Worried that Commonwealth Financial Systems isn’t legitimate? You’re not alone—many Americans like you are contacted by this company every year asking for debt repayments. Fortunately, you have tools at your disposal to inquire further about this debt and ensure that you actually owe it.
Follow along below and use our templates to get started. Act fast, you only have a certain amount of time to send these crucial inquiries.
Table of Contents
- What is Commonwealth Financial?
- Who does Commonwealth Financial collect for?
- Is Commonwealth Financial a scam?
- How to stop Commonwealth Financial Systems from calling you
- How to remove Commonwealth Financial Systems from your credit report
- How to deal with Commonwealth Financial Systems harassment
- Should you pay Commonwealth Financial Systems?
What is Commonwealth Financial?
Commonwealth Financial Systems is a Pennsylvania-based debt collection agency founded in 2001. The company primarily services Northeastern Pennsylvania, but they also operate nationwide. 1
Commonwealth Financial offers the following services: 2
- First-party outsourcing
- Check collections
- Third-party collections
- Skip tracing
- Billing services
- On-site collections
- Credit bureau reporting
Who does Commonwealth Financial collect for?
Commonwealth Financial collects debts on behalf of public and private institutions in various industries, including the following: 1
- Debt purchasers
- Financial service companies
- Retail companies
- Commercial organizations
- Government agencies
- Healthcare providers
Is Commonwealth Financial a scam?
No, Commonwealth Financial isn’t a scam. They’re a legitimate debt collection agency and registered member of the American Collectors Association. The company’s CEO and director of operations are both members of the Mid-Atlantic Collectors Association.
Although Commonwealth Financial is legitimate, they (like many collection agencies) have been involved in a certain amount of controversy. The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and they received 440 complaints reported to the BBB between December 2019 and December 2021. 3
It’s also important to note that even though Commonwealth Financial isn’t a scam, fraudsters may still use their name to try to get payments from you. Never pay a debt collector before confirming the amount you owe (and whether you have any debt in the first place).
VIDEO: Commonwealth Financial Systems in 2 Minutes—Fix Your Credit Report & Know Your Rights
How to stop Commonwealth Financial Systems from calling you
Commonwealth Financial Systems will call, email, or mail you if they believe you have an unsettled debt. The reason debt collectors like these are calling you is simple—they want to pressure you into paying up.
Unfortunately, Commonwealth Financial Systems representatives will keep trying to contact you unless you pay the debt, prove that it doesn’t belong to you, or reach an agreement with them (or with your original creditor).
Don’t ignore debt collectors like Commonwealth Financial Systems—in the end, you may get sued, and you may even have your wages garnished. It’s smarter to engage with them tactically to ensure you don’t have to pay, or that you get the best deal you can.
To begin, you can get Commonwealth Financial Systems to stop calling you—at least temporarily—by sending them something called a debt verification letter.
Send a debt verification letter
A debt verification letter is a formal request that obligates a debt collector to provide further evidence of a debt. You must send it within 30 days of them first contacting you. Note that Commonwealth Financial Systems should have sent you a debt validation letter proving you owe the debt first, as it’s required by law.
Benefits of sending a debt verification letter
Sending a debt verification letter has three benefits:
- You’ll prevent Commonwealth Financial Systems from calling you during this period: When you send a debt verification letter, third-party debt collection agencies like Commonwealth Financial Systems are required by law to stop contacting you until they can provide evidence that you actually owe the debt they’re trying to collect. 4
- You’ll get more information about the debt: You should never pay a debt that you don’t recognize. Forcing Commonwealth Financial Systems to provide documentation will help you determine whether this is a legitimate debt that you actually need to pay. It’s an easy way of figuring out if the debt collector is a scam agency.
- You may successfully disown the debt: If Commonwealth Financial Systems can’t provide more information about the debt (which is frequently the case), then they have no choice but to delete it from your records.
Beware the statute of limitations
The verification materials that you receive may show that your debt has passed the statute of limitations. This is a legal limit that means the debt is too old for Commonwealth Financial Systems to sue you over, at which point it’s known as time-barred debt.
