Is there a collection on your credit report from a company called Fairway Collections?
If so, the source of the original debt can be any one of a multitude of original creditors.
That’s because Fairway Collections offers its collection services to an unusually wide range of client creditors.
Whatever type of debt it is, you should never ignore collections or contact attempts from a collection agency.
Not only does a collection remain on your credit report for up to seven years, but the possibility is very real that the collection account could be escalated to a judgment.
These are outcomes you’ll want to avoid. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with strategies to deal with Fairway Collections.
About Fairway Collections
Fairway Collections, LLC is based in Centralia, Washington, and began operating back in 2002.
As evidenced by its name, the company makes no attempt to mask the fact that it’s a collection agency.
The company describes its methodology as “using a positive, ‘compassionate’ approach with consumers.”
Whether or not that’s true, they’re still a collection agency. Friendly wording should never mask the true intent of all collection agencies. Which is, of course, to collect a debt.
At best, you can hope they’re more user-friendly than many of their competitors.
What Debts Does Fairway Collections Collect?
According to the website, their primary collection focus is on:
- property management
- credit unions
- financial institutions
The last category includes collection of taxes, parking violations, and fines and fees.
Since Fairway Collections’ client base is so diversified, they can launch a collection effort from a multitude of potential creditors.
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
Is Fairway Collections Legit?
Fairway Collections is a legitimate business that has a Better Business Bureau rating of “A”, which is the second-highest rating provided on a scale of A+ to F.
The company has been in business since 2002 and accredited with the BBB since June 2020.
But only two complaints have been filed against the company in the past three years.
Before You Deal with Fairway Collections
Before getting into the specific strategies for dealing with Fairway Collections, it will help to familiarize yourself with the basic rules of dealing with any collection agency.
1. Don’t deal with collection agencies by phone
There’s no evidence that Fairway Collections operates using heavy phone contact. But it’s best avoided if they do.
Even if they are “positive” and/or “compassionate”, dealing with any collection agency by phone is a communication method designed to work against you.
Collection agents are trained in how to deal with consumers by phone.
They know how to apply the right amount of pressure to either convince the consumer to provide additional information or make promises to send payments.
They’ll do this knowing that either outcome has great potential to compromise the consumer’s position.
And while all that’s taking place, the collection agency will be recording your phone call. That’s not a matter of company policy, either. The purpose is to use the recorded call as evidence against you, possibly in court.
Are you scared yet? We certainly hope so. You need to know this to keep you from engaging in exchanges with a collection agency that you’re bound to lose.
2. All contact with a collection agency should be in writing
You have a right under federal law to restrict communications with collection agencies to written correspondence, thus eliminating phone calls.
This is a right you should take full advantage of. And do it from the very beginning. An initial phone contact with Fairway Collections may be inevitable.
But you can invoke your right to prevent future calls.
Eliminating phone contact will put an end to harassing phone calls.
Collection agencies are notorious for making repeated calls to consumers at home or at work.
And since nearly everyone has a mobile device now, that means the agency is free to hound you wherever you are.
You don’t need all those calls, and you certainly don’t need all the pressure that comes with them.
Demanding all communication be handled in writing will put a stop to it all. But it will also serve to level the playing field.
It’s much more difficult for a collection agent to be aggressive by mail than by phone.
After all, any threats made in a letter will represent written evidence of violation of federal law.
As such, written correspondence will keep the exchanges more civil.
Written correspondence will also make it easier for you to keep your responses short, limiting potential unintended consequences.
For example, you can use your letter responses to request additional information. While simultaneously avoiding providing any fresh information to the collection agent.
And just as important, you’ll be able to keep a paper trail of all exchanges with the collection agency.
Just be sure to send all correspondence to the agency using certified mail, return receipt requested.
That will provide evidence your letters were both sent and received by Fairway Collections.
3. Never promise to make a payment unless you’re willing and able to make it
A collection agent calls you, and with the intent of getting rid of him, you give in and promise to send money by a certain date.
Though you have no intention of sending the promised funds, you assume that no harm has been done.
Unfortunately, that assumption is wrong. You may have gotten rid of the collection agent temporarily, but you may also have dug yourself into a deeper hole.
An unfulfilled promise to pay, whether made in writing or in a recorded phone call, can be a form of breach of contract. The collection agency can use that against you in a lawsuit.
Never make a promise to send money to a collection agency unless you have the funds, and fully intend to send them by the promised date.
4. Familiarize yourself with your rights under federal law
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 Legal Help in Dealing with Fairway Collections
If the debt you owe Fairway Collections is large, or if the company is threatening you with legal action – or you believe they’ve violated any federal laws in their attempt to collect the debt – it’ll be time to bring in an attorney.
