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How to beat USAA collections

Dena Standley | October 19, 2022

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: USAA collections coming after you for debt? Here's how to get them off your back and beat them in court.

Who is USAA?

The United Services Automobile Association, or USAA Federal Savings Bank, is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Their services include insurance, banking, credit cards, auto loans, investments, and retirement planning for millions of military personnel and their families.

USAA can collect by contacting the debtor via mail or telephone to demand payment and report the debt to the debtor's credit report. If a collection account is listed on your credit report, it will lower your credit score and make it harder for you to get approved for a loan or any other significant financial transaction.

Tips for beating debt collectors

One flaw all bill collectors have is that they frequently lack knowledge regarding their target accounts. According to the Federal Trade Commission's database, a large percentage of consumer complaints are filed against collectors.

Verify the legitimacy of the debt

If debt collectors are coming after you, you should begin by investigating the legitimacy and accuracy of the debt. Moreover, you can inquire about who owns the debt and how they gained the authority to collect it.

Contest your debt in writing with a Debt Validation Letter

A written challenge to the debt can be filed within 30 days of the collector's first contact with you. The collector is prohibited from contacting you again until they formally validate the debt. If a collection agency contacts you, send a Debt Validation Letter immediately.

Debt Validation Letter Timeline

Know your rights

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from debt collectors who continually harass you. As some examples, the law prevents collectors from doing the following:

  • Contacting you before 8 am or after 9 pm
  • Contacting you at work if your employer forbids such communications
  • Using threats of violence or other crimes in order to persuade to you pay the debt
  • Using obscene language or profanity
  • Calling you repeatedly with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass
  • Communicating with you if they know you have found an attorney to represent you

Knowing your rights under the FDCPA can protect you from predatory collectors.

Work toward a resolution

Once you have reviewed the debt and verified that it is legitimate, you can try negotiating a settlement with the collector. USAA may be willing to accept a settlement offer for less than the original amount that you owe. Making low initial offers can open up ideal negotiation opportunities.

USAA collections are experienced debt collectors, so it is crucial that you know your rights and responsibilities before opening up communication with their debt collectors. All correspondence with collectors should be in writing, and you should keep a detailed record of all communications with collectors.

What are my rights in the case of a USAA collections Complaint?

You have the right to contest any debt from USAA collections that you feel does not belong to you or contains erroneous information. If USAA is the original creditor but has sold your debt to another debt collection agency, you retain the same rights to dispute the debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act apply to such cases. These acts were created for consumer protection against abusive actions by collection agencies. They are powerful when you know how to use them.

Is it better to contact or pay USAA?

Phone calls to collection agencies are unproductive, and worse yet, making payments on collection accounts will restart the collection process. Instead of improving your credit, you risk making it worse. There are occasions when it's best to pay the collection account, especially if it's new and you know it's legitimate.

If a debt collector contacts you about an old debt, be sure to check the statute of limitations on the debt before making any payments. The statute of limitations is the limited time period in which a creditor or debt collector can file a lawsuit to recover a debt. If you start making payments on an old debt that was past the statute of limitations, you will restart the clock on the statute of limitations. As a result, the collector will have the right to take the case to court if you fail to pay it off in full.

How to remove USAA collections from your credit report

Collections from USAA can negatively impact your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to seven years, regardless of whether you pay them or not. Paying the collection could even lower your credit score.

USAA collections may be removed from your credit report if any of the information on the account is incorrect, erroneous, or fraudulent and cannot be corrected within a reasonable period of time. According to US Public Interest Research Groups research, 79 percent of credit reports contain errors or significant issues. As agents for our clients, we are experts in pursuing these accounts.

Is it possible for USAA collections to accept a goodwill letter?

A goodwill letter is a correspondence to a creditor asking them to remove negative remarks from credit reports. Some creditors are willing to do so once there is a demonstrated attempt on your part to handle the debt responsibly, but this is completely at their discretion.

USAA does not have a great track record of working with consumers who present goodwill letters for the cancellation of collections or charge-offs. A goodwill letter is more likely to work when a creditor has placed a single blemish on your credit report, and there is then a solid history of goodwill efforts to correct the problem on your end.

Can you beat USAA collections?

To protect your credit, you may have no choice but to repay a legitimate debt, whether through a one-time payment or a payment plan. However, it is possible to defeat debt collectors who engage in abusive practices. It is also possible to defeat a debt collection agency by forcing them to provide accurate information about the debt.

Knowing your rights is the only way to stop debt collectors from operating illegally. Even though dealing with debt collectors can be frustrating and anxiety-provoking, you shouldn't allow them to ruin your life.

It is important for you to take your debt seriously and to make every effort to pay it off, but not at the expense of your sanity. Allowing stress to take over will only aggravate the problem and possibly harm your health.

Contact SoloSuit to learn more about getting a USAA collections debt removed and learn your options for stopping the harassment and stress of dealing with a collection agency.

What if USAA collections sues me?

The first step to winning a lawsuit against USAA collections is to respond. This might seem impossibly intimidating, especially if you've never been involved in a debt lawsuit before. You might consider looking for an attorney to take your case, but finding an attorney can be pricey and time-consuming.

Fortunately, you can represent yourself with the help of SoloSuit!

The first step is responding to the court Summons and Complaint with an Answer. You can draft your Answer for free with SoloSuit, but make sure to file it with the court and serve the plaintiff's attorney. SoloSuit can help with filing and service for a small fee.

Don't let a lawsuit with USAA collections take over your life. Let SoloSuit help you fight back!

Here are all the possible routes a debt collection lawsuit can take:

Debt Collection Lawsuit Flowchart

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"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

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