How to Handle Collections with Alltran (formerly United Recovery Systems)
Few months behind on a Citibank Home Depot card. My account was sent to United Recovery Systems (now called Alltran). I haven't made any actions besides calling Alltran who told me my card hadn't been charged off.
My total debt is roughly 1900. What should I start with?
How should I proceed dealing with Alltran first?
United Recovery Systems, now Alltran, is one of the larger contingency debt collectors in the country. My experiences dealing with them have all been consistently professional. The feedback I get from consumers we coach to negotiate and settle with Alltran paints them as easy to communicate with.
United Recovery has had a handful of collection companies under their management or brand. JC Christensen and Associates (JCC) and Enterprise Recovery Systems (ERS), are good sized collection companies. There are a few more smaller companies too, and now they have all been co-branded under Alltran.
Between URS and the other brands they manage, they collect unpaid credit cards, personal loans, student loans and other debts.
Credit Card Collections with United Recovery Systems.
Most of the unpaid credit card bills URS collects will be charge off debts. These are accounts that banks have made early efforts to turn around or collect on, but could not. Banks typically wait until they charge off your account before sending the debt to United Recovery to see what they can collect.
But just as happened in your situation, banks can also place accounts with debt collectors like URS prior to charge off, and I am seeing more of that these days with Chase, and of course Citibank (AMEX has long had this practice).
How long it has been since you last made a payment to your bank can make a big difference in the type of settlement you can negotiate with United Recovery and other collectors.
Pre-charge off accounts cannot usually be settled with payments that exceed a 94 day time period. That is regulatory guidance the banks have to follow when settling for less on accounts not charged off. The collection agency has no influence on that. This payment limitation may not be an obstacle on accounts URS is collecting that have been charged off.
I am not a big fan of settling for less with monthly payments when it can be avoided, but it is a helpful tool to put a deal together you can afford, or can enable you to settle more than one debt at a time.
Negotiating and Settling with Alltran (URS)
Because your account has not yet charged off, it could mean you are unable to optimize your savings with Alltran. There are exceptions, but my experience is largely that charged off accounts can be approved for lower settlement offers. It is possible to see a great savings outcome with a debt collector like Alltran prior to credit card charge off, but I just find it more likely after your account is charged off by your lender.
Here are some reasons why you may see a great settlement outcome with Alltran, no matter how long it has been since you last paid your credit card:
- Your hardship meets a certain criteria.
- You are not viewed as a good collection target.
- The creditor softened their collection goals.
- Alltran needs to meet some goals.
Those are elements that can go into any collection agency negotiations.
Is your current inability to pay on this and other debts related to an ongoing and long term hardship? I find these scenarios a bit easier to negotiate when my talking points will be the same 6 months from now.
If you are not paying on other unsecured debts, and that fact appears on your credit reports, you are often viewed as a lower collection target. This can be offset by other accounts being kept current, like a mortgage or car payments, and certainly is the case when you are making timely payments to other credit cards.
Check out this brief video I put up about negotiating settlements with URS or any of the Alltran companies.
Your Account May Change Hands
Banks that send accounts to companies like Alltran may have some hard floors to what they will accept as a settlement. These floors are pretty sticky in my experience. You can sometimes overcome this with time, but that can often lead to Alltran losing your account, which may mean settling for a better savings with a different collection agency, or it could mean your account is placed in a more aggressive collection bucket, and a lower savings later.
Alltran has there own collection goals to meet. That can mean you could see a better settlement savings at the end of the calendar month, or nearer the end of collection placement (when Alltran will have to give the account back to Citi). You can ask a debt collector at Alltran how long they will have the account for. You could say something like:
I have been unable to pay on my account because I had my hours cut. I cannot commit to any amount of monthly payments, but if I can get an extra shift, or am able to borrow money from my brother, I might be able to call you back and get this worked out. I read an article on line that says debt collectors can change from one month to the next. How long can I call this number and reach you about my debt?
Collection accounts do not regularly change hands from month to month after charge off, but if your account is say, 5 weeks from charge off and Citi yanks your account from Alltran at that time to send to a different agency, it can appear that way.
My following questions are as much for you to answer in the comments below, as they are for anyone wanting to resolve a debt that Alltran is collecting.
How long has it been since you last made a payment on this account?
Do you have other accounts in collection, or that are a few months late, showing on your credit reports?
How many, and what types of accounts, are showing up as current on your credit?
What caused the inability to keep current on your debt(s), and for how long do you anticipate that situation to persist?
How much money can you raise in a lump sum in order to settle the account?
Anyone evaluating their options to resolve a debt with Alltran is welcome to post in the comments below for feedback. You can also call and speak with me about your situation at 800-939-8357, choose option 2.