#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on November 16, 2022
Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC, or ARS, is a debt collector that makes money by hounding people to pay delinquent auto loans, credit cards, and private student loan debt owed to an original creditor.
If ARS is contacting you, it means that a company you owe money to has asked ARS to try and collect from you. This could be because the company sold the debt to ARS or hired ARS to collect it. Either way, ARS is trying to get you to pay as much of the debt as possible.
Over the past 8 years running my law firm, I’ve helped dozens of borrowers from across the country negotiate settlements with ARS to close out their charged-off Navient and Sallie Mae student loans. Here’s a sample settlement offer I recently got for a client.
During that time, I’ve worked with all kinds of borrowers, including those who had cosigners, others who could make large lump sum payments, and a few who couldn’t put any money down but could make payments over time. Those experiences have taught me how to get the best deal quickly.
Keep reading to learn your options when Asset Recovery contacts you about defaulted private student loans.
Curious about hiring me to negotiate a student loan settlement for you? Schedule a call with me to discuss your repayment options.
What to do if Asset Recovery Solutions contacts you about a student loan?
Here’s the 4-step process I use when a client hires me to negotiate a payoff with ARS for a student loan.
Step 1 – Review the debt validation letter
ARS is required by federal law* to send you a validation letter within 5 days of first contacting you. The letter must tell you who you owe, how much you owe, when you need to pay, and have statements letting you know that if you don’t request more information or dispute the debt in 30 days, it will assume the debt is valid. Here’s a letter one of my clients recently got.
If you don’t receive a letter from ARS within 10 days of them contacting you, send a debt validation letter asking for more information about the debt. You could also send ARS a cease and desist letter telling them to stop contacting you about the debt. Note: This letter doesn’t eliminate the debt if it’s yours. And it doesn’t stop you from being sued.
* The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that once the consumer timely notifies the debt collector they dispute the debt, the debt collector must stop collecting the debt until it obtains verification of the debt and sends that verification to the consumer.
Step 2 – Review your finances
Before you call ARS and discuss payment options, figure out how much money you have available to pay toward the debt. I ask my clients two questions:
How much can you pay in a lump sum within the next two months?
How much can you comfortably afford to pay each month?
Typically, you’ll get the best deal by offering to pay the student loan with a large lump sum payment. An offer of 30-50% of the current loan balance is a good starting point, but you can always offer more or less.
If you don’t have that type of cash lying around, you may be able to negotiate a deal where you pay a reduced amount over a longer period of time. This will usually be no more than 60 months. You may be able to save around 20-40% this way.
What if you can’t afford a settlement? You can try and refinance the debt with a lender like Yrefy, which specializes in refinancing charged-off private student loans. Another option is to file student loan bankruptcy.
Step 3 – Call ARS to discuss payment options
Everyone has their own way of negotiating. My way is to be quick and efficient. I know that any successful negotiation needs to be a two-way street where both parties feel like they’ve won something. For my clients, it means paying less than they owe. For ARS, it means closing out a file that hasn’t had any monthly payments for a long time.
With that belief in mind, I pick up the phone, put a smile on my face, and say this when I call:
“Hey, this is Attorney Stanley Tate calling on behalf of a mutual client, [insert name]. My client’s looking to get something done sooner rather than later. Would it be unreasonable to expect to get this account closed out today?”
I start with a question I know they’re going to answer, “no,” because it’s easier to get someone to say no than it is to say yes. I want the representative to feel comfortable. I also want to continue priming them to get the deal done quickly.
From there, I blast forward with “Great. What’s the least they can pay by the end of the month to get this deal done?”
The rest of the conversation is all about finding the settlement parameters the representative has to work with. Once I have that information, I can work towards getting a deal that fits my client’s budget.
Related: Hire a Student Loan Debt Settlement Attorney
Step 4 – Review the settlement offer
ARS will send you a written settlement letter after you agree on repayment terms. I check the letter to ensure that my client’s name and contact information are correct. Likewise, I make sure that the settlement amount and payment schedule are as agreed and that the loan ID numbers are listed. If everything checks out, I give my client the go-ahead to pay the settlement, either by phone using their bank account information or via wire transfer.
Does Asset Recovery Solutions sue to collect old debts?
ARS typically doesn’t take people to court to collect debts. If it’s unable to set up a payment arrangement, the account will be moved to another debt collection agency or law firm. That new company may take you to court before the statute of limitations runs out.
Rebuild your credit score after settling with ARS
In my experience, there’s no surefire way to remove Asset Recovery Solutions from your credit report. It won’t agree to do a “pay-for-delete,” and writing goodwill letters wastes time. ARS will keep reporting the negative information to the credit bureaus. The only thing I’ve seen work is disputing any inaccurate information you find on your credit report.
These are the other most common errors according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
Accounts opened due to identity theft.
Accounts reported incorrectly as delinquent.
Incorrect last payment date or wrong opening or closing date.
Accounts where you’re listed as the owner when you’re only an authorized user.
The same debt is listed several times.
Items that were disputed and removed but are back.
Incorrect current balance.
Incorrect credit limit.
You can try to remove the debt yourself or hire a credit repair professional.
Contact information for Asset Recovery Solutions
Phone number: 877-253-3543, M-Th 8 am to 8 pm CST, and Friday 8 am-4:30 pm CST.
Address: Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC, 2200 E. Devon Ave, Ste 200, Des Plaines, IL. 60018-4501.
If you’re getting phone calls and letters from Asset Recovery Solutions about a student loan, don’t ignore them or write them off as a scam. ARS is a legitime debt collector working to resolve past due accounts.
Do you want help negotiating a student loan settlement quickly? Schedule time to talk with me. Over the past 8 years, I’ve helped dozens of borrowers like you settle delinquent private student loans.