This is an aggressive third party debt collection company that is headquartered in St. Cloud, Minnesota. They usually collect charge-off debt, which is what is commonly known in the industry as a junk debt buyer.
Usually, they appear as Jefferson Capital International, which means that they purchase the rights to your debt. They then embark on an aggressive process of trying to collect the debt to get back their money and make a profit in the process.
Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC actively makes use of the judicial system because there are many complaints about them suing consumers in a court of law for payment. They also service and collect for bankrupt debts.
If you have currently been receiving obnoxious phone calls and letters demanding that you pay your debts, and you may have also discovered that Jefferson Capital have been listed on your credit report, and have been wondering what to do about it, you are definitely in the right place.
I will start this blog off by explaining who Jefferson Capital systems are, how they do their business, what to do if you have been receiving calls from them, and finally, I shall explain to you your rights as a consumer, and what you can do if these rights are violated.
Let’s get started.
Is this a legit company?
Of course, when you receive the first call, you will want to find out if this is a legitimate company and whether you are about to get conned by sending money to a fraudster.
Well, Jefferson Capital Systems are legit, and they are a subsidiary of CL Holdings, which is a company headquartered in Minnesota.
It is a debt-buyer company that has been certified with DBA international since 2014.
What does a debt buyer mean?
A debt buyer is a company that works as a collection agency or a private debt collection firm that purchases delinquent or charged-off debts from a lender or creditor for a percentage of the face value of the debt based on the potential collectability of the accounts and then seeks to collect the debts by themselves.
Surely, that is a much-worded paragraph that simply means that – they buy debts.
Debt buyers normally purchase charged-off debts for pennies on the dollar and try to make as much as possible from collecting the debts.
How do they collect?
It is common knowledge that debt collectors tend to be rude, and they love to intimidate the people they call.
Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC has in the past received a B rating from the Better Business Bureau – which is a firm that helps consumers in the US, Canada, and Mexico find businesses and charitable organizations that they can trust.
But, even with the rating from BBB, they have still had to deal with numerous complaints from clients who were not happy with how they handled them. Currently, they have had more than 740 complaints lodged against them.
Most of these complaints range from false and inaccurate collections to failure to post a “notice of dispute” from the credit reporting agencies accounts. They have even been accused of charging a customer’s credit card more than the agreed amount.
With these shady business practices, the large workforce, and their millions of dollars in profits, it may seem a daunting task to go up against them in a dispute, and you may be thinking that it is probably wiser to pay the bill, rather than bringing a valid claim against them.
But, as I said earlier on, this blog post is geared towards educating you on collection agencies and giving you tips that you can use before you decide to pay that claim or negotiate a repayment plan with this company, which may be faulty.
Have you received a letter from them?
The first contact they make with clients is through sending one or more threatening letters. As debt collectors, they use all sorts of sneaky and shady tactics to get in touch with people they believe owe their creditors money.
Now, here’s the thing; when you receive a letter from Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC, it may not belong to you at all. These debt collection agencies scour the internet, online databases, and phone books looking for addresses of everyone with the same name as you, and then they start sending them threatening letters. They send these to everyone!
So, just because you have received a letter from a collection agency, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a valid claim against you, and it may be completely erroneous.
Remember that they are a debt-buyer company, which means that they purchase debts from other companies, and they can easily get mixed up. They may not have proper documentation either, or they may be contacting the wrong person altogether.
What should you do?
The first thing you should do when you receive a letter from credit collection services is to send them a reply through a debt verification letter.
A debt verification letter is a letter that you should send after the collector has sent you a debt validation letter.
After you receive the initial call, or letter, demanding that you pay a debt, you shouldn’t pay a single dime of it before confirming that the debt belongs to you. The debt collector is required to send you a debt validation letter which outlines the debt in terms of how much you owe and any other information they may have about you.
If you are uncertain about the debt you are being asked to pay, you can send them a debt verification letter which should request them to provide you with more information. This option is best when you are planning to pay off the debt.
Once Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC receives your verification request, they are required to provide you with the information you require and any accompanying documentation within 30 days. This documentation should contain your signature, to verify that you owe the money indeed; otherwise, you shall not be liable to pay the debt.
Here’s how to contact Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC
16 McClelland Road
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Phone number: 800-281-2793
Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 7 pm.
How can you deal with Harassing phone calls from the company?
Jefferson Capital Systems have been known to call several times a day attempting to collect on a debt. Your caller ID will show no number at all or a phony telephone number that shall be generated by Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC.
If the call goes to voicemail, you shall receive several minutes of nothing but silence, and when you try to call back, the call shall go unanswered. These calls can go on for up to 2 years, and they may even try to call you at work.
