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How to deal with Collection Calls from ARS National Services

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Betsalel Cohen
UpdatedJul 12, 2024
Key Takeaways:
  • ARS National Services is a real company that collects consumer debts.
  • Validate a debt as soon as you receive notice from Associated Recovery Systems National. Don't let them harass you.
  • Negotiate debts with ARS National Services by yourself or use a professional debt settlement company.

 ARS National Services is a large debt collection agency in the United States. They operate in all 50 states. They have been in business since 1987 and are headquartered in Escondido, California. They act as agents for original creditors and debt buyers, including large banks, credit card companies. 

Just like dealing with any debt collector, be prepared. Verify that you owe the debt, that the company does not harass you, and that you have the right tools to settle your debt.

What is ARS National Services? Are they real or a scam?

Associated Recovery Systems National (ARS) is not a scam. It is a real debt collection agency. They act as a full-service collection company for creditors and aggressively pursue collections for original lenders and debt buyers. They represent clients across various industries, including some of the most reputable financial companies in the country. ARS collects many types of debt, including bank cards, retail credit cards, consumer loans, auto loans, healthcare, loans from marketplace lenders, and student loans. They have over 500 employees and operate in all of the United States. 

ARS National Services information
Address270 W 2nd Ave Escondido, CA 92025
Phone1-(800) 665-3140
Hours of OperationMonday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Saturday - Sunday Closed An online contact form is available

Associated Recovery Systems have offices in Ontario CA, Jacksonville FL, and Houston TX. They use other phone numbers to contact, including (800) 456-5053, (800) 245-2867, (800) 440-6613, (866) 888-9096. They are also known as ARS, Associated Recovery Services, Associated Recovery Services National Inc.  The initials ARS is also used by other debt collection companies, such as Advanced Recovery Systems, Inc.

Do you owe ARS National Services money?

You may not be familiar with ARS until they contact you about a debt. They represent many original and third-party creditors.  Your credit may show the name of the original creditor or debt buyer. Because they do not own the debt, their name may not show up on the credit report except as an inquiry.

However, there are various reasons that you may not owe the original creditor or the current owner of the debt money. For example, the debt may not belong to you, the statute of limitations expired, or you already paid off the debt. Take these steps when ARS contacts you about a debt.

Step 1 - Validate your debt.

Before you proceed with any collection agency, always validate the debt. If ARS National Services contacts you to collect a debt - immediately validate it after the first contact. You have 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly.  The best way to contact them is to send a registered letter. 

ARS is required to validate the debt. If you don’t receive proper validation, then send a notice of insufficient validations. If the collection agency cannot validate the debt, it has no legal basis to collect it.

>>Learn more: Follow the steps described in the debt validation article to preserve your rights under the FDCPA.

Step 2 - Check to see if the Statute of Limitations (SOL) is valid.

After a certain amount of time, state laws protect you against litigation. State laws set the time that a creditor can sue you and collect on the debt. The rules are complex, and special circumstances might lengthen the amount of time a collection agency can sue you. In the case that ARS National Services is an agent for an original creditor, generally, once the SOL expires, it can still pursue a lawsuit. However, if the debt belongs to a third party, then once the SOL expires, it cannot pursue a lawsuit. 

Even if you think that the SOL expired, the creditor may have a different opinion on the expiration date and pursue a lawsuit against you. It is always wise to respond to a lawsuit. In the case of an expired SOL, you must answer any summons and claim an affirmative defense. Be careful not to make a payment and restart the clock on a time-barred debt.

Even if they don't pursue a lawsuit, the debt collection agency has the right to contact and get you to pay or negotiate a settlement. 

>> Learn more: Learn more about states' laws regarding statute of limitations.

Stop ARS National Services from debt collection harassment

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act strictly regulates debt collection agencies like Associated Recovery Systems National. Even so, many consumers complain about overly aggressive and illegal collection tactics.

Here are some of the actions that they are forbidden to do:

  • Use the Telephone to Annoy or Harass
  • Seek Unjustifiable Amounts
  • Contact a relative, friend, or colleague who doesn’t own the debt
  • Call at an unreasonable time such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM
  • Use Abusive or Threatening Language
  • Contact a Consumer at Work
  • Threaten Arrest

If you believe ARS National Systems violated your rights under the FDCPA, consult with a consumer rights attorney in your area. Discuss possibly filing a lawsuit against the collection agency; not only could a lawsuit result in the cancellation of your debt, but you could be awarded damages.

