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Get International Recovery Associates off your credit report

Last updated 07/03/2024 by

Silas Bamigbola

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Fact checked by

Summary:
International Recovery Associates is a debt collection agency that can significantly impact your credit score. This article explores how they operate, the effects on your credit report, and strategies to handle their collection attempts. Learn about your rights, potential pitfalls, and how to effectively dispute or settle debts with International Recovery Associates.
Dealing with debt collectors can be a stressful experience, especially when it impacts your credit score. International Recovery Associates (IRA) is one such agency that many people encounter. Understanding who they are, how they operate, and the best strategies for managing your debt with them is crucial. This comprehensive guide will provide insights into International Recovery Associates and offer actionable steps to handle their collection efforts effectively.

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Who is International Recovery Associates?

Background and operations

International Recovery Associates, Inc. is a debt collection agency based in Nesconset, New York. They purchase debt from original creditors, often at a fraction of the original amount. These debts may include credit card debts, loans, medical bills, and other financial obligations that the original creditor has given up on collecting.
Once they acquire the debt, International Recovery Associates takes over the responsibility of collecting the owed amount. They may contact you via mail, phone, or even email, demanding payment. It’s important to know your rights and how to deal with these communications effectively.

How they affect your credit score

When International Recovery Associates reports a collection account on your credit report, it can significantly damage your credit score. A collections account is a derogatory mark that indicates you have defaulted on a debt. This can lower your score and hinder your ability to secure loans, credit cards, or other financial products.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a collections account can remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the date of first delinquency. However, there are ways to mitigate this impact and potentially remove the account from your report.

Dealing with International Recovery Associates

Communicating with debt collectors

When you receive communication from International Recovery Associates, it’s essential to handle it properly. Here are some steps to consider:
  • Stay calm and professional: Keep your interactions calm and professional, whether it’s over the phone or in writing.
  • Request verification: Ask for verification of the debt to ensure it’s legitimate and belongs to you.
  • Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to understand your rights and protections.

Verifying the debt

Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request debt verification. This process requires International Recovery Associates to provide documentation proving the debt is yours. If they cannot provide this verification, they must cease collection efforts.
To request verification, send a written letter to International Recovery Associates within 30 days of their first contact. Make sure to send it via certified mail with a return receipt to have proof of your request.

Removing International Recovery Associates from your credit report

Disputing inaccurate information

If you find any inaccuracies in the debt reported by International Recovery Associates, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus. According to a study by the U.S. PIRGs, 79% of credit reports contain mistakes or serious errors. Disputing inaccurate information can lead to the removal of the collections account.
Submit a dispute to the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) with supporting documentation. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your claim and respond.

Negotiating a settlement

Another option is to negotiate a settlement with International Recovery Associates. While this may not remove the account from your credit report, it can change the status to “settled” or “paid,” which may be viewed more favorably by future lenders.
When negotiating a settlement, consider requesting a “pay for delete” agreement. This means you agree to pay a portion of the debt in exchange for International Recovery Associates removing the account from your credit report. Note that not all debt collectors will agree to this, but it’s worth asking.

Request all correspondence in writing

To ensure you have a documented record of all communications with International Recovery Associates, it’s important to request that all correspondence be in writing. This can help you keep track of any agreements, payments, or disputes. Here’s how you can contact them:
International Recovery Associates contact information
195 Smithtown Blvd, Nesconset, NY 11767
+1 631-361-3500
info@iraweb.com

How to file a complaint against International Recovery Associates

If you believe International Recovery Associates has violated your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or engaged in unethical practices, you can file a complaint. Here’s how to do it:
  • Contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): You can file a complaint online at the CFPB website or call them at +1 855-411-2372.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): File a complaint online at the FTC website or call +1 877-382-4357.
  • Contact your state attorney general: Each state has an Attorney General’s office that handles consumer complaints. Visit your state’s Attorney General’s website for more information.

Steps to take if you are sued by International Recovery Associates

If International Recovery Associates decides to sue you for the debt, it’s important to respond promptly and appropriately. Here are the steps you should take:
  • Do not ignore the lawsuit: Ignoring a lawsuit can lead to a default judgment against you, which can result in wage garnishment or bank account levies.
  • Consult an attorney: Seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in debt collection cases. They can help you understand your options and represent you in court.
  • Gather documentation: Collect all relevant documentation, including any correspondence with International Recovery Associates and proof of payments.

Understanding your rights under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides several protections for consumers dealing with debt collectors. Here are some key rights you should be aware of:
  • Right to be free from harassment:Debt collectors cannot harass, oppress, or abuse you.
  • Right to dispute the debt: You can dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days of being contacted by the debt collector.
  • Right to request debt verification:Debt collectors must provide written verification of the debt if requested.

Alternatives to paying off debt with International Recovery Associates

If you are unable to pay the debt owed to International Recovery Associates, consider these alternatives:
  • Debt settlement: Negotiate with International Recovery Associates to settle the debt for less than the full amount owed.
  • Debt management plan: Work with a credit counseling agency to create a debt management plan that consolidates your debts and reduces interest rates.
  • Bankruptcy: As a last resort, filing for bankruptcy can discharge or restructure your debts, providing a fresh start.

Frequently asked questions

What are my rights when dealing with International Recovery Associates?

You have several rights under the FDCPA when dealing with debt collectors like International Recovery Associates:
  • The right to request debt verification
  • The right to dispute inaccurate information
  • The right to be free from harassment and abusive practices

Should I pay for delete with International Recovery Associates?

Paying for delete can be an effective strategy, but it’s not always guaranteed. This agreement involves paying the debt collector to remove the collection account from your credit report. However, many collectors, including International Recovery Associates, may not agree to this arrangement.

Can International Recovery Associates sue me or garnish my wages?

While it’s possible for International Recovery Associates to sue you or garnish your wages, it’s relatively uncommon. Most debt collectors prefer to settle the debt without going to court. However, if they do pursue legal action, there are state and federal laws that provide exemptions and protections for your wages and bank accounts.

What should I do if International Recovery Associates contacts me?

If you are contacted by International Recovery Associates, it’s important to handle the situation calmly and professionally. Request debt verification, review all communications carefully, and consider seeking advice from a consumer rights attorney if necessary.

Key takeaways

  • International Recovery Associates is a legitimate debt collection agency based in Nesconset, New York.
  • Communicating professionally and requesting written correspondence can help manage interactions with debt collectors effectively.
  • Understanding and exercising your rights under the FDCPA can protect you from unfair debt collection practices.
  • Negotiating settlements or disputing inaccurate information can help mitigate the impact of collections on your credit report.

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