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What is Northland Group?
Founded in 1982, Northland Group, Inc. is a debt collection agency based in Edina, MN. 1 They specialize in collecting debt for student loan providers, debt buyers, and national credit grantors.
In 2008, the company was bought by Mason Wells, a private equity firm in Milwaukee. 2 In 2014, Northland Group, Inc. acquired the collection business Accounts Receivable Management, Inc. (ARM) to offer first-party collections, early-out collections, and recovery solutions. 3
Who does Northland Group collect for?
Northland Group Inc. collects debts on behalf of businesses in a diverse range of industries. In particular, they’ve been known to collect the following types of debt: 3
- Credit card debt
- Retail card debt
- Auto loans
- Demand deposit accounts (DDAs)
- Consumer loans
Radius Global Solutions (the company that Northland Group merged with in 2017) collects debts in an even broader array of industries, including healthcare, utilities, telecommunications, and entertainment/hospitality. 5
Is Northland Group a scam?
No, Northland Group Inc. isn’t a scam. They’re a legitimate debt collection agency, and so is Radius Global Solutions.
You should also be vigilant against scammers posing as Northland Group representatives.. Make sure to verify your debts before you make any payments. To do so, contact Northland Group directly using the contact information below.
VIDEO: Northland Group in 2 Minutes—Fix Your Credit Report & Know Your Rights
How to stop Northland Group from calling you
Northland Group 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, Northland Group 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 Northland Group—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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group from calling you during this period: When you send a debt verification letter, third-party debt collection agencies like Northland Group are required by law to stop contacting you until they can provide evidence that you actually owe the debt they’re trying to collect. 8
- You’ll get more information about the debt: You should never pay a debt that you don’t recognize. Forcing Northland Group 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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group to sue you over, at which point it’s known as time-barred debt.
If this is the case, you can send Northland Group 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 Northland Group from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of Northland Group debt, there are three ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt with all three credit bureaus
If you think that the debt associated with Northland Group 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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing Northland Group 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 Northland Group from your credit report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince Northland Group 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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group 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 Northland Group, it will remain on your credit report.
Learn more about Northland Group’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 Northland Group harassment
Unless you tell them not to, Northland Group 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 Northland Group
When attempting to collect payments from you, Northland Group 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.
Northland Group 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 Northland Group if they do something illegal.
Can I sue Northland Group for harassment?
Yes, you can sue Northland Group 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. Northland Group will also have to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
How to file a complaint against Northland Group
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 Northland Group.
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 Northland Group, 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 Northland Group to court.
Should you pay Northland Group?
You should only pay a collection agency like Northland Group 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.