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How to Remove Great Lakes Collections from Your Report

Last updated 07/09/2024 by

Silas Bamigbola

Edited by

Fact checked by

Summary:
Dealing with debt collectors like Great Lakes Collection Agency can be stressful and frustrating. If you have ever been late or defaulted on a bill, you may find Great Lakes Collections appearing on your credit report. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the process of removing it from your credit report. It covers the impact of this debt collection agency on your credit score, methods for disputing and removing the account, your legal rights, negotiation strategies, and steps to protect your financial health.
It’s a trying period when facing a debt in collection, especially if you’re already navigating financial difficulties. The prospect of a debt collector like Great Lakes Collection Agency reaching out can be daunting, raising questions about the collector’s legitimacy, the validity of the debt, and the accuracy of the amount they’re pursuing.

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What is Great Lakes Collection Agency?

Great Lakes Collection Agency operates as a third-party debt collection agency in Manistee, Michigan, specializing in recovering outstanding debts for various creditors. When Great Lakes Collection Agency appears on your credit report, it indicates their efforts to collect overdue debts.

Is Great Lakes Collection Agency a scam and who do they collect for?

Great Lakes Collection Agency is a legitimate debt collection agency. They specialize in collecting various types of debts for different businesses. While they are a real company, it’s important to note that their reports to credit bureaus may not always be accurate, and you might not owe the debt they are contacting you about.

Does Great Lakes Collection Agency hurt your credit report?

Having Great Lakes Collection Agency on your credit report can significantly harm your credit score. It indicates that you have past-due debts handed over to collections, reflecting a history of financial difficulty or non-payment. Additionally, it adds a negative entry to your credit history, affecting your payment history, a critical component of your credit score. Collections can remain on your credit report for up to seven years, continually impacting your score during that period.

Steps to remove Great Lakes Collection Agency from your credit report

1. Verify the debt

Before taking any action, verify that the debt belongs to you and that the amount is accurate. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to request a debt validation letter from Great Lakes Collection Agency. This letter should include details about the debt, such as the original creditor, the amount owed, and any relevant account information.

2. Dispute inaccurate information

If you find any inaccuracies in the debt validation letter or your credit report, you can dispute the information with the credit bureaus. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to challenge any incorrect or unverifiable information on your credit report. Submit a dispute to the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) with supporting documentation to prove the errors.

3. Negotiate a pay-for-delete agreement

A pay-for-delete agreement involves negotiating with Great Lakes Collection Agency to remove the collections account from your credit report in exchange for payment. While not all debt collectors agree to this, it is worth attempting. Ensure you get the agreement in writing before making any payments.

4. Seek professional help

If you are struggling to manage the dispute process or negotiate with Great Lakes Collection Agency, consider seeking help from a credit repair company. These professionals can analyze your credit report, identify errors, and negotiate with creditors on your behalf.

Pro tip

Dispute any inaccuracies in writing and send your dispute to the credit bureaus via certified mail to ensure it is tracked and received.

How to file a complaint against Great Lakes Collection Agency

Request all correspondence in writing

Ensure a documented record of communications with Great Lakes Collection Agency by requesting written correspondence. Contact Great Lakes Collection Agency at the following address:
Great Lakes Collection Agency Contact Information:
PO Box 638, 323 River Street,
Manistee, MI 49660
Phone: +1 (800)-442-9895
Email: collect2@glcaaro.com
Website: https://www.greatlakescollections.com/
If you believe Great Lakes Collection Agency has violated your rights under the FDCPA or FCRA, you have the option to file a complaint. Here’s how:

Filing a complaint

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): File a complaint online here or by calling 1-855-411-2372.
  2. State’s Attorney General: You can also file a complaint with your state’s Attorney General’s office. Contact information for your state’s Attorney General can typically be found on their official website. To find your specific state regulator, check here: Consumer Finance.
  3. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): File a complaint online here.

Documenting your complaint

When filing a complaint, it’s important to provide as much detail as possible. Include the name of the debt collector, the date and time of the alleged violation, and any supporting documentation such as letters, emails, or phone records. This information will help the authorities investigate your complaint more effectively.

Following up on your complaint

After filing your complaint, follow up with the relevant agency to ensure that your case is being handled. Keep records of all communications and updates related to your complaint. If you do not receive a satisfactory resolution, you may need to consult with a consumer protection attorney to explore further legal action.
Understanding your credit history is crucial when dealing with debt collectors. It’s essential to regularly check your credit report and know your credit score to spot any inaccuracies early and address them promptly.

What are your rights when dealing with Great Lakes Collection Agency?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that governs how debt collectors like Great Lakes Collection Agency can legally interact with consumers. It provides consumers with certain rights and protections against unfair, deceptive, and abusive debt collection practices.
  • Protection from harassment: Debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in harassing behavior, such as repeatedly calling you, using obscene language, or making threats of violence.
  • Verification of debts: If you dispute a debt, the debt collector must provide verification of the debt, including the amount owed and the name of the original creditor. You have the right to request this information in writing within 30 days of receiving the initial communication from the debt collector.
  • Cease and desist: You can request that the debt collector stop contacting you about the debt. Once you make this request in writing, they are legally required to cease communication, except to inform you of specific actions they may take, such as filing a lawsuit.
  • Accuracy in reporting: Debt collectors must accurately report information about the debt to credit reporting agencies. If you believe there is inaccurate information on your credit report, you have the right to dispute it.
  • Legal recourse: If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you have the right to take legal action against them. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or pursue a lawsuit in state or federal court.
You can find more information at the Federal Trade Commission.

