Are you getting an endless stream of phone calls? Demanding letters? Have you discovered Windham Professionals on your credit reports? If so, you’re in the right place.
Windham Professionals is a large, aggressive, first and third-party debt collection agency. They’re headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire and have three branch offices in Tennessee, New York, and Nevada.
They service and collect consumer debts nationwide. And serve a variety of types of consumer debts including: defaulted student loans, financial services, medical bill collections, government, telecommunications, retail, and more.
The first item we need to share is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This is federal legislation that is intended to regulate the debt collection industry. Along with giving you many rights as a consumer. It’s worth reviewing in detail, at your convenience.
In short, debt collectors are supposed to be honest, up-front, and transparent. They’re not supposed to deceive, lie, or threaten you. And they’re supposed to treat you with the modicum of respect and dignity, that we all deserve.
Will Paying Off Windham Collections Improve Credit?
It can. However if you simply pay off collections, and nothing more, it won’t. FICO says: “The fact that you have collections listed on your credit report will almost certainly lower your FICO score.”
You see, the only thing that happens when you just pay off debt in collections is a change in the status of that item on your credit reports. It’ll be changed to a paid collection. This is still a negative, damaging, and derogatory item to have on your credit report.
And it’s virtually guaranteed to give you a bad credit score. Anthony Sprauve, a spokesman for FICO, says collections on your credit report can damage and drag your credit score down by as much as 100 points.
The key to fix your credit score is to remove the negative items from your credit report, like this collection item from Windham Professionals. These negative items: collections, late payments, charge offs, judgements, etc. are the true cause of a bad credit score. These are the real credit score killers.
That said, for some folks after first performing the necessary due diligence and following the four steps in this article, may discovery paying off collections is the most effective way to clear credit report dings, and remove the negative items. It’s paramount we remove these dings, so you can earn the credit score you truly deserve.
Of course, Windham Professionals is going to call you, send demanding letters, and they’re going to report negative information on your credit reports. Additionally, they’re likely to inflate your total balance by charging your interest fees, and even collection fees.
If they’re unable to collect payment, they have two options. First, they can turn around and sell the rights to your account to yet another debt collector. This new debt collector will then begin calling you, sending letters, and they’ll report even more bad credit on your credit reports.
Alternatively, and this is a common result with unpaid debt in collections, is you’ll be sued. Yup, Windham Professionals or another “late-stage” collection agency with their in-house attorneys will file a civil lawsuit against you.
Their goal is to win a judgement, because then they’ve really got you by the short and curlies. Depending on your state of residence, because every state has unique laws, so for full details check out your local listings.
This can result in your wages being garnished, liens being placed against you and or your property, and even asset seizure. Moreover, if you get slapped with a judgement on credit report files, your credit score will be annihilated and practically overnight.
Windham Professionals, Inc.
380 Main Street
Salem, NH 03079
Phone number: 1-800-969-0059
4 Consumer Steps For Windham Collections
1. Request Debt Validation
Let’s now talk about how to deal with debt collectors, and the very first step every consumer should take with every collection agency is to first request debt validation on your alleged account. This is your right as a consumer under the FDCPA.
It’s most effective to make your validation request in writing and send it using certified mail, with return receipt requested. Since we didn’t do any business directly with Windham Professionals, when we request validation, we’re saying you first prove this is actually my account, and everything’s on the level, and then we can potentially discuss repayment.
If they fail to validate your account, then in compliance with the FDCPA, the debt is forgiven. As in you’re no longer legally responsible for repayment. Moreover, they’re supposed to contact all three credit bureaus to have them remove collections from credit report files, regarding this account.
2. Statute of Limitations
If they do validate your account, you’ll receive all the paperwork, documents, and evidence proving this is your account. This paperwork will also show you who the original creditor was, the total balance, dates of account activity, etc.
In this step, we’re looking at how long you’re legally responsible for repayment of a debt, because it ain’t forever. Our state lawmakers have passed legislation called the statute of limitations, and this does vary by state, so check out your local legislation for full details.
This state law says exactly how many years we are legally responsible for repayment. Once this time window expires then the debt is forgiven. Generally, this time window is about seven years from the first date of delinquency.
It’s wise to review your validation paperwork in detail to identify the dates of your account activity. We want to make sure you’re still legally responsible for repayment, and that your debt won’t be forgiven next week, especially before we consider making payment.
