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What is United Collection Bureau?
United Collection Bureau, Inc. is a debt collection agency that was founded in 1959. 1 The company is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, and they collect debt on behalf of various businesses and institutions in the US. 2
United Collection Bureau provides the following debt collection services: 3 4 5
- Payment arranging
- Early-stage credit contacting
- Legal support
- Pre-registration services
- Insurance follow-up
- Early-out collections
- Reminder calls
United Collection Bureau is sometimes referred to as UCB, meaning that the company may also appear on your credit report under that name. 2
Who does United Collection Bureau collect for?
United Collection Bureau collects commercial and consumer debt on behalf of businesses of all sizes in various industries. Specifically, they collect debt for the following types of companies:
- Healthcare providers
- Financial service providers
- Student loan providers
- Government institutions
- Utility companies
- Telecommunications companies
Is United Collection Bureau a scam?
No, United Collection Bureau isn’t a scam. They’re a legitimate debt collection agency with accreditation by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and membership with ACA International. 2 6
However, that doesn’t mean that UCB will always behave ethically. Like many debt collection agencies, they’ve faced litigation for violating consumer rights. 7 Scammers may also pose as United Collection Bureau to try to collect money from you, so it’s important to always verify any debts you’re contacted about before taking further action. To do so, contact United Collection Bureau directly using the contact information below.
VIDEO: United Collection Bureau in 2 Minutes—Fix Your Credit Report & Know Your Rights
How to stop United Collection Bureau from calling you
United Collection Bureau 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, United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau—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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau from calling you during this period: When you send a debt verification letter, third-party debt collection agencies like United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau to sue you over, at which point it’s known as time-barred debt.
If this is the case, you can send United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of United Collection Bureau debt, there are three ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt with all three credit bureaus
If you think that the debt associated with United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau from your credit report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau, it will remain on your credit report.
Learn more about United Collection Bureau’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 United Collection Bureau harassment
Unless you tell them not to, United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau
When attempting to collect payments from you, United Collection Bureau 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.
United Collection Bureau 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 United Collection Bureau if they do something illegal.
Can I sue United Collection Bureau for harassment?
Yes, you can sue United Collection Bureau 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. United Collection Bureau will also have to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
How to file a complaint against United Collection Bureau
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 United Collection Bureau.
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 United Collection Bureau, 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 United Collection Bureau to court.
Should you pay United Collection Bureau?
You should only pay a collection agency like United Collection Bureau 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.