Harris and Harris: What It Is, And Why It’s On Your Credit Report

Written by Kim PinnelliUpdated: 4th Apr 2022
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Let’s face it. We all hate answering phone calls or receiving letters from a debt collection agency. I am willing to bet that up until now, you probably ignored the phone call or threw the letter away.

However, that ends right now. It is time for you to get Harris and Harris collection services off your back. Pushing them off does nothing besides prolonging the inevitable – paying off your debt.

When a collections agency appears on your credit report it is not a good thing. In fact, it could hurt your credit score for up to seven years.

Keep reading to find out who they are, and how to remove Harris and Harris from your credit report.

What is Harris and Harris?

Founded in 1968, Harris and Harris Ltd is a debt collection agency that specializes in collecting debt for government agencies, healthcare providers, tax companies, and utility companies.

While they consider themselves a debt collection agency focused on customer experience, their annoying phone calls and letters in the mail say otherwise.

It is important to note, that Harris and Harris may appear on your credit report as:

  • Harris and Harris
  • Harris Collection
  • Harris Harris
  • Harris and Harris Ltd
  • Harris & Harris Limited
  • Haris Ltd
  • https://www.harriscollect.com/
  • Harris and Harris Debt Collectors

Is Harris and Harris Legit or a Scam?

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Harris and Harris operates in all 50 states. With over 600 employees, they posted a staggering $60 million in annual revenue for the fiscal year 2019.

So yes, Harris and Harris Ltd is a legit company that legally collects debt from consumers.

As an industry leader in the debt collections field, Harris and Harris collection services is involved in numerous professional organizations. Below is a list of professional organizations where they have membership to and cooperate with regularly.

  • American Collectors Association International
  • Illinois Collectors Association
  • Commercial Law League
  • National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association
  • Government Finance Officers Association
  • American Gas Association/Edison Electric Institute
  • American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
  • National Association of Credit Management
  • National Center for State Courts

How Does Harris and Harris Collections Work?

Harris and Harris Ltd is a debt collection agency that most likely paid a fraction of the cost for your debt. They make money going after you and collecting debt repayment. But this isn’t the only way they profit.

Government agencies, healthcare providers, and utility companies also pay Harris and Harris to collect consumer debt on their behalf. Since Harris and Harris Ltd only turns a profit when you – the consumer – pay off their debt, they are aggressive in their actions.

As you know first-hand, they will call you, send letters, and threaten you with lawsuits. Additionally, they will report their actions to all three credit bureaus, which is why you see “Harris and Harris Collection Account” on your credit report.

A collection account is the last thing you want to show up on your credit report since it will hurt your credit score. To make things worse, collection accounts traditionally remain on your credit report for up to seven years.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your credit score and remove a collection from your credit report.

How to Remove Harris and Harris from Your Credit Report (Step-by-Step)

First things first. As a consumer, you need to become familiar with two acts.

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act

Both acts were passed by Congress to protect consumers from predatory debt collection practices. Our steps outline the proper way for you to remove Harris and Harris from your credit report.

1. Seek Professional Help

While there are a few things you can do on your own, it is time-consuming and difficult if you do not know what you are doing.

Thebest credit repair companies have been around for decades, and getting negative items removed from a credit report is their forte. With their professional expertise and negotiating experience, a reputable credit repair company, like Credit Saint, will resolve this issue in no time.

Additionally, a credit repair company will help you improve your credit, by teaching you the ins and outs of the credit industry. Their in-house credit experts will work one-on-one with you ensuring a situation like this never happens again.

>> More: Credit Saint Review

2. Validate the Debt is Yours

As soon as a debt collector contacts you, they only have five days to provide a written notice. This introductory notice will outline how much debt you owe and will identify the creditor.

You need to validate that the debt is yours. With one in five American’s possessing a credit report error, it is important you review your report line-by-line. Who knows, maybe Harris and Harris Ltd made a clerical mistake.

Since you only have 30 days to dispute the debt, time is of the essence. Send a quick debt validation letter via certified mail to Harris and Harris. Mailing your letter leaves a paper trail and protects you in case anything happens.

In your letter, request more information about the alleged debt, the mailing address of the original creditor, proof that they are legally allowed to collect the debt, and proof that you are responsible for this debt.

Remember, it is up to Harris and Harris to provide a burden of proof that the debt is actually yours. If they cannot provide proof that you owe the debt, then they legally cannot request payment.

If they do not provide sufficient proof, then your next step is to file a dispute directly with all three credit bureaus. Send a copy of your debt validation letter, Harris and Harris’s response, and any other documentation. This will bolster your dispute claim.

