National Recovery Agency, also known as the NRA Group, is an aggressive, independent, third-party debt collection agency. They’re headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
They’ll service and collect on a wide variety of types of consumer debt accounts including: education, financial, healthcare, retail, telecommunications, government, utilities, and many more. According to their website, they were founded in 1976, and claim to be a “responsible, revenue, recovery company.”
If you’re currently receiving obnoxious phone calls, threatening letters, or have simply discovered the National Recovery Agency on your credit reports, you’re in the right place. And the first order of business is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
This is federal legislation intended to regulate the debt collection industry. In short, they’re required to treat you with a modicum of respect and dignity. There’s much more to the FDCPA, and it’s worth reviewing at your convenience.
The most common concern when folks discover they have an alleged debt with National Recovery is will paying off collections improve credit? According to FICO, Fair Issac Corporation, the company that actually calculates the overwhelming majority of consumer credit scores they say: “The fact that you have collections listed on your credit report will almost certainly lower your FICO score.”
And go on to say: “So whether or not you pay your collections off is really a personal decision.” That said, if you first perform the necessary due diligence, and follow the proper procedure which we’ll share coming up, then paying off debt in collections can be an effective way to help your credit.
In addition to the phone calls, and letters, the National Recovery Agency is also going to report negative information about your account on your credit reports. This is going to damage your credit score.
Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for FICO, says collections on your credit reports can damage and drag your score down by as much as 100 points. And while just paying off debt in collections, won’t improve your credit score, we aren’t advising you just ignore this account.
Because National Recovery has two options if they’re unable to collect payment. First, they can legally sell the rights to your account to yet another collection agency. This new agency will begin calling you, sending letters, and they’ll report more negative information on your credit reports.
And the most common result of unpaid debt in collections, is you’ll be sued. Yup, National Recovery or another collection agency, can sue you in a civil court for payment of this debt. If this occurs you’ll be notified of your upcoming court date with a summons.
If they win their case, or you simply fail to appear, they’ll be awarded a judgement against you. This can potentially cause your wages to be garnished, liens to be placed against you and or your property, and possibly even asset seizure. For full details, investigate your local legislation because every state has unique laws.
The worst part is a judgement on credit report files will obliterate your overall credit score, and virtually overnight. According to the National Recovery Agency website, they claim to offer litigation services. In other words, they have the legal resources to file a civil lawsuit against you.
National Recovery Agency
2491 Paxton Street
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Phone number: 1-717-540-7636
4 Tips For National Recovery Agency
1. Request Debt Validation
The very first step, all consumers should take when dealing with debt collectors, is to request debt validation on their account. This is most effective when done in writing and sent using certified mail, return receipt requested.
This is your consumer right, granted by the FDCPA. And essentially we’re saying to National Recovery, you first prove this is actually my legitimate debt account, and then we can potentially discuss repayment.
You see, if they fail to validate your debt, then in accordance with federal legislation the debt is forgiven. As in you’re no longer legally responsible for repayment. Further, they’re required to contact all three credit bureaus to have them start getting collections removed from credit report files, regarding this account.
If they do validate your debt, then you’ll receive the documents, paperwork, and evidence that proves this is your account. This paperwork will also show who the original lender or creditor was, the dates of account activity, the balance, and much more.
2. Statute of Limitations
If your account is valid, we next want to review this paperwork, because we’re looking for the last date of account activity. You see, for the majority of types of consumer debt you’re not legally responsible for payment forever.
The time window for which you’re legally responsible is called the statute of limitations. And this is a state law, and it does vary, so investigate your local legislation for full details.
Generally, this time window is seven years from the first date of delinquency. Often this first date of delinquency occurs with the original lender or creditor. Once this time window expires, so does your legal obligation to repay the debt.
Warning, it’s a common debt collection industry practice to re-age consumer accounts. And frequently this is done illegally, because debt collectors are fined regularly by our government for violating this law.
The statute of limitations applies to most consumer accounts including: charge off debt, credit cards, medical debt, retail, utilities, and many more. The few exceptions include defaulted federal student loans, and federal income taxes.
3. Negotiate a Settlement Agreement
If your account is valid, and within the statute of limitations, our next step is looking at how to pay off collections debt. And how to do this, so it will help your credit.
There are two important parts to your settlement agreement, beginning with always negotiating to settle your account for less than the total balance. Typically you can negotiate and settle your debt for as little as 15% up to 45% of the balance.
For instance, with a $500 debt, you may be able to settle this account for as little as 20% or $100. This is standard operating procedure, and National Recovery will be happy to accept a payment for less. The exact amount of your payment will depend on the type of debt, along with how old your account is.
The second part of your agreement is mission critical. We must get National Recovery Agency to agree that in exchange for your payment, they’ll stop reporting your account information to all three credit bureaus.
If you neglect this part of your agreement, once you make payment, the only thing that will change is the status of the item on your credit report. It’ll be changed to a paid collection, and as we’ve shared that’s going to damage your credit score, and potentially drag it down by up to 100 points.
4. Clear Credit History
In this fourth and final step, we’re discussing how to clear your credit history, because this is the secret to getting a better credit score. Getting this collection and negative item off of your credit reports.
To do this, we’ll need to exercise more of your consumer rights, and specifically those granted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This federal legislation enables you to challenge and dispute credit report items, so long as you believe the item is made in error, misleading, or incorrect.
You can file your credit report dispute online, over the phone, and by mail. Once the credit bureaus get your dispute, they have to first find it valid, which is another conversation for another place and time, so make sure to sign up for our free newsletter and join our congregation.
Once the credit bureaus find your dispute valid, they’re required to investigate the item. During which they’ll contact the National Recovery Agency and request they verify your account, the dates, balance, etc.
As per your settlement agreement, National Recovery won’t verify your account with the credit bureaus. And in compliance with the FCRA, the credit bureaus must remove any item on your credit report that is unverifiable. This is how to clean up your credit report, and do so legally.
On a sidebar, you may hear so-called experts claim you must demand National Recovery delete the item from your credit reports, in exchange for your settlement payment. You’re welcome to try this approach, but in our 10 plus years, we’ve yet to hear of even one collection agency offering this pay for delete method.
It other words, it’s hogwash. They will, however, readily and happily agree to stop reporting your account information. This way after you make payment, you can file a credit bureau dispute and successfully remove this item from your credit reports, when the credit bureaus investigate.
Look, your credit score is very much like your Grade Point Average (GPA) in glory school days past. It doesn’t matter if you’re acing all your courses, if you’re failing The Art of Walking, because this one negative mark is going to ruin your overall GPA.
This is also true of your credit score. FICO very openly acknowledges this. And this is precisely why we must clean credit report dings, blemishes, and remove any negative items. We encourage our members to consider professional, legal, and effective credit repair companies.
Because in 2016 alone, over 9 million negative items were removed from consumer’s credit reports. One of the best firms is The Credit Pros. They’ve helped client’s successfully remove collections, late payments, charge offs, judgements, liens, and many more negative credit report items.
Get a free credit consultation with a certified FICO professional by calling toll-free 1-877-418-7596. And for more tips, techniques, and strategies about how to fix credit score with Dan Willis, sign up for our free newsletter and join our congregation.
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