IQ Data International

IQ Data International

The very name IQ Data International sounds deceptive. To the casual observer, it looks like a data service or even an IT organization.

But, it’s a collection agency, and one that specializes in collecting debts allegedly owed to apartment complexes.

If you’ve been contacted by IQ Data International by phone or by mail, you’ll need to respond—quickly.

That isn’t to imply that the debt they are attempting to collect is legitimate, but rather that ignoring any collection account is the worst possible strategy.

Not only will the account remain on your credit report for up to seven years after it first became delinquent—driving down your credit score in the process—but there’s also the possibility that the collection account could be elevated to a judgment.

If that happens, you’ll have no choice but to pay the debt. If you don’t, the collection agency can get ugly, and have your wages garnished until the debt is paid in full.

In this article, we’re going to present strategies to help you deal with IQ Data International on your own.

But, if the going gets tough, or you decide you’re not up to the challenge, we will also provide sources of professional help at the end of the article.

About IQ Data International

IQ Data International is a collection agency based in Bothell, Washington, and founded in 1998.

Their website gives no instructive information about the company or the clientele it represents.

But, based on information and complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, it appears the company is primarily engaged in providing collection services to apartment complexes.

That can make IQ Data International a particularly difficult collection agency to deal with.

Apartment complexes tend to be inflexible with past-due debts, and the likelihood of a collection account turning into a judgment is hardly out of the question.

Is IQ Data International Legit?

IQ Data International is a legitimate company that has a Better Business Bureau rating of “B”, on a scale of A+ to F.

There have been a total of 266 complaints filed against the company within the past three years.

Based on our cursory review of the complaints, it appears all have been answered by IQ Data International, though only a small number of them were resolved in favor of the consumer.

Complaints include:

  • rude behavior by agents (this one appears commonly)
  • improperly validated debts
  • credit-reporting inaccuracies
  • reneging on settlement arrangements

Most of the complaints relate to issues with previous apartment complexes.

If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.

Ask Lex Law for Help

Before You Deal with IQ Data International

There are general rules that apply when dealing with any collection agencies you should be aware of:

  • Don’t deal with collection agencies by phone
  • All contact with IQ Data International should be in writing
  • Never promise to make a payment unless you’re willing and able to make it
  • Familiarize yourself with your rights under federal law

Do Not Communicate By Phone

Collection agencies love to deal with consumers by phone because that’s where they have all the advantages.

They know the collection business,—and you don’t—which stacks the deck squarely in their favor.

Even though there are laws to prevent it from happening, collection agencies often work to intimidate consumers.

IQ Data International seems to have this reputation, given the complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

In addition, collection agents are skilled in the art of getting you to provide additional information that may incriminate you, as well as convincing you to make promises to pay—promises you may not be in a financial position of honor.

And, while all this is going on, the collection agency is recording the phone call, to gather evidence that can be used against you in a lawsuit.

These are the reasons why phone contact with any collection agency needs to be put to a stop as soon as possible.

Though your initial contact with IQ Data International may be by phone, make it the last call.

Regular phone contact with a collection agency almost always ends badly.

Communicate in Writing

The better way to deal with collection agencies is always in writing. And under federal law, you have a right to demand all contact be handled in writing. That’s exactly what you need to do.

Written communication gives you back a strong measure of control. You’ll be able to limit the scope of the conversation.

For example, you’ll be able to keep the exchange to the facts.

The collection agency won’t have the benefit of being able to use intimidating or abusive language, and you’ll have a greater ability to avoid disclosing information or making promises that can be held against you.

And if that’s not enough, written communication puts an end to the endless series of phone calls that are both annoying and unsettling.

In using written communication, keep your letters short and to the point.

You should mainly request information, but always avoid providing any that can be used against you.

Any letters you send to IQ Data International should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

That will provide proof you sent your correspondence, and that it was received by the collection agency.

All correspondence between you and the agency should be kept in a dedicated file folder.

That will give you the ability to know exactly what’s going on at all times during the process, as well as to have a paper trail that may be your best defense if the agency chooses to take legal action against you.

Do Not Make a Promise To Pay

This gets back to those phone calls where collection agents attempt to get you to commit to sending payment.

Sure, they want that payment to come in. But, even if it doesn’t, your unfulfilled promise to pay still has value to the agency.

If you make a promise to send payments to a collection agency and fail to follow through, the agency can use that broken promise as evidence against you in a lawsuit.

It won’t matter if the promise was made in a letter or by a recorded phone conversation.

Never, ever, make a promise to send payment to a collection agency, or even imply that you might unless you have the funds to make the payment and you fully intend to send it in.

Know Your Rights Under Federal Law

While dealing with any collection agency, sometimes things can start to get ugly.

By nature, they can be aggressive and abusive in their communications.

This is why, before dealing with IQ Data International, you should learn about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The FDCPA protects you under federal law from certain collection agency abuses. Just knowing these rights can help you if things get ugly.

