Alltran Financial, formerly United Recovery Services, is one of the largest collection agencies in the country. The company website states an objective of helping individuals and families by resolving their financial issues and helping clients collect for their services. Today, Alltran serves clients in health care, government, financial services, and higher education. Here’s what you need to know if you receive a letter or a call from Altran.
Is Alltran a legit agency?
Alltran has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2012 and has an A+ rating. The BBB has closed 26 complaints against Alltran since 2016 and its average customer rating is 1.5 stars. Complaints to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) include inappropriate communication tactics, improper contact or sharing of information, attempts to collect debt that was not owed, lack of information to verify debt, and false statements or representation.
Alltran is a member of ACA International, which is the association of credit and collection professionals that establishes professional standards for the industry.
“With a comprehensive scoring system, Alltran is more scientific about their approach to debt recovery,” said Michael Bovee, co-founder of Resolve. They have a multi-tiered collection floor, he explained, so they assign the accounts with better collectibility scores to more experienced and higher-producing collectors.
What you should do if you get a letter from Alltran
If Alltran is attempting to collect a debt from you, you should first be clear on your rights and the information on the alleged debt. First off, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates how a collector can and can’t communicate with you. It dictates that a collection agency cannot lie, threaten or harass you, call you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. (your time), or contact others about your debt except to find out your current address.
Additionally, in communicating with you, a collector must indicate they are a debt collector and give you the name and address of your original creditor. They need to inform you that information you provide to them will be used toward collecting your debt. You can notify them in writing to cease their communications with you and they must do so except to let you know if collections have stopped or legal action is pending. If you feel Alltran violates the FDCPA in their communications with you, you have up to a year to file a lawsuit.
Even if Alltran communicates appropriately, there are additional steps you need to take to protect yourself and make wise decisions:
- Request verification of information. You are allowed to ask Alltran to verify the debt. The sample letter on the CFPB website helps you ask for the details that explain why Alltran believes you owe the debt, the amount and age of the debt, and the authority Alltran has to collect it. CFPB recommends sending the verification request within 30 days of receipt of the collection letter. During this time, under the FDCPA, you have the strongest legal grounds for your request. However, Alltran may not respond and this does not negate your obligation to repay a legitimate debt.
- Dispute incorrect information. The collector must inform you that you can dispute your debt. If the debt is not yours or the information is incorrect, it’s best to file a dispute in writing (get a sample dispute letter on the CFPB website noted above). In your letter, state that the debt is not yours and request proof to the contrary. The CFPB cautions that if the collector continues to believe you’re responsible for the debt, they may take further action against you.
- Consider settling your debt. If you were intending to resolve your debt anyway, you may find that Alltran is more willing to negotiate a settlement than your original creditor was. Because your account will likely only be with the agency for 90 days and they will only get paid if they get you to pay, they may be willing to negotiate a settlement rather than walk away empty handed.
While Bovee has found Alltran collectors to be professional and his clients have found them easy to communicate with when negotiating settlements, he has witnessed some situations with Alltran collectors that concern him.
“Be far more cautious with Alltran. They balk at providing things in writing,” Bovee said. “This makes no sense and cannot be trusted. The collector is given the latitude by their boss and I have seen them go back on things they’ve said.”
Alltran Financial, LP is located at 5800 N. Course Dr. Houston, TX 77072-1613. You can call them at 800-568-0399 or fill out a form online.
Read more about contingency debt collectors here.
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