Dena Standley | October 19, 2022
Summary: Is AFNI Collections bothering you about a debt? SoloSuit can help you know your rights, take a stand, and win in court.
When you feel weighed down by debt collectors, remember that there's help. Debt collection is heavily regulated, and for a good reason. AFNI's calls, emails, texts, or lawsuits can put a strain on your mental, emotional and physical health.
If AFNI has contacted you, you know just how much you would like to get them off your back. You may wonder, who is AFNI? What can you do to win against the ever-persistent debt collectors? What are some things you should never do? And what are your rights in this situation?
Let's start with the last question.
Thanks to the improvements in many debt collection laws, consumers are more protected now than ever. The most recent FDCPA regulations curb malpractices by debt collection agencies. For example, a debt collector must now provide most of the information they previously asked for from consumers. The caller and not the consumer should now supply details like your name, address, contact information, etc.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act-FCRA also requires that your credit information, including debts in collections, is shared fairly and accurately. No debt collector should discuss details of your debt with unauthorized third parties like family or workmates. They also cannot share false or inaccurate information with credit bureaus. What is more, if AFNI violates your rights, you can report them to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) also protects your money. Debt collectors cannot automatically transfer money from your account to pay the debt without your permission. These regulations protect your hard-earned money from fraudsters and put you in control of how and when you pay your bills.
When AFNI comes calling, remember these basic rights:
Anderson Financial Network, Inc. (AFNI) is a legitimate debt collection agency that has been in business since 1938. You may not recognize AFNI at first as they are not creditors. They collect old debts on behalf of their clients. Their clients include large companies like T-Mobile. Also, because debt collectors buy and sell debts among themselves, you may find yourself working with AFNI instead of a previously known debt collector.
AFNI's website is afnicollections.com. The company has been accredited by Better Business Bureau (BBB) since April 30, 2007. The business has a 1-star review on its profile and a B+ rating. BBB has received 555 complaints against AFNI in the past three years.
At the time of writing this article, AFNI has an alert on their BBB profile. The alert is for a case between AFNI and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) for which AFNI entered a consent order in November 2020. CFPB alleged that AFNI furnished information to Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) it knew or had reason to believe was inaccurate. The business also failed to report appropriate first delinquency dates on certain accounts, thereby violating the FCRA regulations. The court imposed civil penalties of $500,000 on AFNI, and the business promised to take steps to prevent future violations.
In December 2020, AFNI responded to the BBB concerning the consent order. In part, the company stated that it had "complied with all requests from the CFPB and... to improve its compliance..." The consent was only for business reasons and should not be considered an admission of guilt. Click here to read more on this case.
Despite being one of the biggest debt collectors in the United States, AFNI still breaks the rules, as evidenced by the CFPB allegations discussed above. The best way to win against them is to know your rights and stick by them.
Whether AFNI is coming after you with a genuine debt or one you don't recognize, you can outsmart them.
Each time AFNI contacts you about a debt, verify that the debt is yours and the information is correct.
AFNI should reach you in writing to verify the debt within five days of the first contact. Once you get that letter, send back a Debt Validation Letter. If possible, use certified mail so that you can prove they received your letter. From the day of receipt, they have a limited time to investigate and furnish you with satisfying evidence that the debt is not only yours but also that every detail is accurate.
Let's consider an example.
Example: David is being contacted by AFNI Collections over a debt he supposedly owes. He's never heard of this company, and he doesn't recognize the debt. He decides to use SoloSuit's service to draft and send a Debt Validation Letter and request a debt verification from AFNI. He finds out that AFNI Collections had purchased a huge package of charged-off credit card debts, including one of his old debts. Sadly for AFNI, the company did not have the proper documentation to prove that the debt had been transferred to AFNI's ownership. Without this information, AFNI cannot validate the debt and therefore must drop the case.
To learn more about sending a Debt Validation Letter, check out this video:
Always scan your credit report for any errors. Remember, debt collectors are humans who make mistakes. If AFNI asks you to pay a debt that's not yours, report the error to the FTC. It could be a case of identity theft. Dispute the debt with AFNI and the credit bureaus so that they can remove the entry from your report.
You are not required to pay debts that are past your state's statutes of limitations or that are time-barred. Even if AFNI contacts you about such debt, they can't legally ask you to pay.
Now that you know what debt collectors can and can't do, here are a few things you should be careful to avoid:
Any of these mistakes can get you into trouble.
If AFNI Collections is coming after you in court, the first step to beating them is to respond to the lawsuit. Like we mentioned, ignoring a debt lawsuit can lead to a default judgment against you. This means your wages may be garnished, your accounts frozen, and you might have liens placed on your properties. Luckily, you can use SoloSuit's free Answer form to respond to your debt lawsuit in minutes—and win.
Follow these three steps to respond to your lawsuit against AFNI Collections:
Let's take a minute to explain each of these steps. If you don't like reading, check out this video where SoloSuit's CEO, George Simons, breaks down the three steps in detail:
When you get sued, you should receive some legal documents in the mail known as the court Summons and Complaint. Some states have different names for these documents, like Petition in Texas. The first step you should take when drafting your Answer is to respond to the list of claims, or allegations, listed in the Complaint document.
You should answer each claims using one of the following responses:
When you deny a claim, it's like saying, “Prove it.” This requires debt collectors like AFNI Collections to do more work on their side to prove their case. Most attorneys recommend that you deny as many claims as possible. Denying due to lack of knowledge is like saying, “I don't know.” This can also be a good tactic, as you may not understand the claims against you. When you admit to something, it's like saying, “This is true.” If you admit each claim from the Complaint, you will probably lose the case because you are essentially agreeing with everything AFNI Collection is saying about you.
After you've answered each claim, you should include a section for your affirmative defenses. An affirmative defense is any legal reason that AFNI Collections' case is invalid. It's important to assert your affirmative defenses in your initial Answer to the lawsuit, because once you've responded, you won't have another chance to bring them up later on.
For example, a common affirmative defense used in debt lawsuits is the statute of limitations on the debt has already passed. The statute of limitations is the time period that a debt collector has to sue someone for a debt, and it's different in every state. Using this as an affirmative defense will most likely get the case dismissed. Here are some other examples of affirmative defenses you might include in your Answer document:
After you have prepared your Answer document using the steps listed above, you're ready to file it into the case. Make sure to file your Answer in court before the deadline, which is 14-35 days depending on which state you live in.
Make a copy of your Answer and send it to the attorneys representing AFNI Collections. Send the Answer via certified mail with a return receipt so you have proof that you did your part.
Your life is not perfect, so at one point, you may find yourself dealing with the dreaded debt collectors. When that happens, keep your head up because you can still win. There are enough resources at SoloSuit to help you do just that.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.