Ad Astra is a certified debt collection agency that has been in operation since 2007, with headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.
If you are familiar with the credit and lending world, or have dealt withcredit repair companies in Austin, Texas, then you have probably heard of Ad Astra Recovery Services. Ad Astra is a certified debt collection agency that has been in operation since 2007, with headquarters in Wichita, Kansas.
In some cases, the agency can appear on one’s credit report under several different names, which include:
Ad Astra Collections
Ad Astra Inc.
Ad Astra Company
Ad Astra Recovery Serv.
Ad Astra Recovery
According to information available on its website, the agency offers an easy outsourcing service with quality-oriented employees. Aside from that, AARS doesn’t provide too many specifics regarding the other kinds of services it provides. However, one can conclude that it is an agency that deals with in-house and third-party debt collection via speedy cash and check recovery services.
Many people often want to know if debt collectors take you to court. When it comes to AARS, the agency is known to make collections for various industries, it most notably does so on cash advance debts and payday loans.
It is fair to say that being contacted by a collections agency can be rather frustrating. Having accounts that have gone to collections can also damage your credit score, which can be more detrimental than the agency’s insistent calls and letters.
The way it works is that the three primary credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, calculate one’s FICO credit score. It is this score that a majority of loan providers use to assess your reliability.
When an AARS collection is added to an individual’s credit report, there are a few things you should do and others you shouldn’t if you hope to get it removed. For instance, you should know what happens if you go over your credit limit.
Some people do not know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives individuals thirty days to get their debt validated. According to the law, debt collectors cannot seek repayment without offering evidence that you indeed owe the funds. You can dispute your debt with AARS by sending a validation letter to the mailing address within thirty days. If the agency does not have any documentation linking you to the debt, it will be required to drop it and cease contacting you.
Another way you can remove AARS from your credit report is to prove that the information on the account is fraudulent, incorrect, or has errors and that you cannot fix the problem within the appropriate amount of time. Based on reports and studies done by the U.S. PIRGS, approximately 79% of people’s credit reports contain serious errors or mistakes. In some cases, the situation can be so bad that you will have to seek the services of specialists who can remedy such accounts. A credit repair agency is a great option for these scenarios, as it can be time-consuming and frustrating to do it yourself.
As long as there’s been debt, there have been debt collectors; the two go hand in hand. Debt is such an institutionalized part of most ancient and modern societies, that debt slavery–a practice whereby debt was passed from generation to generation–has often been an accepted component of this institution.
Debt collection has historically been an aggressive, coercive business; before the abolition of debtor’s prison in the early 1800's, consequences for failing to pay a debt were often personally catastrophic.
Reasons for not paying a debt don’t solely fall on negligence. Other circumstances include financial hardship, disputes with the debt, unreasonable expectations in interest and penalties, and failing health.
Consideration of the circumstances by which debt has accrued has contributed to a relaxation of laws against debtors over the past century and affords them protection against negative and aggressive debt collection practices by creditors and third party debt collection agencies. In September of 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices. This law was passed in order to give the consumer protection from what was up to this point, aggressive practices by debt collectors.
Since that law was passed, the nature by which debt collection has changed for the benefit of the consumer. However, from time to time, agencies violate the law by forcing consumers to seek litigation against these agencies to protect their rights.
As mentioned earlier, Ad Astra Recovery Services (AARS) may be one of these third-party collection agencies. Ad Astra works as a collection agency, check recovery service, debt repayment planner, and payday loan service provider according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
In the past three years, both the BBB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have received over 420 and 380 complaints, respectively, about suspected below board practices initiated by Ad Astra (AARS). At least thirteen cases of federal civil litigation have been recorded against Ad Astra Recovery Services for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
An example of an alleged violation against Ad Astra can be seen in a 2013 case against it brought by a consumer in Illinois. According to the consumer, Ad Astra verbally abused and practiced intimidation in order to get the consumer to pay an outstanding payday loan that he insisted he never took in the first place. The case was later settled between the consumer and Ad Astra.
Many of those who have complained about Ad Astra, and probably even more who haven’t lodged formal complaints may have qualified to bring litigation against AARS for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors to engage in the following practices:
Contacting consumers outside of the hours 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM over the phone, and any time inconvenient to consumers due to work schedules, family schedules, etc.
Failure to cease communication after the consumer has requested in writing that the collector engage in no further communication or has refused to pay the debts (with exception for notification of termination of collection efforts, or intention to file a lawsuit against the debtor)
Calling the consumer repeatedly or engaging a consumer in a phone conversation repeatedly or continuously with the intention of annoying the consumer, abusing, or harassing them
Talking to consumers at their place of employment, including telephone conversations, after the employer has requested it to be stopped
Contacting a consumer who is knowingly being represented by a lawyer
Communicating with a consumer after they request validation and before the validation has been sent
Misrepresenting the debt or practicing deception against the consumer
Publishing the name and address of the consumer
Pursuing collection amounts that are unjustified
Threatening the consumer with legal action or arrest
Using abusive or profane language
Sharing consumer debt information with third parties
Using methods to communicate with the consumer that would personally embarrass them, such as displaying embarrassing language on the outside of a mailed envelope
Sending incorrect, intentionally false information to a credit bureau for the purposes of misrepresentation on the credit report
The FDCPA also requires creditors and debt collectors to adhere to the following requirements:
Debt collectors must identify themselves as such and notify the consumer that they are attempting to collect a debt in every instance of communication
The debt collector must provide the name and address of the creditor of origin
The debt collector must inform the customer that they have the right to dispute the debt
If the consumer sends in a request for verification or they dispute the debt, the collector must send the consumer the requested information
If the collector files a lawsuit, it must be done in a proper venue such as the consumer’s residence or place in which the debt was initiated
The above requirements are just that–requirements. Violations of one or more of these requirements can be prosecuted under the law. Debt collectors like Ad Astra may also violate another law, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, as well, if the collector sends robocalls to a consumer’s cell phone without prior consent by that individual.
Suspected violations of either or both the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is prosecutable. Consumers do have the right to pursue litigation against debt collectors who have engaged in unfair and unlawful practices in order to collect a debt.
If you receive communication from Ad Astra or other debt collection agencies, know your rights. If you feel the company may be engaging in measures that violate your rights, let it know that. If it continues, you have the right to lodge your complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and even pursue litigation. The Better Business Bureau has a publicly viewable website that shares all complaints against a business with the rest of the world.
Complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website against Ad Astra include not honoring an agreed upon settlement, not honoring a Pay For Delete agreement, inputting incorrect information on a credit report, failure to provide proper debt validation, lying about debt payoff conditions, and submitting a false collection claim, among others.
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