Table of Contents
- What is Jefferson Capital Systems?
- Who does Jefferson Capital Systems collect for?
- Is Jefferson Capital Systems a scam?
- How to stop Jefferson Capital Systems from calling you
- How to remove Jefferson Capital Systems from your credit report
- How to deal with Jefferson Capital Systems harassment
- Should you pay Jefferson Capital Systems?
What is Jefferson Capital Systems?
Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC is a debt collection agency founded in 2002 and based in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Its parent company is CL Holdings, LLC, and Jefferson Capital Systems acts as the master servicer for JCAP Funding, LLC. 1
In addition to collecting overdue debts, Jefferson Capital Systems also offers payment rewards and processes bankruptcy claims.
All of the following labels can also refer to Jefferson Capital Systems on your credit report:
- Jefferson Capital
Who does Jefferson Capital Systems collect for?
Jefferson Capital Systems collects debts for companies in various industries. For example, a PayPal moderator confirmed in March 2021 that Jefferson Capital Systems purchased a number of PayPal accounts with negative balances and will be collecting on those accounts. If your account was affected by this sale, you should have received an email to the email address associated with your PayPal account. 2
Is Jefferson Capital Systems a scam?
No, Jefferson Capital Systems is not a scam. They’re a legitimate debt collection company certified by the Receivables Management Association. 3 They’re also a member of ACA International and Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc.
Furthermore, Jefferson Capital Systems holds the following accreditations and certifications:
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation
- PCI DSS compliant
- Privacy Shield Framework compliant
All this isn’t to say that Jefferson Capital Systems always adheres to best practices. The company received 1,214 complaints publicly filed on the BBB website between December 2019 and December 2021. 4
What’s more, even though Jefferson Capital Systems is a legitimate company, 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: Jefferson Capital Systems in 2 Minutes—Fix Your Credit Report & Know Your Rights
How to stop Jefferson Capital Systems from calling you
Jefferson Capital 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, Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems from calling you during this period: When you send a debt verification letter, third-party debt collection agencies like Jefferson Capital 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. 5
- You’ll get more information about the debt: You should never pay a debt that you don’t recognize. Forcing Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems to sue you over, at which point it’s known as time-barred debt.
If this is the case, you can send Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of Jefferson Capital Systems debt, there are three ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt with all three credit bureaus
You should immediately dispute the debt if it isn’t yours. 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems from your credit report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems a goodwill letter asking them to empathize with your situation and remove the mark from your credit report as an act of kindness.
3. Wait 7 years for Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems, it will remain on your credit report.
Learn more about Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems harassment
Unless you tell them not to, Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems
When attempting to collect payments from you, Jefferson Capital 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.
Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems if they do something illegal.
Can I sue Jefferson Capital Systems for harassment?
Yes, you can sue Jefferson Capital 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. Jefferson Capital Systems will also have to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
How to file a complaint against Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital 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 Jefferson Capital Systems to court.
Should you pay Jefferson Capital Systems?
You should only pay a collection agency like Jefferson Capital 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.