George Simons | October 19, 2022
Summary: Associated Credit Services is a debt collection agency that collects debt for banks, credit card companies, and more. If you are being sued by Associated Credit Services, you have up to 35 days to respond depending on where you live. Use SoloSuit to draft and file your response in just 15 minutes.
Summary: Sued for a debt by Associated Credit Services? This guide is for you. Use SoloSuit to respond in 15 minutes.
Receiving a notice of a lawsuit from Associated Credit Services (ACS) is a serious matter. This company, based in Westborough, MA, has been collecting past due debts throughout the US since 1969. ACS has a tried-and-true formula for collecting debts. Usually, it starts with letters and phone calls. They will try to get you to pay the full debt plus added fees and interest.
If you receive communications from ACS, take it as an opportunity to resolve the debt without being sued. ACS agents know that it is cheaper to take a lower amount in settlement than to take the matter to court. Debtors can use this to their advantage to convince ACS to waive fees, penalties and some of the debt itself. If you don't have enough cash to pay in full, a payment arrangement can be made. Provided you make the payments, you will save money and avoid a lawsuit.
ACS employs teams of lawyers whose sole job is to litigate against debtors. When its attempts to collect fail, ACS refers your account to its legal team.
When you receive a Summons and Complaint from ACS, answer it immediately. Ignoring it will result in a default judgment for the full amount, plus fees and even the cost of litigation. Once a default judgment is ordered by the court, you are powerless to stop collection activity and you must pay the debt even if you do not owe it or the amount is grossly overstated.
In this blog post, we break down everything you should know about Associated Credit Services and how to beat them in court.
Let's jump right in.
Associated Credit Services (ACS) is a third-party debt collection agency that gets hired by banks, credit card companies, and even universities to do debt collection services on their behalf. Founded in 1969, ACS has been a leading agency in the debt collection industry for several decades.
If you need to reach someone with Associated Credit Services, use the contact information below:
Associated Credit Services, Inc.
PO Box 1201
Tewksbury MA, 01876
Phone: (508) 366 - 0888
Toll Free: (800) 531 - 6500
Associated Credit Services collects for commercial and non-commercial financial institutions, credit card servicers, credit unions, public utilities, healthcare and insurance providers, corporate business organizations, and higher education institutions.
With so much experience in the debt collection industry, Associated Credit Services knows how to play the game. ACS has been known to use questionable debt collection methods to get people to pay off their debts. If you feel like you've been harassed by a debt collector with ACS, you're not alone.
As of 2022, the Better Business Bureau has received 40 complaints against Associated Credit Services in the most recent three-year period. Even worse, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported 61 complaints against ACS over the same time period. Associated Credit Services has a 1-star rating out of 5 stars on its BBB profile.
These complaints against ACS frequently mention violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). For example, Associated Credit Services has used the following tactics to collect on debts:
Let's take a look at a real consumer complaint from Associated Credit's BBB profile:
“An organization called Associated Credit Services has been harassing me by phone regarding a fraudulent debt they claim I owe. I have previously disputed the debt when another collections company attempted to harass me about it. The information they claim to have regarding the debt owed does not match any valid accounts I've ever held and appears they've pulled various bits of public information about me to fabricate an account that doesn't actually exist. I've informed them in the past that the debt they think they're collecting is fake and to remove my information from their systems and they continue to call.”
A default judgment leaves you with limited options. Debt collectors actually like it when defendants, like you, offer no defense. They can use legal loopholes to seize your funds.
Once ACS has a default judgment against you, it's “open season” on many of your assets. If you have less than the judgment in the bank, ACS can levy your bank account and, in some jurisdictions, strip it bare. Wage garnishment is another possible consequence. Some jurisdictions limit wage garnishments more than others, so find out what percentage can be garnished in your state
Imagine money disappearing from your bank account and paycheck, leaving you unable to pay the rent. To avoid this, you must respond.
The first step to beating Associated Credit Services in court is to respond to the lawsuit with a written Answer.
When you get sued by a debt collector like Associated Credit Services, you usually receive the court documents in the mail. The documents are called the Summons and the Complaint. The Summons is the official notice of the lawsuit, while the Complaint lists all the specific claims being made against you.
You have up to 35 days to respond to the Summons and Complaint, depending on which state you're in, before you lose by default. You might think you have to hire an attorney to prepare your Answer document for you, but with SoloSuit, you can represent yourself and save the money and stress of finding a lawyer.
Follow these three steps to respond to a debt lawsuit against Associated Credit Services:
Learn more about these three steps in this video:
If ACS can prove you owe them money, you can still get a dismissal based on an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is a legally recognized reason that the case should be dismissed.
Some of the most effective affirmative defenses include the following:
For example, you've been billed for credit card charges you never made.
Debt collection lawyers often sue for the highest possible amount. Therefore, it's probable that errors in the favor of ACS have been made. Demand full documentation of all activity on the account.
Often, penalty interest rates and fees greatly inflate the balance. Did you agree to these in the original credit agreement? Also, you can dispute attorney's fees and court costs if the original agreement does not hold you responsible for them. In addition, you can object if the attorney's fees are excessive.
The statute of limitations is the time limit that a debt collector or original creditor has to sue someone for a debt they owe. clock usually begins ticking on the last day you were active on the account. Active is defined as the last time you made a payment, withdrew money from the account, or acknowledged that you owe it by committing to a payment plan.
The statute of limitations on debt is different in every state. Before you agree to making any payments to Associated Credit Services, check to see if the statute of limitations on your debt has expired first.
Let's take a look at an example.
Example: Jamie, who lives in Alabama, owes her credit card company almost $2,000. She hasn't made any payments on the account in four years. The credit card company hires Associated Credit Services to collect the debt. Since Jamie didn't recognize who ACS was, she ignored their calls and letters. After a couple months, ACS sues Jamie for the debt. Jamie finds SoloSuit online and learns that the statute of limitations on her debt is three years in Alabama. This means that ACS does not have the legal right to sue her. She uses SoloSuit to draft and file her Answer where she lists the statute of limitations as one of her affirmative defenses. The case gets dismissed.
One method is to work out a settlement agreement with ACS. The agreement should waive any excessive fees and reduce the balance, while also dismissing the lawsuit. If you can afford the debt and owe it, it might be a better investment of your time to settle out of court.
Many debt collectors are willing to settle for less than the original amount owed. Figure out the maximum amount you are able to pay off right now, then start the settlement negotiation process with ACS by offering an even lower amount. They might respond with a counteroffer that works for you.
Check out this video to learn more about the settlement process:
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.
"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.