Missing a payment can hurt your credit score and lead to frustrating phone calls. If 11 Charter Communications (Charter) contacts you or you notice the name on your credit report, a missed payment on a Charter Spectrum account is likely the culprit. Although an unexpected debt collection can cause stress, dealing with the problem is actually easier than you might think. Read on to learn more about the Charter and how to delete a collections account of your credit report.
What is Charter Communications, Inc.?
If you notice a drop in your credit score regarding a Charter collection account, you may be wondering what the entry is for. Although 11 may put you off, 11 Charter Communications is actually Charter Communications, Inc., the popular and familiar telecommunications and broadband service provider. Charter is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and is one of the largest telephone, cable and Internet service providers in the United States. Although it does most of its business under its Spectrum brand, you will often see the name 11 Charter. Communications for its debt collection efforts.
4 ways to remove Charter from your credit report
A Charter account can seriously damage your credit report as long as it remains there. Fortunately, removing a collection agency from your credit report can be easier than you think if you follow these four tips:
- Send Charter a Debt Validation Letter
- Negotiate a payment-for-deletion agreement
- Ask for a goodwill adjustment
- Hire a credit repair company
1. Send Charter a Debt Validation Letter
If you believe there is a mistake and you do not owe Charter money, you should definitely dispute the debt. But even if you owe money, you can ask the company to remove the negative entry from your credit history. Companies and debt collectors cannot always fully document a customer’s debt.
You can write to Charter at the following address:
- 11 Charter Communications
- 400 Atlantic Street
- Floor 10
- Stamford, Connecticut 06901-3512
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires debt collectors to provide valid proof of your debt. However, you must submit a validation letter within 30 days of contacting a company. If Charter cannot provide the validation you request, they must remove the collection from your credit file.
Whether you pay the money you owe is a separate matter, but remember that paying the debt won’t automatically remove it. If you try to understand how to remove negative items of your credit file, it’s a separate process.
2. Negotiate a payment-for-deletion agreement
If Charter can document your debt, you should try to negotiate a payment for deletion agreement. With this offer, you’ll pay off the balance — or part of it — in exchange for removing the negative item from your credit report. As explained above, payment of the balance will not result in the removal of negative credit information from Charter. Paying can stop the phone calls and letters, but the collection account will stay on your credit report for years.
In a payment for deletion agreement, you leverage your debt payment as a tool to repair your credit. For this to work, you need to get the agreement in writing before you pay. You can discuss it over the phone if you prefer, but don’t give your credit card number at the end of the conversation. Make sure you get a written record of the payment for deletion agreement before you pay.
A payment-for-deletion agreement can ensure the account is removed from your report and save you money. You can negotiate to pay much less than what you owe to settle your debts. Once you have reached an agreement and made a payment to Charter, you should see the negative entry disappear from your credit file within the next 30 days. If the entrance is still there after this time, write Charter again and make sure they keep their promise. If this happens, it is important to have the agreement in writing.
3. Send a goodwill letter
If you repay the overdue balance, you no longer have your payment to use as leverage when you ask Charter for a deletion. But it is okay. You can always ask them to remove the negative item as a goodwill gesture by sending a goodwill letter.
Goodwill letters have been known to work, especially if you are a Spectrum customer with an account in good standing. They are also effective if your late payment, missed payment or forgotten balance is an anomaly and not a habit. In your letter, explain how the company’s derogatory credit scores are hurting your personal finances. It may seem like a pipe dream, but asking for a favor often helps.
4. Hire a credit repair company
Although it is possible to negotiate the removal of the charter from your credit report yourself, it is often a stressful task. If you hate the thought of answering Charter phone calls or writing debt validation letters, you have other options. There are dozens of credit repair companies out there who specialize in disputing debts, negotiating settlements and improving credit ratings. They will also ensure that debt collectors do not harass you or violate the FDCPA.
If a persistent phone bill is hurting your credit score or you’re dealing with more serious credit issues such as foreclosure or bankruptcy, a credit repair company may be worth it.
How does the Charter work?
Charter offers a range of competitively priced telecommunications services through an extensive network across the United States. In 2016, Charter merged with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, expanding its home internet services under the Spectrum brand. With so many customers, Charter has great customer service.
Sometimes subscribers forget to pay their bills or leave an overdue balance when they disconnect their services. During the hassle of moving house or changing service providers, it’s easy for final payments to slip through the cracks. When this happens, Charter may report your overdue balance to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
A negative item on your credit report will lower your credit score. In many cases, companies like Charter use debt collection agencies to collect debts from their clients. It is also common for agencies to buy the debt for pennies on the dollar, report the debt to the credit bureaus, and track the debtors until they reach an agreement.
A Charter Collections account entry can stay on your credit report for up to seven years, which can significantly damage your credit score. When a collection account appears on your credit report, the lender or collection agency may call you repeatedly and send letters regarding your unpaid debts.
Dealing with the Charter
Customers of phone or cable providers often experience frustration when it comes to customer support. Charter is no stranger to customer criticism, especially when it comes to recovering late payments.
Thousands of customer complaints have been filed against Charter with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where the company holds an F-rating. Many of these complaints relate to the same issues, including:
- Faulty Reporting: Sometimes inaccurate reporting is to blame for collection accounts on credit reports. Many customers report being contacted by Charter regarding debts that do not exist.
- Validation of Debt: These are complaints from customers who claim that Charter does not present proof of the debt they are claiming.
- Harassment: Other customer complaints relate to Charter’s communication tactics, claiming they were harassed over the phone to collect debts.
In light of these, it is important to learn the basics of the FDCPA. This law protects you in many ways by limiting how and when debt collectors can contact you. For example, this law prohibits debt collectors from calling at unreasonable hours and communicating with your employers or relatives. It also allows you to completely stop calls from a debt collector and choose to communicate only by mail. In fact, you should insist on written communication to document your case, including details of any negotiations you will be making with the company.
Will Charter sue me?
Many account owners ask the same questions when they first hear about a collection agency:
- Can they sue me to force a refund?
- Can the company garnish my salary?
The law allows debt collectors to sue you in civil court. The company should win the lawsuit, then ask a judge to garnish your wages in repayment of a debt. Charter could take legal action against you, but in most consumer debt cases, a large company like Charter won’t sue for a small amount.
It is useful to know what the Charter cannot do. He can not :
- Prosecute you in the criminal justice system
- did you stop
- Visit you in person about the bill
- Call phone numbers after asking reps to stop calling
- Call you after requesting written communication only
- Talk to your employer about your debt
If Charter or any other debt collector violates your rights, notify the CFPB or your state attorney general’s office.
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