How to Remove CMRE from Your Credit Report

By Ana Gonzalez-Ribeiro, MBA, AFC®
Published on: 01/16/2023

If you’ve spotted CMRE on your credit report and don’t recognize the name, you may think you’ve been the victim of a scam. However, CMRE is a collections company and may legitimately be listed on your credit report. In this guide, we discuss who CMRE is, what this company does and what steps you can take, if any, to get them off your report.

Table of contents

What is CMRE Financial Services?

CMRE is a debt collector and accounts receivable management service that works on behalf of healthcare providers. So if you received service from places, such as a hospital, dental practice or ambulance company, and didn’t pay your bill, your debt may eventually be sold to CMRE for collection.[1]

Keep in mind there are new rules about when medical debt can appear on your credit report:

  • As of July 2022, paid medical collection debt will no longer be included on your credit report. The time period for unpaid medical debt to appear on your credit report has been extended from six months to one year.
  • In addition, medical collection debt that is under $500 will not be included on credit reports for Equifax, Experian and Transunion, beginning the first half of 2023.
    [2]

If you see CMRE on your credit report, it usually means you have unpaid bills from one or more of the following original creditors:[1]

  • Hospitals
  • Children’s hospitals
  • Healthcare systems
  • Ambulance services
  • Dental practices
  • Large physician practices
  • Individual physicians
  • Billing companies

what is cmre financial services

Contact information:

  • Website: www.cmrefsi.com
  • Phone number: 1-800-783-9118
  • Headquarters address: 3075 E. Imperial Hwy, Suite 200, Brea, California 92821

cmre contact information

Is CMRE a legitimate business?

Yes, CMRE is a legitimate company that has been collecting on medical debt for 25 years. They have a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, although they are not BBB accredited and have many complaints against them (as many debt collection agencies often do).[3] A BBB-accredited business refers to the BBB determining that a business has met certain accreditation standards, including making a good faith effort to find a solution to consumer complaints. Consumer complaints are not factored into the accreditation.[4]

Will CMRE Financial Services sue or garnish your wages?

If CMRE goes to court and receives a judgment against you, it may be able to legally garnish your wages or your bank account, depending on the state in which you live. However, some federal benefits directly deposited into your account, such as Social Security and VA benefits, may be protected against garnishment.[5]

If CMRE 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 collections cases.[6]

Depending on your situation, you can use a few different methods to try removing a collections account or erroneous debt from your credit report, including medical debt from CMRE. Keep in mind that CMRE can continue to pursue you for the debt even after it falls off your credit report. Just because it falls off your report doesn’t change the fact that you owe it and can be pursued for it. Debt collectors do have a limited amount of time to sue you to collect on a debt and that time period varies by state. If you believe the statute of limitations has run out on the debt and it has become “time barred”, be sure to contact an attorney specializing in debt collections to assist you.

How to remove CMRE Financial Services from your credit report

Just like with any other item, the only ways to remove CMRE from your credit report is if the information is inaccurate or if you successfully negotiate a pay-for-delete. The next sections outline the steps to take to remove CMRE from your credit report.

how to remove cmre from your credit report

Request debt validation

If you don’t think you owe the debt, you ask for confirmation that the debt is legitimate by requesting a debt validation letter from CMRE Financial Services. Ask for detailed information to show that you owe the debt, including:

  • The amount you owe
  • The creditor you owe it to
  • How to get the name of the original creditor
  • What to do if you don’t think the debt is yours[7]

Obtain copies of your credit report

Get copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), which will tell you which bureaus the debt was reported to. You can request a free copy from each bureau every 12 months on AnnualCreditReport.com.

If the debt is inaccurate, dispute it

If CMRE fails to provide you with sufficient proof of the debt, or if you discover that the debt is inaccurate or incorrect, then you can submit a letter to CMRE and the major credit bureaus to dispute any inaccurate information within 30 days.[7]

You can find dispute forms on the CFPB website.[8] Consider sending your dispute letters by certified mail and keep copies of all of your correspondence for your records.

If the debt is accurate, negotiate a settlement, a pay for delete or goodwill removal

If the validation letter proves that you owe the debt, you can offer to negotiate a settlement or 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.

Depending on how old your debt is, you may want to speak to an attorney or credit counselor as well as seek out your state’s statute of limitations on debt. Although debt doesn’t go away until it is paid, each state has its own laws regarding how long you can be sued over debt. Because each state is different and how you act can affect the statute of limitations, an attorney who specializes in collections can help you navigate the process.[8]

Because only inaccuracies can be disputed and removed, 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 as data furnishers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 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, especially if it is not in writing.

