Seeing a negative item on your credit report or receiving a letter from a collection agency can be a terrible feeling. There’s still a lot of shame and stigma around financial management, and seeing a failure in writing is rough. Not to mention that collection agencies can be a nightmare to deal with.
In recent years, LVNV Funding has become notorious in the collections world. People from all over America have horror stories about dealing with their aggressive practices. Here’s what to do if you see LVNV Funding on your credit report and how to get out of a potentially terrible situation.
LVNV Funding is a collections agency based out of Las Vegas. While their headquarters are in Nevada, they collect debts from all over the country. Unlike the credit agencies who chase you down for not paying your Sears credit card bill or missing an insurance payment from a car that no longer exists, LVNV Funding is a different animal.
LVNV Funding purchases debt portfolios from other collectors. Through this approach, the original company gets the financial support they seek, and the owed amount is transferred to LVNV Funding. In essence, you now owe money to this business that you never dealt with.
People have reported that LVNV Funding has harassed them non-stop and that their first point of contact with the organization was getting sued. This often happens for old debts from years ago that many consumers have paid along the way or forgotten about.
To remove LVNV Funding from your credit report, you need to know your rights and file a dispute.
There’s a lot of misconception about your rights as a borrower in the event of a debt collection. While creditors are well within their rights to pursue debts that you owe, you are well within your rights to be treated like a human being.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is an FTC regulation that’s made to protect borrowers from predatory collections practices. Some of the overarching considerations in the FDCPA include:
Creditors must not call before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM at the borrower’s local time.
Creditors are not allowed to bypass an attorney to contact the borrower if an attorney has been hired or identified.
Creditors are not allowed to contact the borrower at their place of employment if the borrower communicates this to them.
Borrowers can send a cease and desist letter via mail, which creditors will have to abide by except for very specific circumstances.
Creditors cannot use threats or obscene language during collection calls.
Creditors cannot threaten the borrower’s reputation by publishing their name publicly.
The full list can be found on the FTC website here. Before you start the dispute process, take some time to read through the full list and make notes. It’s worth having a printed copy handy while going through the process as well.
To have the LVNV Funding removed from your credit report, you must start the dispute process. The first step of this process, a data validation request, is the easiest. Through this request, you send a registered letter to LVNV Funding, asking them to verify that the debt is truly connected to you. It’s essential to act fast with this process, ideally within the first 30 days of it showing up on your credit report.
If you act fast, the data validation request might be as far as it goes. In many cases, LVNV Funding purchases old debts that are attached to previous addresses or are missing information. If they cannot authenticate that the debt is yours or don’t respond within 30 days from receiving your letter, they must remove the item from your credit report.
Unfortunately, the process doesn’t always stop after the data validation request. If that’s the case, you’ll have to track down the various creditors that have handled the debt and communicate with other agencies— such as the Better Business Bureau and the credit bureaus— to file your dispute.
If you’re getting into the weeds, it’s recommended that you use credit repair software to guide the process. This can help you automate letters with the proper terms included, and track your progress over time.
If the initial data validation comes back showing that the debt is yours, start scanning the finer details for errors. Everything from the balance to the dates are potential areas where information was entered incorrectly.
Once you highlight these, you’ll need to send letters to the various bureaus and LVNV Funding once more to demand that they’re corrected or deleted within 30 days. Again, if they fail to respond, they’re legally obligated to remove the item from your credit report.
It’s important to note that whatever approach you take, you should have everything in writing. Use registered mail to send your letters rather than email or fax. This creates a legal paper trail and improves your chances of success.
You should also keep a personal record of any interaction you have with the agency or bureaus, noting the date, time, and nature of the exchange.
If you go through the motions and can’t get LVNV Funding removed from your credit report, you have the option to negotiate a deal. Reach out to the agency offering to pay a portion of the fee to have the record removed from your credit report.
If negotiating isn’t in your wheelhouse, you can hire an attorney who specializes in credit consumer protection. They can go over everything with a fine-tooth comb, and even counter sue the creditor based on violations of the FDCPA. In many cases, these attorneys are willing to work for a portion of the winnings rather than a flat-rate fee.
LVNV Funding often pursues cases based on the idea that consumers don’t know how to fight back. By following the proper channels, you can have LVNV Funding removed from your credit report.