Fortunately, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you are allowed to write a letter to Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC, and ask them to stop calling you. For most people, this is usually their last resort as they do not know about this rule.
However, Jefferson Capital has onsite legal counsel that may choose to sue you for the collection of a debt. If they no longer feel that you can negotiate with them, they will choose this route, although it is a more costly option to them.
If you end up losing the lawsuit, you shall receive a civil judgment against you, and if you do not pay the judgment, then you shall eventually have your wages garnished or assets seized. This is very serious business, plus, going to court will be costly for you.
So, before deciding to file a cease and desist order against the collection company, it is essential to consider getting professional help from a reputable credit repair company.
I have talked about this in the following blog posts.
- Lexington Credit Repair Company.
- Reliant credit repair company.
- Sky Blue Credit Repair Company.
- A list of the best credit repair companies.
These companies have experience on how to effectively deal with collection agencies and defend your rights as a consumer. In addition, they shall help you improve the status of your credit report and your credit score as well.
Did You Find Jefferson Capital Systems on Your Latest Credit Report?
There are three main reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion –, please read; the three main credit bureaus.
These companies collect information about you from banks, debt collectors, and credit card companies, which they use to update your credit report and credit score. The type of information they collect includes late payments, defaults, and much more negative information that will adversely affect your credit.
The credit scores typically range from 300-850 – again read these articles – Understanding Credit score.
A low score will prevent you from getting a good loan, renting a house, or even gaining employment. It is wise to maintain a good credit score to have control over your finances.
A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that one in five consumers that disputed a claim had an error and that fixing that error improved their overall credit score as a result of their actions.
You have the right to dispute a claim from Jefferson Capital Systems through any of the credit reporting agencies.
Once you initiate a dispute, the agency has 30 days to resolve the item in question. They should contact Jefferson Capital Systems and demand they provide proof that the debt is valid.
If Jefferson Capital Systems is unable to provide the correct documentation, the credit reporting agency is supposed to remove the negative information from your credit report.
Understanding Your Rights
Now, as mentioned earlier, the FDCPA, which was passed by Congress, helps to protect you from aggressive debt collectors such as Jefferson Capital Systems. Knowing your rights before picking up the phone is always important, so you are not caught off guard or bullied, or overwhelmed by their pressures.
Here is a summary of your rights:
- Debt collectors are prohibited from using harmful and unfair tactics when trying to collect a debt.
- They should not contact anybody who is not the main person that owes the debt.
- They shouldn’t threaten you with referral to an attorney, wage garnishment, or harm your credit without an actual intent or act on the threat.
- They should not call you at unreasonable times, such as before 8 am, or after 9 pm.
- They should not contact you at your place of work if you have specifically asked them not to do so.
- They should not place calls to inform on you to your employer or disclose any aspect of your debt to others.
- They should not use profane or obscene language during their calls.
- They should not send collection letters which appear to be from a government office or a court.
- They should not threaten to arrest you if the debt remains unpaid.
When should you work with them?
You should only work with them if, after investigations, you find that the debt is accurate and up to date, which means that it is probably valid. Then, you most likely owe them the debt, and if this is the case, you should choose to negotiate with them for a lower amount or come up with a repayment plan where you can pay in small amounts until you clear the debt.
Once you have negotiated a payment option, you can choose to pay them either by check or by credit card. If you wish to pay by check, make sure it is certified and save any information regarding your payment.
Paying by credit card may be more comfortable 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
The laws that govern credit repayment are complicated and at times difficult to understand, and even if the law is on your side, it may be hard to get Jefferson Capital Systems or other creditors to comply with the law entirely.
They may use their company size and power to try and intimidate and manipulate you. These tactics, including forcing you to pay through multiple phone calls and filing forms over and over again, should be reported immediately.
If you feel that you are doing everything they have requested and you are still getting nowhere with them, it may be time to call in the professionals, who can take over the negotiations and contact Jefferson Capital Systems on your behalf.
Consider contacting one of the aforementioned credit repair companies.
As with many other disputes, it is never easy dealing with a big debt collection company, and at times they may seem to overpower you, which means that you shall be cornered and be forced to pay the debt whether you like it or not.
If this happens, it is only wise to seek help from third parties, such as credit repair companies or lawyers, to help you deal with the debt collector.
It is your right to be treated with dignity, but at the same time, it’s only fair to pay up a debt that you owe. If you are not in a position to repay the debt, you can always negotiate terms with them on how best to start the repayment process even if it means paying very little at a time.
Be wise and ensure to keep your bills up to date to ensure you do not get caught up in the terrible process of debt collection.
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