This legislation applies to the overwhelming majority of types of consumer debts including: medical collections, credit cards, charge off debt, telecommunications, retail, cable, utilities, and so many more. The few exceptions include federal income tax, and defaulted federal student loans.
Warning. One of the sneaky debt collection industry tactics is to re-age consumer accounts. And often this is done illegally, and for obvious reasons, so they can continue to attempt to collect payment. Let us be crystal clear, your legal obligation to repay a debt, ends with the statute of limitations time window.
3. Negotiate a Settlement Agreement
In this step, we’re looking at how to negotiate with debt collectors. And before you enter into negotiations directly with Windham Professionals, it’s essential to make sure your account has been validated, and it’s within the legal time window.
Assuming it is, we need to discuss how to pay off collections, and create our settlement agreement. There’s two parts of your agreement. First, we always want to negotiate so we can settle our debt for less than the total balance.
This is standard operating procedure, and Windham Professionals anticipates a settlement for less. Often, you’ll be able to settle your debt for as little as 15% up to around 45% of the balance. For example, with a $2,000 debt you may be able to settle for just 25% or $500.
The second part of your agreement, is mission critical. We must get Windham Professionals to agree that in exchange for our payment, they’ll stop reporting our account information to all three credit bureaus. If we overlook this part of our agreement, we’ll get stuck with that paid collection on our credit reports.
We need to share a popular belief and the pay for delete approach of dealing with collection agencies. If you’re unfamiliar, this is where we demand Windham Professionals first delete the item from our credit reports, and then we make payment.
It sounds wonderful. And you’re welcome to try this approach. However, don’t hold your breath. We’ve personally been working with folks repairing credit for over a decade now, and we’ve yet to hear of even one person or collection agency ever agreeing to this.
It’s not practical. And for folks that have made a career of studying the credit and debt systems in our country, know this pay for delete theory is about as practical as free healthcare for all. It’s pfui, and wishful thinking.
Instead, it’s much more pragmatic, and practical to get them to agree to stop reporting your account information to the credit bureaus. They will agree to this, and while it’s a small and subtle difference, it will be incredibly important in getting this negative item off your credit report, and let’s share why.
4. Remove Collections From Credit Report
In this final step, we’re talking about how to dispute items on credit report files, because this is how we’re going to remove the Windham collection item. To do this, we’ll need to use more of your consumer rights, and specifically those granted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
This federal legislation is what enables us to challenge and dispute any item on our credit reports, so long as we believe the item is incorrect, misleading, or made in error. And yes, we’re going to dispute the Windham collection item.
We can file our credit report disputes: online, over the phone, and by mail. Once the credit bureaus get our dispute, they first have to find it valid, which is another conversation for another time and place.
So make sure to sign up for our free newsletter for more credit help with Dan Willis, and join our congregation. Once the credit bureaus get your dispute and deem it valid, they’re required to investigate the item.
They’ll call it a re-investigation, nevertheless, they’ll contact Windham Professionals and request they verify your account. As per your settlement agreement Windham Professionals won’t verify your account during the credit bureau investigation.
This means, the credit bureaus must remove this Windham collection item from your credit reports, in order to comply with the FCRA. Every item on your credit reports, must be verifiable. This is how to clean credit report dings, blemishes, and remove negative items, and do so legally by exercising your consumer rights.
Most people feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and beyond aggravated dealing with aggressive debt collectors. It can be scary, intimidating, and many of these collection agencies, couldn’t give any less of a flip about the federal regulations on their industry, than the drug dealer does about our drug laws.
Listen, every last one of these alphabet soup laws is passed to protect you the consumer. It ain’t passed for the debt collectors or the credit bureaus. You can resolve this issue, and fix bad credit, if you’re sick and tired of paying the high cost of a low credit score.
Your credit score is very much like your Grade Point Average (GPA) in glory school days bygone. It doesn’t matter if you’re acing all your classes, if you’re failing underwater basket weaving, because this negative mark is going to ruin your overall GPA.
This is also true of your credit score. And why it’s so important we take action to clean up your credit report dings, blemishes, and remove the negative items. We encourage our members to consider professional, legal, and effective credit restoration companies.
Because in 2016 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 so 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 improve my credit score with Dan Willis, sign up for our free newsletter and join our congregation.
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