If you have an unpaid medical bill, you may receive calls from CMRE Financial Services, a collection agency that collects debts for medical services rendered by hospitals and other health care companies. He makes money by forcing and harassing you often for payments on behalf of original creditors. It does this by reporting the account to the three major credit bureaus and opening a collection account against you on your credit file.
Collection accounts can hurt your credit score for almost a decade, even if you pay off the debt. The only way to avoid major damage to your score is to remove the entry as soon as possible. This is a difficult process, but you can accomplish it by following a series of steps.
What is CMRE Financial Services?
CMRE Financial Services is a medium-sized debt collection agency headquartered in Brea, California. It may appear on your credit report as CMRE Financial Services, Inc. or CMREFSI. CMRE Financial Services was born in California in 1996 and collects bad debt exclusively in the healthcare sector. This includes hospitals, ambulance services, dental practices and doctors’ offices.
CMRE Financial Services is a legit debt collection agency and not a scam, but it is not popular among its customers. It has more than 1,000 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and about 40 with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), despite its A+ rating. The most common complaint usually involves repetitive calls to insurance companies and customers. Customers complain of harassment, failure to validate debts and inaccurate debt reports.
How to remove CMRE Financial Services from your credit report
The essential steps you can take to remove CMRE Financial Services from your credit report are:
- Know your rights
- Request a deletion of goodwill
- Validate the debt
- Negotiate a settlement
Know your rights
CMRE Financial Services and other debt collectors make money by forcing you to make payments. He often does this by employing questionable tactics, such as harassment and abuse. What he doesn’t want you to know is that federal law protects you from this type of treatment, which includes harassing phone calls.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law that regulates the debt collection industry and prohibits unethical means of collection. This includes, but is not limited to:
- misrepresentation or information about your debt
- use profane or offensive language
- contact people close to you about your debt
- threaten legal action that is illegal
It is important to familiarize yourself with the FDCPA so that you can recognize if CMRE Financial Services violates it. He is accused of a number of these violations, so it is possible that he commits them when dealing with you. It is important that you request all communications in writing when you are first contacted. This is your right under the FDCPA, and the agency must comply with your request.
Communicating in writing will allow you to track your communication with the debt collector and ensure that they are treating you properly. When they call you, tell them you want to communicate exclusively through US Mail. If they start arguing with you, let them know they are violating the FDCPA and hang up.
Request a deletion of goodwill
If you’ve already paid your debt, don’t worry. You may be able to remove the entry by requesting a goodwill removal from CMRE Financial Services. This means that it will remove the collection entry from your credit file in fairness. Don’t expect to get a goodwill removal if you haven’t paid the debt. Collection agents will usually only grant them if you are in good standing.
To request a goodwill removal, write them a letter explaining why you were behind on your payments and why you want the entry removed. The agency may stop reporting the debt if you cite extenuating circumstances, such as job loss. It is important that your letter be polite and sincere. If you ask the agency to remove the entry, they are less likely to grant your request.
Validate the debt
If you can’t get goodwill removal, your next step is to apply for debt validation. It is important that you do this quickly because you only have 30 days from your first contact with CMRE Financial Services to make the legal request. The FDCPA allows you to request proof that the debt belongs to you. After all, you’re going to want proof if someone contacts you out of the blue asking for money.
A Debt Validation Letter is a formal request to CMRE Financial Services to verify debt information and authority to collect it. This includes the name, date the debt was acquired, total amount, and original creditor. CMRE Financial Services should have this information, but information may be lost when transitioning from the original creditor, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After submitting your debt validation request, CMRE Financial Services should send you various documents proving that the debt belongs to you. Be sure to go through them carefully and note any information that seems incorrect. If anything differs from the information you have, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and ask them to remove the debt. You can avoid paying the debt entirely by doing this.
Negotiate a settlement
If the debt is yours, you will need to negotiate a settlement with CMRE Financial Services in the form of a payment for deletion agreement. This means that CMRE Financial Services will stop reporting your debt to the three major credit bureaus in exchange for your payment. What he is unlikely to tell you is that he will often accept less than the full balance. This is because he usually pays pennies on the dollar for the debt and does not need to claim the full amount to get his money back.
Start by offering to pay half of the total debt and negotiate from there. Once you have reached a compromise, ask CMRE Financial Services to send you the agreement in writing. You will need to review this document to make sure the wording matches your agreement before making your first payment. Check your credit report after 30 days to see if CMRE Financial Services still appears as an entry. If not, continue to make your payments as usual. If so, contact the agency and remind them to keep their end of the bargain.
CMRE Financial Services Contact Information
You can contact CMRE Financial Services at:
- Address: 3075 E. Imperial Hwy, Suite 200, Brea, CA 92821
- Phone number: 800-783-9118
- Website : cmrefsi.com
Doing Business with CMRE Financial Services
The thought of going up against a debt collector like CMRE Financial Services is daunting, but it will pay off in the long run. By taking care of the negative items in your credit report, you will avoid major damage to your credit score in the future.
Some people find it directly uncomfortable to deal with a debt collector, which is understandable. They are tricky and can be stubborn when it comes to negotiating settlements. If you prefer to hire a professional credit repair company, consider working with Lexington Law. They are accomplished professionals who know exactly how to deal with debt collectors and clean up your credit report.
By getting help to improve your credit score, you can achieve your goals and regain your financial freedom.