Who Is Credit Collection Services?
Credit Collection Services is a debt collection agency based in Norwood, Massachusetts. They’re one of the largest debt collection companies in the country with 700 employees and over $53 million in annual revenue.
CCS collects debt in the areas of banking, cable, education, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail telecommunications, and utilities.
They have more than a few aliases. They may contact you as CCS, Credit Control Services, or some other variation of that name.
To confuse things even more, there are other collect agencies that use the acronym CCS, with at least one in Georgia and another in West Virginia. If this all sounds a little confusing, it’s probably meant to be.
They may appear on your credit report as any of the following entries:
- ccs collections
- ccs notice
- ccs offices
- ccs usa
- credit collection svcs
Regardless of what they call themselves, if you have received a letter from them, they are attempting to collect a debt which they believe you owe.
You’re probably asking yourself, “have I ever made a purchase or borrowed money from Credit Collection Services?” The answer is no. CCS purchases debt from the original creditor at a fraction of the money that is owed and then attempts to collect some or all of that alleged debt.
Shady Business Practices
Even though CCS has an ‘A’ rating from the Better Business Bureau, they have had 427 complaints to the BBB alone.
These complaints range from inaccurate and false collections to failing to post a “Notice of Dispute” on credit reporting agency accounts. They’ve even been accused of charging a customer’s credit card nearly twice that of the agreed amount.
Instances of this type of behavior from them are quite common. In fact, on the employer review site Glassdoor, a former employee said, “The company maximizes profits while engaging in unsavory business practices that lack ethics and moral fiber.” Another called them “a cut-throat collection agency.”
With shady business practices, a large workforce, and millions of dollars it may seem daunting to go up against CCS. Maybe you’re even thinking that you should just pay the bill despite the fact that it may not be valid.
But before you pay the claim or negotiate a payment plan there are some things that you can do to ensure that they do indeed have a valid claim against you.
Have you received a letter from Credit Collection Services?
The first contact you may have with them is receiving one or more threatening letters. Debt collectors use a lot of sneaky tactics to try and get in touch with people they believe owe them money.
In fact, if you receive a letter from CCS it may not actually be for you at all. Collection agencies will actually scour the internet, phone books, and online databases to find the addresses of everyone with the same name as a creditor. Then, they send threatening letters to all of them!
Just because you received a letter from them doesn’t mean they have a valid claim against you and it may not be you at all.
Remember, they purchase large amounts of debt from other companies. There easily could be a mix-up. They may not have the proper documentation, or they may have the wrong person altogether.
The first thing to do is to send them a debt validation letter. It’s your right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to request that CCS validate their claim. They have to prove that you owe them money.
This request must be sent by mail and should be sent certified to prove that they have received your request.
Once CCS receives your request they have 30 days to provide you with documentation proving, usually with your signature, that you owe the money. Otherwise, you are no longer liable for that debt.
Contacting Credit Collection Services
CCS is based in Massachusetts and goes by several names but their contact information is always the same.
725 Canton St
Norwood MA 02062-2679
Phone number: (617) 965-2000 or (877) 870-1000
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Harassing Phone Calls from Credit Collection Services
CCS is known for calling several times a day to attempt to collect on debts. Your caller ID may show no number at all or just a phony number generated by CCS.
Calls going to voicemail may be minutes of silence, and if you try to call back the call often goes unanswered. These phone calls from CCS can go on for up to two years. They may even try to call you at work.
Fortunately, the FDCPA allows you to write to CCS and ask them to stop calling you. For many, this should be an option of last resort. If they do have a valid claim, they may choose other means to collect the debt.
CCS has onsite legal counsel and may choose to sue you to collect on the debt. If they no longer feel you will negotiate with them they will choose this route, despite the fact that it is the more costly option for them.
If you lose the lawsuit, you may receive a civil judgment made against you. If you can’t or won’t pay the judgment, you may eventually have your wages garnished or assets seized. Plus, going to court can be extremely costly, especially if the judge rules in their favor.
Before you decide to file a cease and desist order, consider getting professional help from a reputable credit repair company. They have the experience to effectively deal with collection agencies to defend your rights to the fullest extent of the law.
IS CCS on your credit report?
There are three major credit reporting agencies; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Debt collectors and other creditors can report things like late payments, defaults, and more which can negatively affect your credit.
A low credit score can prevent you from getting a loan, purchasing a house, or renting an apartment. It can even affect your employment since many companies are now demanding credit reports during the hiring process.
A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that one in five consumers that disputed a claim had an error. Furthermore, fixing that error improved their overall credit score as a result of their actions.
You have the right to dispute a claim from CCS through any of the credit reporting agencies.
Once you initiate a dispute, the credit bureau has 30 days to resolve the item in question. They should contact CCS and demand they provide proof that the debt is valid.
If CCS is unable to provide the correct documentation, the credit reporting agency is supposed to remove the negative information from your credit report.
Understand Your Rights
The FDCPA was passed by Congress to help protect you from aggressive debt collectors like CCS. Know your rights before you pick up the phone so you’re not caught off guard or bullied into doing something that’s not best for you.
Here’s a brief overview:
- CCS is not allowed to harass or threaten you in any way
- CCS may only call you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your timezone, not theirs
- CCS may not try to contact you at your place of employment if you inform them either by mail or by phone that you may not receive calls at work
- CCS must provide documentation proving the validity of their claim at your request
- CCS cannot have you arrested or imprisoned, and it’s illegal for them to suggest otherwise
- CCS cannot send letters that have the appearance of an official government or court letter
- CCS may not threaten you with legal action, threaten harm to your credit, or threaten wage garnishment without intending to actually do so
When to Work With CCS
If the debt is accurate, up to date, and they have all the valid paperwork, then you most likely legally owe them the debt. If this is the case, you may choose to negotiate with them to lower the amount of the bill or to break up the amount into monthly payments.
If you do, however, remember that they are attempting to collect a debt. Any information you give them can be used for debt collection purposes.
Once you have negotiated a payment option, you can choose to pay them either by check or by credit card. If you choose to pay by check, make sure it is certified and save any information regarding your payment.
Paying by credit card may be easier but remember that they have been accused of overcharging customers and once they have your credit card number, you give up a measure of control.
When to Ask for Help
Laws governing debt collectors can be complicated and difficult to understand. Even if the law is on your side, it can be difficult to get a debt collector or original creditor to fully comply with it.
They may use their size and manpower to try to intimidate you. Tactics include forcing you to make multiple phone calls, filing forms over and over, or shuffling you from agent to agent who asks for the same information again and again.
If you are experiencing this, it may be time to leave matters to professionals with a history of dealing with collection agencies.
Consider contacting one of our recommended credit repair companies to dispute collections on your credit report listed by CCS.
Professionals can help you to understand your rights, remove collections, and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
Credit Collection Services and companies like them rely on their knowledge of the system to coerce you to pay money that you may not owe. Or worse, they may try to make you pay more money than you are required.
Firms like Lexington Law can get you back on track. Yes, it’ll cost a bit of money, but you’ll save yourself countless hours of hassle. Not to mention end up with a much better chance of clearing up your credit report.
Whether you’ve just started hearing from Credit Collection Services or have been dealing with them for months, don’t be discouraged or intimidated. Not only do you have legal rights, but you also have multiple options for exercising them.
Now that you know a little bit more, you can better handle the situation when it comes to any debt collection agency. And if you’re still worried, you have the resources on hand to contact a professional credit repair company to help do the dirty work for you.
Here’s a list of some of the nation’s most popular debt collectors that cause damage to your credit.
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