If a collection account appears on your credit report from a company known as First National Collection Bureau, it could be an attempt to collect a debt from a wide variety of clients.
The company even works to collect accounts that have gone into judgment.
According to complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, most consumers don’t find out about a debt being collected by the company until it shows up on their credit report.
First National Collection Bureau does not seem to reach out directly to consumers by either phone calls or mail.
But if you do have such a collection account on your credit report, you’ll need to move quickly.
Many of the accounts First National Collection Bureau attempts to collect are seriously delinquent.
That increases the possibility of the collection account being converted into a judgment.
And you may continue to hear from First National Collection Bureau even if the account does become a judgment.
About First National Collection Bureau
Unfortunately, no information about First National Collection Bureau is available on their website.
The site functions only as a payment portal, and provides no description of the company or its operations.
For that reason, we have no concrete information on the specific types of clients First National Collection Bureau collects debts for.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the company is based in Reno, Nevada, and began in business sometime around 1983.
The BBB further indicates First National Collection Bureau is an agency that collects debts on behalf of a variety of creditors.
Some of these including:
- credit cards
- retail cards
- car loans
The BBB also discloses that First National Collection Bureau does not own the accounts.
This means they act solely as a debt collector, rather than purchasing debt from the original creditor.
First National Collection Bureau has a Better Business Bureau rating of B on a scale of A+ to F, though the company is not BBB accredited.
Ninety-five complaints have been filed against the company with the BBB within the past three years.
A scan of those complaints shows all have been answered by First National Collection Bureau, and about half have been resolved in the consumer’s favor.
A sampling of complaints reflects limited ability to contact the company, attempts to collect a debt that has already been paid, and lack of proper debt validation (which is a common complaint against virtually all collection agencies).
If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.
Before You Deal with First National Collection Bureau
There are a few basic rules for dealing with any collection agency.
First, we’ll cover these before getting into specific strategies for dealing with First National Collection Bureau.
1. Don’t deal with collection agencies by phone
It doesn’t seem that phone contact is a common collection method used by First National Collection Bureau.
But it’s a method you should avoid if any collection agency does attempt to contact you by phone.
The reason phone contact should be avoided is because it usually doesn’t go well for the debtor.
Quite the opposite, all the advantages go to the collection agency.
Let’s start with this; phone calls to and from collection agencies are commonly recorded.
This is done so the collection agency can use any information disclosed in a phone conversation to strengthen their case in collecting the debt.
But an equally important disadvantage—for debtors—is that people often panic when they know they’re being recorded.
That may lead you to ramble on and provide information you shouldn’t give, or even promise to send payments you can’t afford to make.
Either outcome will strengthen the case for the collection agency and weaken your own position.
Meanwhile, phone contact gives a collection agency the ability to bombard you with phone calls.
That will only serve to keep you, even more, off-balance, leading to a downward spiral in the negotiations.
This leads us into the next basic rule for dealing with collection agencies…
2. All contact with a collection agency should be in writing
Under federal law, you have a right to insist a collection agency limit contact with you to written correspondence only.
That will put an end to the phone calls, which is why you need to assert this right as soon in the process as possible.
All the negative factors that go with phone conversations with collection agents are reversed with written correspondence.
First, written correspondence limits the number of contacts a collection agency can make with you.
Second, it removes the ability of the collection agency to use high-pressure tactics. The pressure causes you to provide additional information unnecessarily or make promises to send payment.
Third, and perhaps most important, written correspondence gives you control over the negotiation process.
Since the entire exchange is handled in writing, you’ll have a series of letters letting you know exactly what’s going on at each point in the process.
You’ll also have time to respond to those letters in an intelligent way, without providing extra information.
All letters between you and a collection agency should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
They should be stored in a dedicated file so you can access them at any time, and on short notice.
And as a bonus, if the collection agency brings a lawsuit against you, your file folder filled with correspondence may be your best legal defense.
3. Never promise to make a payment unless you’re willing and able to make it
This is perhaps the single most important rule for dealing with any collection agency.
If you make a promise to send payment, or even imply that you will, failure to do so can be considered a breach of contract.
The collection agency may use that breach as the basis for filing a lawsuit against you.
Whether you’re dealing with a collection agency by phone or by mail, never—ever—promise or imply you’ll send payment unless you a) have the funds to cover that payment, and b) you fully intend to send it.
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).
Often, just asserting your rights under the FDCPA will get a collection agency to treat you better.
Get Legal Help in Dealing with First National Collection Bureau
Not everyone is cut out to deal with collection agencies. It is, after all, a confrontational situation.
If you don’t feel you can deal with it on your own, or if your efforts are not making any progress, either work with a good debt settlement service or consider getting legal representation.
The latter will be absolutely necessary if you are threatened with a lawsuit.