If this is the case, you can send Commonwealth Financial Systems a letter telling them to stop contacting you. Legally, they’ll have to abide by that.
The statute of limitations on most debts is between 3 and 6 years, but the exact amount of time depends on several factors, including the state you live in. The best approach is to check your state attorney general’s website and email their office if the information you’re looking for isn’t available online.
How to remove Commonwealth Financial Systems from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of Commonwealth Financial Systems debt, there are three ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt with all three credit bureaus
If you think that the debt associated with Commonwealth Financial Systems on your credit report is illegitimate (e.g., if you paid it on time or it belongs to somebody else), dispute the item on your credit report. You can also dispute debts that are older than 7 years (measured from the date of your first missed payment)—by law, they’re supposed to fall off your credit report by then.
To dispute a debt for free, send a credit dispute letter to the credit bureaus that are showing Commonwealth Financial Systems on your credit report.
To find out which credit bureaus you need to send the letter to, request your free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) at AnnualCreditReport.com. If they don’t respond to your dispute within 30–45 days, then they’re legally obligated to remove the item in question.
2. Negotiate with Commonwealth Financial Systems
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing Commonwealth Financial Systems from your credit report will be very difficult (although not impossible).
Your best move at this point is to simply pay the debt. Newer credit scoring models ignore paid-off collection accounts, which means paying off your collection will boost your credit score even if you can’t remove the item.
However, when you pay, there are two negotiation strategies you can try as a last-ditch attempt to remove Commonwealth Financial Systems from your credit report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince Commonwealth Financial Systems to remove the negative mark in exchange for paying off the debt. You can open these negotiations by sending them a pay-for-delete letter.
- Goodwill deletion: This is an alternate strategy you can try after paying your debt. Once the account is paid off, you can send Commonwealth Financial Systems a goodwill letter asking them to empathize with your situation and remove the mark from your credit report as an act of kindness. Create your letter using our free goodwill letter template.
3. Wait 7 years for Commonwealth Financial Systems to fall off of your credit report
Unfortunately, most collection accounts will stay on your credit report for 7 years after your first missed payment. Even if you pay off your debt to Commonwealth Financial Systems, it will remain on your credit report.
Learn more about Commonwealth Financial Systems’s impact on your credit score:
- How many points will my credit score increase after I pay off collections?
- How to rebuild your credit after having a debt sent to collections
How to deal with Commonwealth Financial Systems harassment
Unless you tell them not to, Commonwealth Financial Systems will keep contacting you until you pay off or settle your debt. However, there are restrictions on how they can go about doing this.
Restrictions on Commonwealth Financial Systems
When attempting to collect payments from you, Commonwealth Financial Systems must adhere to the regulations specified in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is a federal law that prevents debt collectors from engaging in harassment or predatory behavior, such as lying to you or calling you incessantly or at unreasonable hours.
Commonwealth Financial Systems representatives also need to follow the rules set out in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these laws so that you can take action against Commonwealth Financial Systems if they do something illegal.
Can I sue Commonwealth Financial Systems for harassment?
Yes, you can sue Commonwealth Financial Systems for harassment. If you can show that they’ve violated your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, then you can collect $1,000 in statutory damages for each violation as well as payment for any damages that you’ve sustained as a result of their violation. Commonwealth Financial Systems will also have to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
How to file a complaint against Commonwealth Financial Systems
If a debt collector violates your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or does something illegal, then you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your state attorney general. From there, you’ll be able to find out whether you can also sue Commonwealth Financial Systems.
Another option is filing a complaint on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, but this might not have the outcome you’re hoping for. Bear in mind that the BBB is actually a private organization that has no affiliation with the US government. They’ll forward your complaint to Commonwealth Financial Systems, but there’s no guarantee that the agency will address it in a satisfactory manner. What’s more, if your dispute is sent to an arbitrator, then you may give up your right to take Commonwealth Financial Systems to court.
Should you pay Commonwealth Financial Systems?
You should only pay a collection agency like Commonwealth Financial Systems if you’re certain the debt is yours and you owe it. If you’re struggling financially and can’t afford to pay this debt collector, you can get help from a non-profit credit counselor.