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Dealing With Northstar Location Services

Dealing With Northstar Location Services

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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedJun 27, 2024
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    6 min read
Key Takeaways:
  • Northstar Location Services is a New York-based collection agent.
  • Validate a debt when a collection agent contacts you.
  • Learn your state's statute of limitations on debt and avoid bringing a dead debt back to life.

What Should I Do When Northstar Location Services Tries to Collect a Debt From Me?

I checked my credit reports recently, and an inquiry from "Northstar Location Services" appeared on two of them. This inquiry was not there when I checked my reports a year ago. I'm wondering why this would appear and who or what Northstar Location Services is. If it's a debt collector, what should I do?

Northstar Location Services is a collection agency based in a suburb near Buffalo, NY. It does not publish a consumer-oriented Web site. Its Make a Better Living Web site is designed to recruit new employees.

Northstar Location Services buys collection accounts from and works on a contingency basis for major credit card issuers, including Discover. If a notation for Northstar Location Services appears on one of your credit reports, it may mean the collection agent purchased a collection account — in other words, a debt — it thinks you may have liability for. Alternatively, Northstar Location Services may be working on behalf of a creditor as an outside collection agent.

Northstar Location Services: Soft Inquiry on Credit Report

You asked what you can do about this information appearing on your credit reports. Let’s look at what may have happened here.

There are two types of credit report inquiries — hard and soft. A hard inquiry, which is sometimes called a hard pull, occurs when a consumer applies for credit. A hard inquiry will cause a slight decrease in your credit score. Several hard inquiries of the same type over a week will be considered one hard inquiry because the credit scoring software assumes you are shopping for one loan.

A soft inquiry causes no penalty to your credit score. Consumers’ credit reports are hit with soft inquiries all of the time by banks who are searching for likely prospects for credit cards, mortgage refinances, auto refinances, and so on. Collection agents use software inquiries to learn more about a particular consumer’s other debts, current address, and anything else in your credit report that might help it collect a debt. Someone with a pending foreclosure and a dozen delinquent accounts will be a lower-priority target than someone who has a bunch of current accounts.

Here, it is likely Northstar Location Services bought a collection account with your name on it or was asked by a bank or other creditor to collect a debt. The soft inquiry on your credit report is a sign you may receive a collection call or letter soon. Alternatively, if you have a common first and last name, such as John Smith or Mary Brown, Northstar Location Services may have fired off a bunch of soft inquiries on people with variations on your name to learn clues which John Smith or Mary Brown may be responsible for the debt.

Validate the Debt

Collection agents such as Northstar Location Services must operate according to the rules found in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the FDCPA, consumers have the right to dispute a debt when a collection agent attempts to collect the debt. If the consumer does so with 30 days, the collection agent must cease collection activities and ask the original creditor to verify the amount of the debt, the name of the consumer, and other information. If the original creditor cannot provide validation, the disputed debt may not be collected.

If Northstar Location Services attempts to collect a debt from you, validate the debt immediately. You have only 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly. Follow the steps we describe in our debt validation article to preserve your rights under the FDCPA. You should validate regardless of your believing you owe the debt.

Validate Your Debt?

Is it worth your time to validate a debt? Yes! According to a 2013 FTC study, col­lectors could not verify nearly 50% of disputed debts. The least likely accounts to be validat­ed are med­ical, tele­com­munica­tions, and utility debts, and accounts more than 6 years old.

Statute of Limitations & Northstar Location Services Debt

If Northstar Location Services validates the debt, look to your state’s statute of limitations to learn if Northstar Location Services can use your state’s court system to collect the debt. State lawmakers created statutes of limitations for civil lawsuits to encourage people to settle their disputes quickly while the matter is fresh in people’s minds and records are still available.

The statute of limitations for credit card and other consumer debts is a bit tricky. In all but two states, creditors can still file a lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitations has passed. If the statute of limitations clock has run out, it is up to the consumer to raise this defense and ask the court to dismiss the case.

Look up your state’s statute of limitations for credit card debt (if the collection account is for a credit card) or written contracts. Has the clock run out on this account? If so, then send Northstar Location Services a cease communications notice. Under the FDCPA, collection agents must stop pestering a consumer once the consumer sends a cease and desist notice.

Know Your Rights - Collection Agents

Collection agents violate the FDCPA if they file a debt collection lawsuit against a consumer after the statute of limitation expired (Kimber v. Federal Financial Corp. 668 F.Supp. 1480 (1987) and Basile v. Blatt, Hasenmiller, Liebsker & Moore LLC, 632 F. Supp. 2d 842, 845 (2009)). Unscrupulous collection agents sue in hopes the consumer will not know this rule.

If Northstar validates the debt and the statute of limitations has not run out, then you may want to negotiate a settlement for the debt.

