No one wants to answer a call from a debt collection agency.
But if your number has made its way onto a debt collector’s calling list, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Answering the call and paying the amount you owe won’t necessarily solve the problem, either.
Even when you pay off a collection agency, it can hurt your credit score for years to come.
If Harris and Harris is filling up your voicemail and your mailbox, read on to learn how to respond to them the right way and improve your credit score.
What Is Harris and Harris?
Harris and Harris Ltd is a legitimate collection agency, though its spammy communications might lead you to believe it’s a scam.
In fact, the agency has been collecting debt across the United States since its inception in 1968, with close to 600 employees today.
Harris & Harris Ltd is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and profited over $60 million in 2019 on its collections.
The agency may show up under a number of names on your credit report, such as:
- Harris and Harris Debt Collectors
- Harris and Harris Ltd
- Harris Collection
- Harris Harris
- Harris Ltd
- Harris & Harris Limited
Who Does Harris & Harris Ltd Collect for?
Harris and Harris collects for a wide variety of businesses across several industries.
Their main areas of service include:
How Does Harris and Harris Collections Work?
When consumers miss a payment, it can be challenging for a company to collect the debt.
They often turn to debt collection agencies like Harris & Harris Ltd, who can devote more time and effort to collecting payments.
Once your debt is turned over to Harris and Harris, it makes its way onto your credit report as a collections account.
When this happens, it can deal a serious blow to your credit score in the present and future.
Even if you eventually pay off your debt, it can remain on your score for up to 7 years, with late payments comprising 35% of your score.
Outside of damaging your credit score, the agency can call you, send letters, and email you rather persistently until you settle your account.
3 Ways to Remove Harris & Harris from Your Credit Report
As you can see, getting Harris and Harris removed from your report isn’t as simple as going online and paying the amount the agency is requesting.
Instead, you should take the advice above, and below, into consideration, and communicate with Harris and Harris strategically.
With the simple steps here, you can quickly and efficiently deal with Harris and Harris and get the collection agency removed from your credit report.
- Dispute your debt
- Make a payment to Harris & Harris Ltd
- Hire a credit repair company to deal with Harris
1. Write a Letter to Dispute the Debt
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collections agencies must validate your debt if you write a letter of request.
If you’re being charged a debt that you’re certain you don’t actually owe, you should definitely dispute the debt.
But even if you are responsible for the debt Harris and Harris is requesting payment for, submitting a debt validation letter is still worth a shot.
Since debt collectors are third-party agencies collecting on behalf of other companies, there’s a strong likelihood they don’t have valid documentation of your debt.
If that’s the case, you’ll be removed from their calling and mailing lists, and the account should be taken off your credit report promptly.
The key to this method is acting fast. You can only dispute the claim within 30 days of being notified of your debt.
If Harris and Harris has been on your report for less than a month, you should absolutely submit a debt validation letter.
2. Make a Payment to Harris & Harris Ltd
If the window for debt validation has closed, your best bet may be to contact Harris and Harris about a partial payment.
There’s a good chance the agency will be willing to negotiate a smaller payment in exchange for removing the collections account from your credit report.
We recommend starting your negotiations at around half of the amount you owe.
When you negotiate a payment with Harris and Harris, it’s imperative to communicate by mail.
This solidifies your agreement and holds Harris and Harris to their agreement to remove the account from your report.
Once you’ve come to an agreement on paper and made your payment, you should be able to see the changes on your credit report.
If it’s been over 30 days and you’re still waiting for your report to update, you should follow up with the agency to see what the issue is.
3. Let a Credit Repair Company Assist You with Harris and Harris
While you can certainly find success with the DIY methods above, confronting a credit repair agency can be frustrating and time-consuming.
If you’re looking to play a less active role in the process but still improve your credit, you’re in luck.
A good credit repair agency can handle the whole process as outlined above for you, making sure that Harris and Harris’ reporting is accurate and fighting to get them removed from your credit profile.
One top-notch credit repair company worth considering is Credit Saint.
They can stop Harris and Harris from hurting your credit score and end their ceaseless calls and letters.
Dealing with Harris and Harris Debt Collectors
Debt collection agencies get a lot of consumer complaints, many of which are filed with the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Harris and Harris is among them, with over 500 complaints filed with the CFPB and 142 to date with the BBB.
A lot of these complaints are centered around the same issues, like the agency’s failure to respond to a debt validation request.
Others cited inaccurate credit reporting, with many claiming their account was settled and the changes were not reflected on their credit report.
Harris & Harris Ltd is accredited by the BBB and currently has an “A+” rating based on their response to complaints, communication, and transparency with the public.
If you’re forced to deal with Harris and Harris Collections, you should first educate yourself on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This act holds Harris and Harris to certain ethical communication standards, like limiting their calls to reasonable hours and prohibiting them from contacting your loved ones.
It also gives you the right to demand that the agency only communicates with you by letter.
This can be a huge source of relief if Harris and Harris is calling you repeatedly, but it serves a more significant purpose.
Putting everything in writing provides you with the evidence you need to dispute debts and solidify any agreements you make with Harris to remove a collection from your credit report.
The post How To Remove Harris & Harris From Your Credit Report appeared first on Better Credit Blog | Credit Help For Bad Credit.