United Collection Bureau (UCB) is one of the largest contingency collection agencies in the United States, providing services to clients in government, health care, utilities, communications, financial services and student loans. If you are receiving calls from UCB, here’s what you need to know.
UCB has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2013 and has an A+ rating. The BBB has closed 55 complaints on UCB since mid-2016, according to the BBB website. Additionally, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received hundreds of complaints about UCB since 2015. The complaints include inappropriate communication tactics, improper contact or sharing of information, attempts to collect debt that was not owed and false statements or representation.
If you are receiving calls or letters about a debt collection account from UCB, there are ways to protect yourself and also determine if it’s in your best interest to negotiate a settlement at this time:
Know your rights
Collection agency behavior is regulated by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). These regulations dictate 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.
What’s more, collectors must identify that they’re a debt collector, provide the name and address of your original creditor and let you know that any information you provide will be used toward the collection of your debt. And, if you inform them in writing to cease their communications with you, they must honor that request except to inform you that collections have stopped or legal action is pending. If you believe the collector has violated the FDCPA, you have up to a year to sue and can contact a consumer law attorney to assess the viability of your case.
Verify United Collection Bureau’s information
You can request that the collector verify the information they provided and also provide additional information. CFPB recommends sending this request within 30 days of receipt of the collection letter, because this is when, under the FDCPA, you have the strongest legal grounds for your request. Sample letters are provided on the CFPB website.
Dispute an incorrect debt
The collector must also let you know that you can dispute your debt. If the debt is not yours or the information is incorrect, it’s best to dispute it in writing. (You can get a sample dispute letter on the CFPB website noted above.) Be sure to note in your letter that the debt is not yours and request proof to the contrary. The CFPB does warn that if the collector still believes you are responsible for the debt, they may take further action against you.
Negotiate a settlement with United Collection Bureau
Your account will only be with United Collection Bureau for a short period of time, which is typically 90 days if your account has only recently been charged off by your original creditor, and longer if your account has gone unpaid for more than a year. So, if you are intending to resolve your debt, now could be the right time. Since the contingency collection agency will only get paid if they get you to pay, they may be willing to negotiate a settlement rather than walk away empty handed.
UCB is located at 5620 Southwyck Blvd., Toledo, OH 43614. You can call them at (866) 209-0622.
Related article: Contingency debt collection agencies: All bark & no bite?
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