Negotiate A Settlement With Northstar Location Services

Collection agencies buy collection accounts for one to eight cents on the dollar, typically. The fresher the account, the more an agency pays for an account. The individual debt collectors who work for collection agencies are paid on a commission, and have extra incentives to make deals at the end of the week and at the end of the month. Use this to your advantage if you want to negotiate a settlement to the debt.

If the collection agency did not buy the account and is working under contract with the creditor, then it will have less flexibility in settling the debt. Either because the agency bought the account for top-dollar, or because the agency is working for the creditor, settlements on newer accounts typically range from 40 to 60 cents on the dollar.

Let a reputable debt relief company handle MRS Associates for you

Chances are you may not know who to contact, or how to negotiate down your debt. A debt relief expert may be able to reduce what you owe, get more favorable payment terms and protect you from ongoing harassment from MRS Associates.

If you do not feel comfortable negotiating, then partner with a debt settlement provider. Debt settlement companies employ teams of people who do nothing but negotiate settlements all day. Debt settlement companies rely on databases of past settlements so their negotiators know what range original creditors and collection agencies have accepted for settlements in the past.

Top debt relief companies should have an existing relationship with MRS Associates and practical experience in knowing how to secure a favorable outcome for you. You may be able to offload the stress of negotiating with MRS Associates onto someone else. The debt relief provider can handle all the back and forth until the transaction is complete in a manner consistent with your ability to pay.

The debt relief provider can handle all the back and forth until the transaction is complete in a manner consistent with your ability to pay.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



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Dealing with debt

If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Quarter Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Student loan debt was $1.60 trillion and credit card debt was $1.12 trillion.

According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 8% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in New York credit card delinquency rate was 3%, and the median credit card debt was $420.

To maintain an excellent credit score it is vital to make timely payments. However, there are many circumstances that lead to late payments or debt in collections. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to deal with debt including debt consolidation and debt relief solutions.



RRob, Oct, 2020

I’m so grateful to have found your article because they’re making my mother and I crazy. We literally get anxiety every time the phone rings. My question is, what are our options if we do know that one of our outstanding/defaulted debts have been sold to them? Is there any other option or do we have to pay them now that they own the debt? Thank you so much, in advance, for your help. Rob

DDaniel Cohen, Oct, 2020

Rob, if they legally own the debt, then you have to work out a solution with them (such as a payment plan or a reduced-balance settlement), find an independent solution (such as bankruptcy) or you can ignore them and see if they sue you. The right decision depends on who is responsible for the debt and his or her income and assets, how long it has been since the debt went into default, and the size of the debt and whether it is big enough for Northstar to pursue a lawsuit against you.

JJosh, Sep, 2020

I just got a random voicemail from them today. I have absolutely nothing that could even be in collections. Should I return their call?

DDaniel Cohen, Sep, 2020

Josh, the first thing I would do would be to pull a credit report at, to see if anything shows up as a collection account. One could be there in error. I don't think there is great risk in calling them, especially if you are certain that you don't owe a debt.

AAmy, Apr, 2020

I got a letter in the in regards to a personal loan that hasn't been paid. The loan was turned over to an attorney's office for collection. I have no income to pay. What do I do? Call the attorney's office to let them know my situation? I live in Oregon.

DDaniel Cohen, Apr, 2020

Amy, I am not a lawyer, so I can't give legal advice. I will share some information with the understanding that you don't consider it legal advice. 

Now may be a good time to call, given that so many people are in hardship. At this point the attorney has no authority to do anything that you don't agree to do. They can't come after your assets or bank account. If you were working they couldn't come after your wages. You would have to be sued and a judgment issues against you for those kinds of collection efforts to ensue.

It seems reasonable that if you called and are forthright that it would show good faith and earn you something. However, there is no guarantee. 

How much do you owe and who is the original creditor?


HHelpfulHannah, Nov, 2020

I work for northstar. If you have an attorney, just call us or when we call tell us. We will add the attorney info and contact them directly and only them.

MMarilyn, Mar, 2020

My information is that social security as the only income is not subject to credit card collection. Is that correct?

DDaniel Cohen, Mar, 2020

Marilyn, that is not wholly correct. A person whose income is solely from Social Security can be sued for the debt and a judgment issued against her. While the income cannot be garnished and the account in which the SSI is directly deposited has some protection from a bank levy, the creditor can still attempt to collect. 

Twice your monthly award is protected in your bank account, but anything over that is subject to seizure, if state collection laws allow it. Any other bank account on which your name is listed could be levied.

A lien could be field that would encumber property you own. Some property could be seized.

So, while your income is not going to be garnished at the source, it is important to understand the risks I listed so you can best protect yourself and anyone with whom you may share a bank account.

AAli Daftarian, Jan, 2017
This article rocks!