Has your credit score been affected by an AFNI Collections account listed on your credit report?
Or have you just received a phone call or a letter in the mail from the AFNI collection agency?
Dealing with a collections agency can be highly stressful, but it’s essential to keep a cool head and not fall prey to pressure and scare tactics.
Being contacted by an overdue payment does not necessarily mean that you owe anyone money. Collections agencies often make mistakes.
Knowing your rights is essential and taking the correct steps is crucial to limiting the potential damage to your credit score.
About AFNI Collections
The AFNI Inc collection agency is a long-standing company operating since 1936.
AFNI Inc. began its operations as the H.A. Slaven’s Collection Bureau in Bloomington, Illinois, and has been going strong ever since.
After a change in ownership, they officially changed their name in 1976 to Anderson Financial Network Inc. (aka AFNI).
While AFNI does perform collections, they also assist their clients on other matters such as insurance subrogation and selling their products and services.
Their focus is on the telecommunications, cable, satellite, insurance, and healthcare sectors.
They are currently rated B+ with the Better Business Bureau and have been accredited since 2007. AFNI Inc has, however, had over 480 complaints closed in the three years.
They have also acquired a history of 3824 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Why Is AFNI Collections On My Credit Report?
If you have been contacted by AFNI Collections or noticed Anderson Financial Network Inc. on your credit reports, the agency is likely attempting to collect debts for one of their clients.
Debts are often sold to collection agencies which in turn set out to recover those funds.
While you may not recognize the name AFNI Inc., they represent large companies like Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, to name a few, which may be where the debt originates.
But first, we need to validate the debt!
When a creditor considers an account as a loss, it’s regarded as a charge-off. The creditor often sells this debt to a collection agency.
What Measures Can AFNI Collections Take?
Just as you have rights, so do creditors and debt collectors.
By law, AFNI Inc. can contact you by phone or by sending letters unless the debt gets invalidated.
If you take the necessary steps, you can, however, restrict their communication to writhing.
The AFNI debt collection agency can also pursue you in court in the hopes of eventually garnishing your wages if you do not pay a valid debt (should a judgment be made against you).
When facing a lawsuit, you should always respond, whether by yourself or by a lawyer.
However, if the collections process has progressed to the point of a lawsuit, we recommend hiring a lawyer to better protect yourself.
What To Do When AFNI Collections Contacts You
After receiving a phone call from Anderson Financial Network or a letter in the mail, it can be highly tempting to contact them to discuss the matter immediately.
Nobody likes to be contacted for a charge-off, especially if the debt is not theirs.
However, it is crucial to follow specific steps to avoid claiming the debt is your own and improve your chances of getting the collection removed from your credit reports.
1. Ask for Written Communication Only
When dealing with a collections agency, the first step is to ensure that all communication will be done via certified mail.
By dealing with AFNI Inc. exclusively by mail, you’ve assured a complete and proper paper trail for your records.
This paper trail can make the difference between the agency fulfilling their end of an agreement or not.
But remember to keep a copy of each letter for yourself, your mailing receipts, and all correspondence received in return.
Start by drafting a letter to AFNI Collections, advising them of your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and requesting all future communications in writing.
Once your letter is received, you should not receive any future calls from AFNI Inc. If they do call you again, don’t be shy to remind the AFNI agent that your letter has already been delivered and that they should not be calling you.
2. Validate The Debt
Now that you have the communication part set up, you want to make sure AFNI collections can prove the debt belongs to you.
This step is essential as it places the burden on them to establish whether the debt rightfully belongs to you.
Make sure that you submit your debt validation letter within 30 (by certified mail) after first being contacted by AFNI Debt Collections.
By requesting a debt validation, you can also confirm if the debt is still active and not beyond the statute of limitations.
In the event the debt is confirmed as your own, the agency must then prove they are authorized by the original creditor to pursue the debt.
3. Negotiate Payment Terms
Assuming the debt is valid (or you missed the deadline to validate the debt) and would now like to make a payment to settle the matter, you should start by negotiating with AFNI Inc.
Essentially, you want to negotiate a payment in exchange for the agency removing any negative items from your credit reports.
This agreement can either be for the full amount or a reduced amount of the debt. You can start by offering to pay about a third of the debt and go from there.
If you prefer to handle the negotiations by phone, you can do so; however, remember not to make any payments until you receive the written agreement in the mail.
This agreement should stipulate the agreed-upon terms; that AFNI Collections will consider your payment as paid in full and will remove all negative entries previously reported to the credit bureaus.
For the best traceability, try and make your payment by check.
It is crucial to remember that by paying on a debt, you reset the statute of limitations. This makes you even more liable to debt collectors.
This is why you want to leverage your payment in exchange for the debt account being closed and removed on your Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian reports.
Think Outside The Box
This interesting myFICO tread found some users having success emailing AFNI’s top executives and CEO, requesting a goodwill removal from their credit reports.
We cannot recommend their approach of paying off the debt prior to getting a written agreement.
However, contacting AFNI’s executives during the negotiation stage in the hopes of striking a deal in exchange for your payment could be worth a try.
Complaints Against ANFI Collections
There are many complaints against AFNI Inc; they are accused of making false statements and representations. They are further accused of trying to collect on the debts that are not owed.
The BBB has also posted an alert regarding AFNI.
They allegedly violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to report the accurate date for first delinquencies to customer reporting agencies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and AFNI Inc. have since entered into a consent order regarding this violation, and AFNI is taking steps to address the matter.
Help With Your Credit Repair
If you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand or simply prefer to let the experts handle it all, you can seek the help of a credit repair company.
A company like Credit Saint specializes in credit restoration and can handle the matter for you promptly and efficiently
AFNI Collections Contact Information
- AFNI Collections address (mail your payment): Afini Inc., PO Box 3097, Bloomington, IL, 61702-3427
- Headquarters address: 1310 Martin Luther King Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701-1465
- AFNI phone number: Toll-Free 866-352-0479
- AFNI fax number: No fax number available
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.afnicollections.com
Whether you are dealing with AFNI Inc or any other debt collectors, it is crucial to remember the basics.
Remember to request all communication in writing and that they validate the debt.
You must also ensure the debt collector is authorized to be contacting you on behalf of the creditor and finally negotiate a pay-for-delete if invalidating the debt turns out unsuccessful.
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About the author
Clara is the founder of Credit Rise Up, an entrepreneur, personal finance expert, and credit repair enthusiast. She’s committed to helping her readers get on the right track and take actionable steps towards improving their credit by using the experience that allowed her to join The 800 Club. Find out more.