel the effort is becoming overwhelming at any point in the process, you can get professional help to take over the job and bring it to a favorable conclusion.
Start with a good credit repair company. Not only can they resolve your debt with the collection agency, but they may also be able to minimize or even eliminate negative credit information.
But, if CBCS Collections threatens you with legal action, you’ll need legal representation.
A good choice is Lexington Law. A firm specializing in credit law, they can both protect your interests and keep a collection account from turning into a judgment.
Specific Strategies for CBCS Collections
Let’s look at specific strategies you can use to remove the collection from your credit report:
Demand CBCS Collections Provide a Debt Validation Letter
A collection agency is required by federal law to validate the debt they claim you owe.
You can make them do this by requesting a fully completed debt validation letter.
The letter should include all information relevant to the debt, including the date it went into collection, the specific dollar amount, the original creditor, and other information that establishes the claim as a legitimate debt.
It should also have information that clearly connects the debt to you personally.
The debt validation letter will reveal important information that will help you to either realize the debt is legitimately yours, or provide you with details that help you challenge the obligation.
For example, you may find the debt is a case of mistaken identity, particularly if you have a common name.
Or, the details may also trigger memory of a payment made for that debt, one the original creditor didn’t properly apply to your account.
The information in the debt validation letter will determine whether you dispute the collection agency’s claim, or accept it and attempt to settle it.
Request a Goodwill Deletion
If a collection account is legitimately yours, and you either paid it in full or plan to, you may be able to improve your credit by requesting a goodwill deletion.
You’ll send Revco/CBCS Collections a goodwill letter, requesting that they remove the negative information from your credit reports as an act of goodwill.
The letter should also convey that you’ve already paid the debt, or intend to do so.
But, even more important, it must provide a credible reason why the debt went into collection in the first place.
If the reason was due to circumstances beyond your control, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or a prolonged time of unemployment, the agency may delete the account from your credit reports.
It will strengthen your request if you can provide documentation that supports your claim of extenuating circumstances.
The request is not guaranteed to work, but it’s worth trying if you’re willing to pay the debt—or have paid in the past—and your primary objective is to remove the account from your credit reports.
Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement
Basically, pay-for-delete is where you offer to pay the debt in full in exchange for a collection agency removing the collection account from your credit reports.
You’ll do this by sending a pay-for-delete letter in which you make your proposal.
You’ll agree to pay the debt in full in exchange for Revco/CBCS Collections removing the collection account from your three credit reports, those issued by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
The motivation for the collection agency is the opportunity to be paid in full for the debt.
But, even so, they can accept your payment, and then later refuse to remove the collection account from your credit reports.
And, if they do, you have no recourse—even if Revco/CBCS Collections has agreed to the arrangement in writing.
The problem is that pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally enforceable. Still, some collection agencies will follow through.
Demand Deletion if CBCS Collections Can’t Fully Validate the Debt
If the debt is not fully validated or it comes back missing important information, you have a legal basis to challenge the legitimacy of the debt.
You can insist the collection agency remove the account from your credit reports, and stop all further collection efforts.
Even if they don’t, you can open a dispute with all three credit bureaus.
They’ll investigate your claim within 30 days, and if Revco/CBCS Collections either provides no information or only limited information, the credit bureaus will remove the account from your credit reports.
Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed
This is a strategy you’ll want to undertake only if the debt is legitimately yours.
It won’t remove the account from your credit reports, but it will enable you to settle the debt for less than the full amount.
You’ll need to send Revco/CBCS Collections a letter proposing to settle the debt for less than the full amount.
Your initial offer should be no more than half the total amount they claim you owe. If they come back with a counteroffer, that will indicate their willingness to settle the debt.
Negotiate back and forth until an acceptable settlement amount is reached.
Once that happens, request Revco/CBCS Collections provide you with written confirmation of your agreement.
That will include:
- their willingness to accept the reduced amount in full satisfaction of the debt
- report the account as paid with all three major credit bureaus
- end collection efforts against you
WARNING: If you send payment to the collection agency before receiving the confirmation letter, the company may accept your money and continue to pursue you for the full amount of the debt. Absent the letter of confirmation, you won’t be able to prove there was ever a legitimate agreement.
Even if, as some advocates recommend, you simply wait seven years for the account to fall off your credit report, you may not be in the clear.
While it’s true under federal law that the entry must be deleted after seven years, the collection agency is not required to halt collection efforts against you.
The seven-year limit applies only to credit reporting.
Under a worst-case scenario, the collection agency can convert a collection account to a judgment at any time during the process.
Though this is not a typical outcome, the collection agency will then be able to garnish your wages.
Rest assured a judgment is not as easy to deal with as a collection account.
We’ve provided several strategies for dealing with Revco/CBCS Collections. You can either attempt those strategies on your own or get professional help.