Specific Strategies for Dealing with IQ Data International

Now let’s dive into the specific strategies you can use for dealing with IQ Data International and attempting to get the collection removed from your credit report.

None is guaranteed to work, but that’s why we will be offering professional help resources at the end of the article.

Demand Debt Validation Letter

Now, getting down to business, you need to demand that IQ Data International complete a debt validation letter.

This letter serves as the collection agency’s proof that the debt—and your obligation to pay it—are legitimate.

The letter should include information about the debt and your own liability for it.

That will include the amount of the debt, the name of the original creditor, the date the debt went into collection, the full amount of the debt, what the debt was for, and information that clearly connects you to the obligation.

The debt validation letter will also give you a basis for challenging the debt. Since it provides multiple details of the obligation, you may be able to obtain evidence that refutes the claim.

For example, the agency may be attempting to collect a debt that has already been paid. If you have evidence of the original payment, the agency should drop the case against you.

Collections are also often a matter of mistaken identity, especially if you have a common name.

You may be able to find information in the debt validation letter that indicates the actual debtor is someone other than you.

It could be something as simple as an address you’ve never lived at or a creditor you’ve never dealt with.

If any of that proves to be true, submit a letter—with documentation—to the collection agency, then demand they dropped the collection.

Request a Goodwill Deletion

If the debt validation letter comes back confirming the obligation is yours, you may be able to get it deleted from your credit report.

To do this, you’ll need to send the agency a goodwill letter.

There are a couple of conditions that will be important for this strategy to work:

  • Either the debt must have been fully paid, or you intend to remit full payment, and
  • you must be able to connect a situation beyond your control as the reason why the debt went into collection.

The second requirement needs to be completely convincing.

You’ll need to be able to explain the situation—an extended period of unemployment, a major health event, a divorce, or some other similar event—and even provide supporting third-party documentation.

Collection agencies will sometimes delete collection accounts from your credit report as a goodwill gesture.

Offer a “Pay-for-Delete” Agreement

This strategy is on the darker side of the collection account remedies.

It works by sending the collection agency a pay-for-delete letter, in which you offer to make full payment in exchange for the agency deleting the collection account from your credit reports.

The strategy plays on the collection agency’s desire to get paid and to get paid quickly.

They may agree to the arrangement, and if they do, get it confirmed in writing before sending any money.

But, you should be aware that even if they agree in writing, the desired deletion may never take place.

Pay-for-delete arrangements are in violation of a collection agency’s agreement with the credit bureaus, as well as being legally unenforceable.

The company may accept your payment, and then fail to remove the collection account from your credit report. If that happens, there will not be anything you can do about it.

Demand Deletion if IQ Data International Can’t Fully Validate the Debt

Under federal law:

  • if the collection agency fails to provide a debt validation letter, or
  • if it’s incomplete

they are required to delete the collection account from your credit report and terminate collection actions against you.

But, in the real world, that’s not what always happens. Missing or incomplete debt validation letters are common complaints filed against nearly all collection agencies.

That can give you some idea of how well collection agencies follow the letter of the law.

However, if they don’t, you can dispute the collection account with the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

They’re required to investigate your dispute within 30 days.

If IQ Data International fails to fully validate the debt with the credit bureaus, the bureaus will delete the collection account on your credit reports.

But, IQ Data International may continue to pursue you for payment of the debt.

If that happens, the best strategy will be to get professional help to deal with the situation.

Settle the Debt for Less than the Full Amount Owed

You’ll send IQ Data International a letter proposing to settle the debt for less than the full amount.

Start by offering no more than 50% of the full amount. If IQ Data International is willing to settle, they’ll respond with a counteroffer.

Naturally, that offer will be higher than yours, so you’ll need to go back and forth until a final number is agreed upon.

Once it is, request the agency send you a letter of acknowledgment that they are accepting the reduced payment in full satisfaction of the debt, terminating all future debt collection efforts, and reporting the account as paid to all three credit bureaus.

Don’t send payment until this letter is received. If you do, the collection agency may accept your partial payment, and then continue to pursue you for the full amount of the debt.

It’s just the way things work in the collections industry.

Get Professional Help in Dealing with IQ Data International

While offering various strategies for dealing with IQ Data International, notice that we also mention getting professional help several times along the way.

Collection agencies are not easy to deal with. And those that work primarily with apartment complexes can be especially difficult.

If you decide you don’t want to take the company on directly, or if your own efforts are hitting a wall, you can get professional help.

We recommend engaging the services of a good credit repair company. They know how to work with collection agencies and can often have your credit profile improved in the process.

If IQ Data International threatens you with legal action, we recommend using the services of Lexington Law.

They specialize in credit law, and can often keep an account from turning into a lawsuit.

If you are overwhelmed by dealing with negative entries on your credit report,
we suggest you ask a professional credit repair company for help.

Ask Lex Law for Help

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Prevent Loan Scams provides guides, reviews & information to help consumers through every restorative step of their financial journey.

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