If you do need legal representation, we recommend Lexington Law.
They are one of the largest and most successful credit law firms in the country, and they may very well get the collection removed for violations of federal law.
Specific Strategies for Dealing with First National Collection Bureau
Now that we’ve given you the general rules for dealing with all collection agencies, let’s get down to the specific strategies for dealing with First National Collection Bureau.
But don’t forget any of what we’ve already covered in your negotiations with the company.
1. Demand First National Collection Bureau Provide a Debt Validation Letter
Under federal law, a collection agency must furnish you with a debt validation letter.
It establishes the legitimacy of the debt and gives you an opportunity to challenge any inaccuracies it may contain.
The debt validation letter should include information clearly indicating you are the responsible party for the debt claimed.
It must also have information about the debt itself, including the name of the original creditor, the date the account went into collection, the dollar amount of the collection, and any other relevant information.
When you receive the debt validation letter, examine it carefully.
Look for inconsistencies in the information provided, whether that applies to the debt itself or to your responsibility for it.
For example, it’s common for collection agencies to pursue debts that have already been paid.
This happens because the original creditor failed to properly apply the payment. Or the payment could have been applied to the wrong account.
Hopefully, you can provide documentation proving you paid the original debt.
If so, demand First National Collection Bureau drop the case against you and remove the collection account from your credit report.
Similarly, the debt validation letter may reveal you’re not the person responsible for the debt.
Examine any information presented about you, including your full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, or account number.
It may turn out it’s a case of mistaken identity.
If you can prove any of the information provided about you in the debt validation letter is incorrect, the collection agency may drop the case.
2. Request a Goodwill Deletion
This is a strategy you should consider on a debt that has already been paid or one that you are willing to pay.
And your primary concern is having the collection account removed from your credit report.
It’s not guaranteed to work, but a goodwill deletion is worth requesting under the right circumstances.
You’ll send First National Collection Bureau a goodwill letter, requesting the collection be removed from your credit reports based on the fact that the collection was caused by circumstances beyond your control.
That last point is critically important. You will not only need to state the circumstance. But you’ll also need to provide a convincing explanation to support it.
You’ll need to explain that the reason the account went into the collection was that you experienced something like an extended layoff (like many months), a serious medical situation, or a personal crisis like a divorce.
It will help considerably if you can also provide some documentation that will prove your point.
The collection agency may remove the collection as an act of human kindness if your explanation and supporting documents are convincing.
3. Offer a Pay-for-Delete Agreement
If the collection account is still outstanding, and your main interest is removing the collection account from your credit report, you may be able to use this strategy to get the job done.
You’ll send First National Collection Bureau a pay-for-delete letter requesting removal of the collection account from your credit reports in exchange for you providing full payment.
The collection agency may agree, since it represents an opportunity to receive full payment quickly.
If they do, request they provide written acknowledgment of the agreement. Once they do, you can send payment.
However, even if the company agrees in writing, they still may not remove the collection accounts.
Pay-for-delete arrangements are not legally enforceable. So they may simply accept your payment and ignore your request to remove the negative credit information.
4. Demand Deletion if First National Collection Bureau Can’t Fully Validate the Debt
It’s hardly unusual for a collection agency to either fail to provide a debt validation letter, or to furnish one with incomplete or inaccurate information.
From a legal standpoint, they should remove the collection account from your credit reports and halt further collection activities if they can’t provide a fully completed debt validation letter.
Or if you can prove any of the information is incorrect. In the real world, however, it never seems to work that way.
But you may be able to get the collection account removed from your credit reports anyway.
You can open a dispute with the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. And they will investigate your claim within 30 days.
Say First National Collection Bureau is unable to fully validate the debt. If so, the credit bureaus will remove the collection account from your credit reports.
First National Collection Bureau, however, may continue with collection efforts. If they do, you may need to get legal help to put a stop to it.
5. Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed
This strategy won’t remove the collection from your credit reports. But it will enable you to make the debt go away for less than the full amount.
You’ll start by sending First National Collection Bureau a letter offering to settle the account for less than the full amount.
We recommend your initial offer not be more than 50% of the full amount. Or even less if you think they may accept it.
If First National Collection Bureau is agreeable to a settlement, they’ll signal their willingness to negotiate by countering with a higher number.
From there, you’ll negotiate back and forth until you reach an amount you both agree on.
If that happens, send no money until First National Collection Bureau confirms the agreement in writing.
The letter must confirm the company is accepting the reduced payment in full satisfaction of the debt, that they’ll terminate collection efforts against you, and they’ll report the account as paid with all three major credit bureaus.
Be warned that if you send money before receiving the letter of agreement, First National Collection Bureau may accept your money as partial payment on the account. And then continue to pursue you for the balance.
It’s just the way things work in the collections world.