Pro tip

You can request that a debt collector stop contacting you under the FDCPA. This request does not mean you are free from owing the debt or that the company can’t take legal action against you, but it does alleviate the stress of constant calls.

Understanding your credit report

Why understanding your credit report is important

It is crucial to regularly review your credit report to ensure all the information is accurate. This includes checking for any accounts reported by Great Lakes Collection Agency. You can obtain a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Steps to dispute a debt with Great Lakes Collection Agency

When disputing a debt with Great Lakes Collection Agency, follow these steps:
  1. Request a debt validation letter to verify the debt details.
  2. Gather evidence supporting your dispute, such as payment records or correspondence.
  3. Submit a written dispute to Great Lakes Collection Agency and the credit bureaus, including all supporting documentation.
  4. Follow up to ensure your dispute is being processed and resolved.

How to prevent future debt collections

To avoid future debt collection issues, consider the following tips:
  • Pay your bills on time and manage your debts responsibly.
  • Monitor your credit report regularly for any inaccuracies or signs of identity theft.
  • Create a budget to keep track of your income and expenses, ensuring you live within your means.

Tips for dealing with debt collectors like Great Lakes Collection Agency

When dealing with debt collectors, it’s essential to know your rights and how to protect yourself. Here are some tips:
  • Stay calm and polite: Maintain a calm and polite demeanor during all communications. This can help prevent escalation and keep the situation manageable.
  • Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with the FDCPA and your state’s debt collection laws. This knowledge can empower you to stand up against unfair practices.
  • Keep records: Document all interactions with debt collectors, including dates, times, and the nature of the communication. This can be crucial if you need to dispute the debt or file a complaint.

Pro tip

Monitor your credit report regularly to catch any inaccuracies early and address them before they become bigger issues.

Conclusion

Dealing with Great Lakes Collection Agency and other debt collectors can be challenging, but understanding your rights and the steps you can take to remove negative marks from your credit report is crucial. By verifying the debt, disputing inaccuracies, and considering options like pay-for-delete agreements, you can work towards improving your credit score. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to credit repair professionals who can guide you through the process and help you achieve a positive resolution.

Frequently asked questions

How long does a collection account stay on my credit report?

A collection account can remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of the first delinquency.

Can paying off a collection account improve my credit score?

Paying off a collection account may improve your credit score slightly, but the negative mark will still remain on your report for up to seven years. Negotiating a pay-for-delete agreement can be more beneficial if you can get the debt collector to agree.

What should I do if Great Lakes Collection Agency violates my rights?

If you believe that Great Lakes Collection Agency has violated your rights under the FDCPA or FCRA, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or seek legal advice to explore your options for recourse.

Can I remove a collection account by disputing it?

Yes, if the information on the collection account is inaccurate, unverifiable, or fraudulent, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus to have it removed from your credit report.

How can I prevent future collection accounts on my credit report?

To prevent future collection accounts, manage your debts responsibly, make timely payments, and monitor your credit report regularly for any inaccuracies or signs of identity theft.

Can Great Lakes Collection Agency sue me?

Yes, Great Lakes Collection Agency can sue you to collect a debt. If you receive a court summons, it’s important to respond and attend the court hearing to avoid a default judgment against you.

What happens if I ignore Great Lakes Collection Agency?

If you ignore Great Lakes Collection Agency, they may continue to contact you, report the debt to credit bureaus, and potentially file a lawsuit to collect the debt. Ignoring the situation can lead to further negative impacts on your credit score and financial health.

Can Great Lakes Collection Agency garnish my wages?

Great Lakes Collection Agency can only garnish your wages if they have obtained a court judgment against you. If they win the lawsuit, they can take steps to garnish your wages to collect the debt.

How do I know if a debt collection call is legitimate?

To verify if a debt collection call is legitimate, ask the caller for their name, the company’s name, address, phone number, and professional license number. You can also request a written debt validation letter to confirm the legitimacy of the debt and the collector.

What is a debt validation letter?

A debt validation letter is a document that provides details about a debt, including the original creditor, the amount owed, and any relevant account information. You have the right to request this letter from Great Lakes Collection Agency under the FDCPA to verify the debt’s accuracy.

Key takeaways

  • Great Lakes Collection Agency is a legitimate debt collection agency that can significantly impact your credit score.
  • You have the right to request debt validation and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit report.
  • Negotiating a pay-for-delete agreement can potentially remove the negative mark from your credit report.
  • Seek professional help if you need assistance managing disputes or negotiating with debt collectors.
  • Understanding your rights under the FDCPA and FCRA can help you protect yourself from unfair collection practices.

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