One of the best in the business is Lexington Law, a law firm that specializes in credit law.
Yes, you’ll pay a fee for their services, but it will be money well spent if it makes the collection agency go away – and maybe even gets the collection account removed from your credit report.
Specific Strategies for Dealing with Fairway Collections
Now let’s move on to specific strategies to help you deal with Fairway Collections.
1. Demand Fairway Collections Provide a Debt Validation Letter
A collection agency is required to provide debt validation under federal law. It’s the way the collection agency establishes its claim against you.
If they don’t provide validation on their own, you’ll need to request it.
You’ll do this by sending the company a debt validation letter, requesting they provide full verification of the debt.
It should include the name of the original creditor, the date the account first went into the collection, the dollar amount of the debt, and any information that clearly ties you to the obligation personally.
When the debt validation is received, review it carefully. Collection accounts are often the result of an attempt to collect a debt that was already paid. Or it could be a case of mistaken identity.
If the debt has been paid, you should be able to get it eliminated by providing proof of previous payment.
But if it’s a case of mistaken identity, you should be able to provide information proving you’re not the person named in the validation.
Once that information is provided, the collection agency should drop the case against you.
2. Request a Goodwill Deletion
This is a simple and sometimes successful strategy. You can request a collection account be deleted as a goodwill gesture.
You’ll do this by sending Fairway Collections a goodwill letter. In the letter, you’ll request the collection be removed from your credit report.
For a goodwill deletion to be even considered, the debt must either be paid or you’ll include your promise to do so.
But just as important, your letter will also have to have a compelling explanation for why the account went into collection.
The reason must be due to circumstances beyond your control. That can include an extended time of unemployment, a business failure, a major health event, or anything similar.
Not all collection agencies will be willing to comply, but some will. And that means it’ll be worth a try.
3. Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement
This strategy is worth trying if you’re willing to pay the debt in full. And if you are primarily concerned with having the collection account removed from your credit report.
You’ll send Fairway Collections a pay-for-delete letter, in which you’ll request removal of the collection account from your credit reports in exchange for full payment of the obligation.
The collection agency may agree to cooperate as a means of collecting the full amount of the debt owed.
If they do, be sure to request a written confirmation of your agreement.
But don’t get too excited yet. The company may send you the written confirmation, then accept your payment in full satisfaction of the debt.
But they may not remove the collection account from your credit reports.
And if they don’t, you’ll be out of luck.
That’s because pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally enforceable. It won’t matter that the company has agreed to it in writing.
An agreement that violates another business arrangement, the relationship between the collection agency and the credit bureaus, can’t be enforced.
It may be worth trying if you plan to pay the debt in full anyway. But don’t be surprised if the agreed-upon collection account deletion doesn’t happen.
4. Demand Deletion if Fairway Collections Can’t Fully Validate the Debt
While debt validation will give you an opportunity to dispute the facts of a collection agency’s claim against you, it offers yet another opportunity for you to dispute the debt.
If the collection agency either failed to provide proper debt validation, or it comes back missing important information, you can legally challenge the validity of the debt.
Say the collection agency doesn’t agree. If so, you can open a dispute with the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
And they’ll conduct their own investigation within 30 days.
If Fairway Collections similarly fails to provide full validation of the collection account, the credit bureaus will delete it from your credit reports.
However, there’s a high likelihood that even if the collection account is deleted, the collection agency will continue to pursue you for the debt.
In fact, it’s not at all an uncommon outcome.
If that happens, you may need to get legal representation. We certainly don’t recommend this if the debt is small, like a couple hundred dollars.
But if they’re continuing to attempt to collect a debt of several thousand dollars, getting legal help will more than justify the cost.
5. Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed
Maybe your primary objective is not removing the collection account from your credit reports, but simply getting the collection settled.
If so, you can save yourself a small fortune by settling the debt for less than the full amount owed. It’s a common way collection accounts are resolved.
You’ll send Fairway Collections a letter proposing to pay them less than the full amount. Your initial offer should be 50% or less of the full amount.
If the company is open to settling, don’t counter-offer at a higher amount. You’ll continue to negotiate until you reach an agreed upon settlement.
Once you do, insist Fairway Collections provide a letter acknowledging acceptance of the reduced amount in full satisfaction of the entire debt, and agreeing to report the account as fully paid on your credit report.
Do not send any money until you receive this letter! If you send money before, the collection agency may accept the funds as partial satisfaction of the debt, then continue to pursue you for payment of the full amount.
Never forget that unless an agreement is confirmed in writing, it’s not legally enforceable. That goes double when you’re attempting a settlement with a collection agency.
It’s an industry well known for its many “misunderstandings”.