What should you do if you’re contacted by Afni?
For most people, dealing with creditors is an incredibly stressful situation. Creditors are known for sending letters and calling frequently, and they are not usually polite about demanding payment on overdue charges.
These individuals often resort to scare tactics and intimidation in order to get you to act immediately. But how do you know if the debt they’re calling about is even yours, or if the statute of limitations already passed?
This article will explain what to do if you’re contacted by Anderson Financial Network and Bloom (Afni) collections. It will explain who Afni is, what your rights are, and how to have Afni collections removed from your credit report.
Who is Afni?
Afni Inc. is a collection agency located in Bloomington, Illinois. The company has been in business since 1938 and handles collections for large companies like Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Comcast, T-Mobile, and others.
And like most collection agencies, Afni has built a reputation for manipulating consumers to pay off a debt they may not even owe. For instance, they employ a practice that is known among debt collectors as “re-aging debt.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it basically means that the delinquency date is bumped up to an earlier date. For instance, let’s say that you never paid an old Sprint bill, and the company charged-off the debt in November 2018.
To re-age the debt, a collection agency could change the charge-off date to November 2019. Occasionally, re-aging debt can actually help your credit, but this isn’t why collection agencies do it. Instead, they are hoping to extend the statute of limitations on the debt.
Afni Contact Information
PO Box 3097
Bloomington, IL 61702-3427
Phone number: (866) 352-0479
Note: All communications with a debt collection agency should be through the mail or through a 3rd party like a lawyer or credit repair company. It’s best not to talk to them on the phone.
What can Afni do if I owe them money?
If a lender sends you to a collection agency, creditors do have the right to contact you to request payment. Collection agencies can contact you by phone, email, email, and text messages. However, they are not allowed to call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM.
And according to the FTC, collection agencies can sue you if you fail to pay back a debt you owe. However, it usually takes time for the situation to escalate to that point.
And until Afni sues you, there’s not much else they can do other than contacting you and demanding that you repay the money. They can’t garnish your wages unless they win a lawsuit against you in court.
Collection agencies are also prohibited by law from engaging in the following actions:
- Impersonating someone from a government agency
- Harassing or threatening you
- Attempting to deceive you in any way
What should I do if Afni contacts me?
According to the Truth in Lending Act, creditors are required to provide complete and honest information. And collection agencies like Afni are regulated by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
Unfortunately, many creditors ignore federal statutes and are less than forthcoming with consumers. So it’s important that you stay calm and protect yourself when it comes to dealing with debt collection agencies.
Even if you plan to repay the debt you owe, it’s never a good idea to talk to creditors on the phone. You should keep all communications limited to certified mail through the post office.
Doing this will ensure that you have detailed records of all your communications with Afni. You can also contact the company through a lawyer or debt collection agency.
Before you pay any money to the collection agency, you should ask the company to prove that the debt is yours. It’s important to do this so that you can verify that the debt is really yours or that it hasn’t passed the statute of limitations.
And it is your legal right under the FDCPA to request that a creditor prove you actually owe the money. To request debt validation, you’ll send a written request within 30 days of being contacted by the collection agency.
What is included in a debt validation letter?
A debt validation letter will include the following information:
- The total amount you owe
- The name of the creditor attempting to receive payment
- An assertion that the debt is considered valid unless you dispute it within 30 days
- If you dispute the debt within the allotted time frame, the creditor has to verify it by mail
- An assertion that the creditor must provide you with any additional information requested within 30 days
What if Afni refuses to validate the debt?
In extreme cases, there have been reports of creditors refused to validate a debt for a consumer or ignoring the request altogether. If that happens to you, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFBP) or contact your State Attorney General.
How do you remove Afni collections from your credit report?
Charge-offs can be very damaging to your credit score, and it can take a long time to bring your credit back into good standing. Collections can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
And a low credit score will make it hard for you to apply for a loan or even get certain jobs. So it’s a good idea to try to get your creditors to remove these charges for you as soon as possible.
If you plan to repay the debt you owe, then you can tell Afni you’ll repay the debt in full if they remove the collection from your credit report. But don’t give them any money until they agree to this in writing.
If you would like to dispute the collections account with the credit bureaus, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to do so. There are credit repair companies that can help you deal with credit bureaus. We recommend Lexington Law as an affordable option for most consumers.
You can contact Lexington Law at 1 (800) 220-0084 and speak to a paralegal who can help you understand your options. They can answer any questions you have and help you get signed up immediately.
Debt can be a huge drain both financially and emotionally, so the sooner you repair your credit, the better off you’ll be.
Afni Collections Removed
This client’s credit scores have dramatically improved since there are no longer any negative accounts on her credit reports.
Discount for Family Members, Couples, and Active Military
Lexington Law is now offering $50 off the initial set-up fee when you and your spouse or family members sign up together. The one-time $50.00 discount will be automatically applied to both you and your spouse’s first payment.
Active military members also qualify for a one-time $50 discount off the initial fee.
If you’re sick of having bad credit and ready to get the negative items removed, let the professionals take care of it for you.
Want to Remove Afni from Your Credit Report?
Wrapping It All Up
Being contacted by a collection agency like Afni can feel overwhelming and embarrassing. But it’s important to remember that as a consumer, you have rights and that you should consider all your options before doing anything.
Do not attempt to deal with creditors over the phone, as this is unlikely to lead to a positive outcome for you. It’s best to contact them via certified mail so that you’ll have documentation of all your interactions with them.
If they haven’t already, ask Afni to verify your debt in writing. This will prove whether or not the debt is really yours and if the statute of limitations has already passed.
And if you plan to repay the debt, let them know that you’ll pay what you owe in full after they remove any late charges from your credit report.
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