Why is Afni asking me to pay an old bill from another company?
We can understand why that would seem odd. Here's how it works. Afni is a company in the business of working with customers. Our clients are businesses (mostly large, recognizable brand name companies). They hire us to handle business processes on their behalf. For some clients, we staff customer service representatives to answer toll-free calls from our clients' customers who request customer service.
Other clients hire us to help with debt collection. They provide us with a list of their customers who still owe money on accounts. Our job is to notify those customers and discuss resolution.
Here's another thing. Your account can sometimes move from one debt collection agency to another. If we're unable to reach resolution in the account, our client may forward it to another debt collection agency.
What can I do to resolve my account?
That can happen a number of ways:
- If you would like to pay the account, talk to us and let's figure out a way for you to pay it. You can pay in in full, or set up a future payment schedule. Even if you can't start paying for a while, starting a conversation may assist in resolution.
- If you don't think the account belongs to you, or if you believe you don't owe the entire balance we're asking you to pay, you can send us a letter or call us.
- You can also review account information online by signing into your account using our secure website.
If I pay off my collections account, and the account has been previously reported by Afni, will it be removed from my credit report?
No. That sounds harsh, doesn't it? The truth is, the credit bureaus rely on accurate information to create your credit report. Part of the accurate information is your payment history. Credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions rely on credit reports and scores to be accurate so they can make informed decisions in lending and offering financial products.
If Afni has sent information to the credit reporting agencies, and you pay the account, we will tell the credit bureaus that you made either a full or partial payment. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that information about a collection account that is sent to a credit reporting agency, may appear on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of delinquency.
Do I have any say in what happens next?
Absolutely. First of all, you have a lot of rights as a consumer. In fact, debt collection is one of the most heavily regulated industries out there.
Plus, there are some excellent websites that outline your consumer rights. The Federal Trade Commission has a good video about consumer rights and the law.
We also recommend reviewing information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ask the CFPB is great place to get unbiased information about consumer debt and your rights.
Other than your consumer rights, you should provide Afni (or any collection agency) with feedback about your experience with our processes and employees. We are a service organization and strive for every conversation and interaction to respect you and let you keep your dignity intact. Good feedback, bad feedback, and everything in between. We want to hear it.