Pay for delete

Once you’ve received notice of the debt you owe, you can try to negotiate a pay for delete, asking CMRE 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 pay for delete, in writing, asking CMRE 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.[9]

Goodwill removal

Another way to try and remove Capio Partners 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.[10]

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.[11]

Your rights when dealing with collections agencies

Even if you owe money, you have legal rights, and debt collectors have to abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Report any problems you have with a debt collector to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your local or state attorney general.

Here are some of the rules that debt collectors must observe:[7]

  • Unless you have given prior consent to Capio Partners, a debt collector such as Capio Partners collection is not allowed to communicate with you about the collection of any debt or validate the accuracy of debts attributed to you while you are at work, outside of the hours 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your time zone, and if you’re clearly working with an attorney (unless the attorney consents to the collector contacting you or doesn’t respond to the debt collector within a reasonable timeframe).
  • You have the right to protect yourself from harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations and other unfair practices.
  • A debt collector may not engage in conduct that is used to harass, oppress, or abuse you in connection with the collection of a debt, such as threatening or violent acts to you or harassing you by continually calling without disclosing meaningful details.
  • A debt collector is not allowed to use false or misleading representations in connection with a collection of any debt or threaten to take any action that is not intended (such as to file suit or garnish your wages) or that can’t legally be taken.
  • A debt collector is not allowed to use unfair means to collect any debt. For example, they can’t collect any amount — such as interest or a fee — that’s not expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt.
  • Upon your request for validation, a debt collector is required to send you a written notice containing the following: the amount of the debt owed, the name and contact information of the creditor to whom the debt is owed and a statement that the debt is valid (unless you have disputed the validity of the debt within 30 days of the notice).

If you feel like your rights have been violated, it may be time to get legal advice from a debt collection law firm. Each state has differing laws, and an attorney can advise you on any legal action you may need to take as well as the timeframe for doing so.

How CMRE Financial Services can affect your credit score

A negative mark on your credit report from CMRE can negatively impact your credit score. Unpaid medical collection debt can appear on your credit report if it hasn’t been paid after one year, which may lower your score, but beginning in the first half of 2023, the debt would have to be greater than $500 to be reported.[2]

Check your credit report

By law, you can obtain a free credit report from the major credit bureaus every 12 months. You can access them at AnnualCreditReport.com.[7] Check the items listed in your credit history and be sure your report is accurate, especially concerning medical debt.

Beginning July 1, 2022, paid medical bills are no longer be included on the consumer’s credit report and unpaid debt in collections under $500 will not be reported, beginning in the first half of 2023. So knowing what is listed in your credit report makes a great start toward determining whether you have inaccurate items to remove.[2]

Sources:

  1. CMRE. "Experience," https://www.cmrefsi.com/index.php/experience/. Accessed Aug. 11, 2022.
  2. TransUnion. “Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion Support U.S. Consumers With Changes to Medical Collection Debt Reporting” https://newsroom.transunion.com/equifax-experian-and-transunion-support-us-consumers-with-changes-to-medical-collection-debt-reporting/. Accessed Aug. 25, 2022.
  3. Better Business Bureau. "CMRE Financial Services Inc," https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/brea/profile/collections-agencies/cmre-financial-services-inc-1126-13097915. Accessed Aug. 11, 2022.
  4. Better Business Bureau. “Exclusive Programs and Services.” https://www.bbb.org/get-accredited. Accessed on December 8, 2022.
  5. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Can a debt collector garnish my bank account or my wages?” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/can-a-debt-collector-garnish-my-bank-account-or-my-wages-en-1439/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.
  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “How do I find a lawyer or attorney to represent me in a lawsuit by a creditor or debt collector?” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-find-a-lawyer-or-attorney-to-represent-me-in-a-lawsuit-by-a-creditor-or-debt-collector-en-1433/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.
  7. Federal Trade Commission. "Debt Collection FAQs," https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/debt-collection-faqs. Accessed Aug. 11, 2022.
  8. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “How do I dispute an error on my credit report?” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-dispute-an-error-on-my-credit-report-en-314/. Accessed January 23, 2023.
  9. Forbes. “Pay For Delete: Learn About This Collection Removal Strategy.” https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-score/pay-for-delete/.Accessed on December 8, 2022.
  10. Credit Karma. “Goodwill letters: What you need to know.” https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/goodwill-letter. Accessed on December 8, 2022.
  11. Federal Trade Commission. “Fixing Your Credit FAQs.” https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/fixing-your-credit-faqs. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

About the author

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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Written on January 16, 2023
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