If you recently checked your credit report and spotted “CBE Group” listed as a collections account, you may be wondering why it’s there and what you can do about it. Indeed, having any collections account listed on your credit may harm your credit score. If you find your credit report contains a false or erroneous collection account debt from the CBE Group, this post explains how you can remove CBE Group from your credit report.
CBE Group is a legitimate debt collection agency currently accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A rating. A BBB-accredited business means that the BBB has determined that CBE Group met certain accreditation standards, including making a good faith effort to find solutions to consumer complaints. Consumer complaints do not get factored into accreditation.
Headquartered in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the agency also has call centers in Texas, Tennessee, and the Philippines. CBE Group performs both first- and third-party collections for private and government entities, including the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). If the CBE Group is listed on your report, that may mean the agency purchased your debt from another company you did business with that declared your debt delinquent and charged it off.
If you see the CBE Group listed on your credit report, you should see the following contact information:
Phone number: 1-800-925-6686
CBE Group may be able to sue you and garnish your wages, if you do not pay the debt and if they are successful in obtaining a court order against you. Wage garnishment laws vary by state, so make sure to research your state’s laws.
While CBE Group is legally obligated to stop contacting you under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) if you ask them to, it won’t change the fact that you owe the debt, although they will have to prove to the court that you do owe them that debt. As a result, they may come after you through the courts if you ignore their requests for payment.
If Capio Partners has sued you and you don’t believe you’re responsible for the debt, you may want to seek legal advice from an attorney or a law firm with experience handling debt collections cases.
CBE Group collects debt for private companies and government entities alike. The group is also one of only four private collection agencies partnered with the IRS to collect on overdue federal taxes, CBE Group also collects on the following types of debt:
If CBE Group is calling you, they believe that somewhere in your payment history, you owe one of the debts listed above. Perhaps you stopped paying your student loan debt or moved from a previous address and forgot to pay the final cable bill.
If the debt goes unpaid after 4 to 6 months, the original party may sell the delinquent debt to agencies like the CBE Group, which attempt to collect on that debt.
Depending on your situation, you may take several steps to try removing a collections account or erroneous debt from your credit report, including items from the CBE Group.
Before you can determine the best way to remove CBE Group from your credit report, you must understand if the debt is accurate or inaccurate. If it’s been less than 30 days since the first collection effort, request proof of the debt from the collection agency. If CBE Group can’t show proof, the debt can be expunged from your credit report.
Debt collectors must tell you how much you owe, the name of the creditor you owe it to, how to get the name of the original creditor, and what to do if you don’t think the debt is yours.
Check which of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) the collections account was reported to by obtaining copies of your credit report. You can get a free copy once a year at annualcreditreport.com to check your credit.
If you find incorrect or inaccurate information on your credit report regarding the debt (for instance, the debt amount is much higher than you remember, it belongs to someone else, or it’s outdated), the collector may not be able to prove that you owe the money for that debt.
You can dispute the debt to get the inaccurate item removed so that you fix the error on your credit reports. File a dispute with the three major credit bureaus and ask them to remove the inaccurate item from your credit report.
If you owe the debt listed and the validation letter confirms it, you can offer to negotiate a settlement or set up an installment plan to close the collection account. Closing a collection account through a negotiated settlement is better than leaving it unpaid and open, just waiting for it to drop off your credit record.
Remember that only inaccuracies can be disputed and removed from your credit report. So the only options for removing accurate debt from your credit report is to negotiate a pay for delete or request a goodwill removal. While you may negotiate one of these successfully, bear in mind that debt collectors furnish data according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which means they are obligated to report accurate debts. Even if they agree to a pay for delete or goodwill deletion, they do not have to follow through with it and can still report the debt.
Once you’ve received notice of the debt you owe, you can try to negotiate a pay for delete, asking CBE Group to remove the debt from your credit reports in exchange for you paying off the agreed-upon debt amount. Through this method, you would request a pay for delete, in writing, asking CBE Group to accept the payment amount you are able, or willing, to pay to have the debt removed. However, debt collection companies may deny your request, and even if they do accept it, they can’t remove the negative mark from the original creditor and are under no obligation to remove the collection from your credit history. Be sure to get there agreement in writing.
Even if the account still appears on your credit report, it’s beneficial to pay your debt because some credit scoring models do not penalize you for paid collections. These include FICO® 9, VantageScore® 3.0 and VantageScore® 4.0. Keep in mind these are currently not widely used scoring models.
Another way to try and remove CBE Group from your credit score is with a goodwill letter. The letter explains why the debt occurred and provides proof that this was an extenuating circumstance to your otherwise consistent payment history. For example, you lost your job or had a medical emergency.
Like a pay for delete, a goodwill letter is not an official strategy and is not guaranteed to work. The Federal Trade Commission states that if negative information is accurate, it will simply take time to go away.
The CBE Group is a legitimate company, but it has had hundreds of complaints lodged against it in the last three years, according to the Better Business Bureau website. For a complaint to be accepted by the Better Business Bureau, it must meet these criteria. Complaints tend to be higher in the debt collection space.
Some of the most common complaints against CBE group include:
If you would like to file a complaint, you can contact CBE directly by calling 1-800-925-6686 or file a complaint directly with the Better Business Bureau by clicking the button “File a Complaint.”
Other common complaints lodged against debt collectors include attempts to collect a time-barred debt, which has outlasted its statute of limitations and can no longer legally be pursued.
Plaintiffs also cited the failure to notify debtors of their debt before attempting to collect it, as well as attempts to collect the erroneous debt — for instance, debt that belongs to someone else, has been paid but not recorded correctly or contains other errors that render it invalid.
The CBE Group keeps calling you because they believe you owe them a debt and believe that persistently calling you will ultimately get you to relent and pay that debt. However, all creditors, including CBE Group, have limits to how often they can call you.
All debt collectors are bound by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), which bans repetitive phone calls, profanity, and threats. They are also not allowed to lie to you, and they must reveal who they are, who the creditor is and the true amount of the debt owed.
If the CBE Group has contacted you, understand your rights. Like any debt collector, the CBE Group may not:
If you don’t believe the debt is valid, you have 30 days from the time you were notified of the debt to dispute it, which means that CBE Group will have to prove that you owe the debt and that they are the valid holder of the debt.
Disclaimer: FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Issac Corporation in the United States and other countries.
Ana Gonzalez-Ribeiro, MBA, AFC® is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and a Bilingual Personal Finance Writer and Educator dedicated to helping populations that need financial literacy and counseling. Her informative articles have been published in various news outlets and websites including Huffington Post, Fidelity, Fox Business News, MSN and Yahoo Finance. She also founded the personal financial and motivational site www.AcetheJourney.com and translated into Spanish the book, Financial Advice for Blue Collar America by Kathryn B. Hauer, CFP. Ana teaches Spanish or English personal finance courses on behalf of the W!SE (Working In Support of Education) program has taught workshops for nonprofits in NYC.
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