Learn how to negotiate your debt with ARS National Services

ARS is interested in closing accounts as soon as possible. Their website offers online chat services, phone representatives, and an online payment portal. They are interested in you making a payment as soon as possible. However, they do look into other options, and they claim: 

"COVID-19 Update:  We’re here to help. During these uncertain times, ARS National Services remains committed to working with all customers to find the best personalized solution for each unique financial situation.

ARS is interested in closing accounts as quickly as possible. If they represent the original creditor, they will look for a payment plan and hope to get you back on track. However, if you are in financial hardship, it might be possible to negotiate a large settlement, especially if done with a third-party debt buyer who purchases debts for pennies on the dollars. 

It is possible to do negotiations on your own. However, dealing with an aggressive debt collector, especially with aggressive lawyers, is stressful. It takes a significant amount of time and effort. It is helpful if you convince them that you are in a hardship. Here are three tips:

  • Be calm, clear, and convincing.
  • Be persistent.
  • Send a debt negotiation letter.

A professional can reach a negotiated settlement with your debt collection agency quickly. If you are in financial hardship and have a large debt, consider using a professional debt negotiation company. Reputable debt settlement companies have large teams of negotiators, vast databases, and sophisticated tools. They know what range original creditors and collection agencies have accepted for payments in the past.


Complaints and lawsuits about ARS National Services

Similar to other collection agencies, ARS has complaints registered in the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB has complaints about collecting a debt that the consumer didn’t owe, harassment and impersonating an attorney, law enforcement, or government official. The complaints themselves are not proof of illegal or improper activities, although an excellent source to learn about how consumers perceive the interactions and problems they have with the debt collection agencies.

Here is a couple of example of complaints from the CFPB website:Threatened to contact someone or share information improperly - Talked to a third-party about your debt"Today a gentleman named XXXX XXXX working for XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX contact my mother, brother, father, and wife and told them what the debt was for how much i owed and the amount they could pay to take care of it. i never once heard from the company and when my wife informed him that he was breaking the law he decided to hang up and call all of my family members back and leave voicemails demanding i call him due to her committing fraud. i emailed them a cease and desist letter and they continued to reach out to references and give them information after that. any contact they have with me needs to be through physical mail and that is all. we have the voicemails if needed."

False statements or representation - Attempted to collect wrong amount "XX/XX/XXXX of XXXX I've contacted XXXX regarding an old account that I had no knowledge of it and now showing on my credit report and drop my credit score by 68 points during the process of getting a mortgage loan. Since there is an urgency I just wanted to pay it off/ settled, so they directed me to ARS National Services Inc who was handling the account for XXXX . The Balance was {$2300.00} and they agreed on accepting {$1500.00} as settlement in full if paid on that day XX/XX/2020. Attached is the settlement letter they emailed me and how to make the payment and that once paid they will let XXXX know so that they can report to all credit bureau as paid. I made the payment of {$1500.00} the same day ( Confirmation screenshot attached ) as agreed. On XX/XX/XXXX I received a letter from ARS National Services Inc ( Attached letter ) thanking for accepting the settlement of {$1500.00} in full however it was still showing a balance of {$830.00} which was the difference from the total balance. This should had said {$0.00}. On XX/XX/2020 XXXX reported the balance to XXXX as {$830.00} instead of paid in full. This is NOT what was agreed upon and have all the proof. As a result our mortgage approval is on hold until this gets cleared up as paid on all 3 credit bureaus."

Deal with an ARS National Services lawsuit

Although ARS National Services Inc. has the right to pursue a lawsuit in some circumstances, they cannot make empty threats to sue you when making a collection call. Depending on the events, they, or the debt owner, might start a lawsuit which can possibly lead to a public judgment and liens on personal property, wage garnishments, or bank levies. 

If a lawsuit is filed against you, consult with a lawyer in your state with consumer law experience. You must file an answer to their summons and complaint or risk losing the lawsuit by default. Ignoring a summons will not make it go away, so take action to respond to the lawsuit.

Can you remove ARS National Services from your credit report?

ARS may appear as an inquiry on your credit report.  Since it is unlikely that they purchase debt, their name should not appear as the owner of any account identified on your credit report. However, the names of the original creditor or the third-party debt buyer will appear on your credit report.

Most accurate negative tradelines remain on your credit report for seven years from the delinquency date. Bankruptcies stay for ten years, and judgments can stay for even longer if the creditor renews them.

You can remove inaccurate data from your credit report. It is possible to file a dispute with the Credit Reporting Agencies and remove the negative items from your credit report.

>> Learn more: Learn how to dispute a credit report.

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Or speak to a debt consultant  844-731-0836

Struggling with debt?

Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.82 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.88 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in North Carolina credit card delinquency rate was 4%, and the median credit card debt was $410.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.