After some time has passed, check-in with the credit bureaus to make sure it is removed. Once it is removed you are good to go and your credit score will increase.

3. Request a Pay for Delete with Harris and Harris Ltd

The next step is a straightforward process that involves both you and Harris and Harris to reach an agreement. In the credit industry, this is known as a “pay-for-delete agreement.”

As the name suggests, you agree to pay Harris and Harris a set amount contingent on them removing the collection account from your credit report.

Remember, Harris and Harris Ltd most likely purchased your debt for pennies on the dollar and they are a business. They need to make money to sustain their business operations.

So, if you offer them an amount more than what they paid for, then they may accept it and move onto their next target.

Again, make sure all correspondence is done via certified mail, and make sure both parties sign a joint agreement.

Let me be crystal clear. Do not pay Harris and Harris until both parties draft an agreement and sign it. This protects you in-case they do not hold up their end of the agreement.

4. Ask for a Goodwill Deletion

Asking for a goodwill deletion is relatively simple if you already paid Harris and Harris and met their demands.

However, a goodwill deletion is never a guarantee and is entirely up to them whether they want to delete the negative item from your credit report or not.

To ask for a goodwill deletion, send a polite letter to Harris and Harris asking them to delete the collection account from your credit report.

Include any underlying factors that led you to make this payment late. For example, if you were laid off, or encountered a family emergency.

Asking for a goodwill deletion is not guaranteed to work, but nonetheless, is still a great option for those who already paid Harris and Harris collection services. Still, the best thing to do if you are facing Harris and Harris head-to-head is to hire a credit repair agency.

How to Deal with Harris and Harris Limited Debt Collections

Dealing with Harris and Harris can be stressful. There are deadlines to know, legal obstacles to account for, and details to learn.

Make sure all correspondence is done through the mail. Avoid speaking and negotiating with Harris and Harris over the phone.

If you both agree to a particular action, such as a pay-for-delete or goodwill deletion, make sure it is written down and signed by both parties. This protects you in case they do not hold up their end of the agreement.

Do not provide personal information to Harris and Harris Ltd. If they ask for a bank account or credit card information to deduct a payment, tell them no. Instead, mail them a check.

The last thing you want them to know is sensitive financial information.

Harris and Harris Ltd Consumer Complaints

Debt collectors are notorious for racking up consumer complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Harris and Harris is not an exception. To date, over 500+ complaints have been filed with the CFPB and another 150+ filed with the BBB. Consumers continue to complain about inaccurate reporting and their failure to communicate.

This validates our claim that you need to make sure all correspondence is done via certified mail or seek professional advice from a reputable credit repair firm.

Harris and Harris Contact Information:

Here are the best resources and means to contact Harris and Harris collections.

  • Mailing Address: 111 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60604.
  • To Pay A Debt Call: 1-800-362-0097
  • Client’s Call: 1-866-781-4538

Remember, make sure all correspondence is done in the mail!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Negotiate a Settlement or Pay Harris and Harris Debt Collectors?

While this entirely up to you, we do not recommend paying Harris and Harris until all options are exhausted. If you successfully negotiate a pay-for-delete then go on ahead and pay them, but make sure they hold up their end of the agreement.

Again, the best thing to do is to hire a credit repair company. They will review your situation, provide actionable advice, and will take the matter into their own hands leaving you worry-free.

Credit repair companies have successfully disputed thousands of Harris and Harris collections. So, it is a safe bet that they will do the same for you.

Will Harris and Harris Sue Me?

While it is not common, Harris and Harris can legally sue you. But remember, they are only going to proceed with a lawsuit if you owe a significant amount. Legal action is expensive, and they need to make money.

They will avoid this action at all costs, but if you find yourself owing Harris and Harris thousands of dollars then legal action is something you absolutely need to prepare for.

Who Does Harris and Harris Collect for?

Harris and Harris collect debt for healthcare providers, government entities, and utility companies. However, they may also purchase your debt from another company in hopes to turn a profit.

Bottom Line: Harris and Harris Ltd

Seeing Harris and Harris appear on your credit report is scary. No one likes to interact or be hassled by a debt collection agency. Fortunately, we outlined the best ways to remove Harris and Harris from your credit report.

To sum it all up, make sure you document everything, act immediately, and do not rule out working with a credit repair company.

Their professional expertise will streamline this process and get Harris and Harris Ltd off your back. Once this negative item is deleted from your credit report, use a few credit hacks or Tradeline Supply to improve your credit score.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer, Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional financial writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Leveraging her personal experience, Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finances and make simple financial decisions.