Fidelity Creditor Service and What Should You Do After Receiving a Call from a Debt Collection Agency?

by Wills Joe
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Fidelity Creditor Service and others may be calling you from a number you’re not familiar with. And, when you finally do answer, you find out that it’s a debt collector. Do you even have any outstanding debts? Well, whether you do or not, there are a couple of reasons why you might be receiving a collection call:

  1. Overdue Payments: If you do owe a debt, then your creditor may have assigned your debt to an agency that is looking to collect it for them.
  2. Purchased Debts: In situations where a creditor has tired of collecting your overdue debt on their own, they may also have sold the debt to a debt collector – who then has full rights to collect that debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  3. No Debts: If you do not owe a debt to anyone or any company, then you might still be called by collection agencies looking for information on someone that you know that does owe a debt. Although, in this case, they usually do not reveal that they are calling to collect a debt.

Whatever the reason may be, it’s important that you stay informed on what rights you have in this situation and how best to deal with it.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Debt Collection, in the past, had been pretty rough business. However, since the passing of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978, there are now strict guidelines that all debt collection agencies must follow in order to collect debts:

  • Calls can only come in on Mondays to Saturdays (never Sundays)
  • Calls must be made between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The frequency of calls must be reasonable
  • There must be no threats of violence
  • The agent must stop calling if you request for them to do so in writing
  • There shall be no discussion of your personal information or debts with others (not to your family, not to your friends, not to your coworkers, etc.)
  • They must reveal their identity and the agency they work for
  • They must not claim false information or debts

These FDCPA laws apply to all debt collection agencies. That includes agencies like Fidelity Creditors Service, which, according to their CEO Gary Davis, takes the laws very seriously by taking the following approach when collecting debts: “Our approach…” or rather “Our goal is to build a rapport with the debtor and sell him on the reasons why it’s in their best interest to honor their responsibility. Then we develop a plan for them to pay their account.”

As a side note, the FDCPA laws do not apply to the original creditor, whether they be an individual or a business. Instead, their actions will be restricted to specific state or local laws.

What to do When Receiving a Call from a Debt Collector?

Now, let’s break down what you should actually do when receiving a call from a debt collection agency. Chances are, they will call you again, and it’s best if you are as prepared for the conversation as possible. Not just by knowing the FDCPA laws, but also by following the tips and tricks we’ve listed below:

  • Document the Conversation: Ask questions about the agent, the agency, the debt, and take notes on the discussion so that you have written documentation of what you learned during the phone call.
  • Validate your Debt: Make sure that the debt that you are being contacted for is validated before confirming anything with the debt collector. Even an off-hand comment confirming that the debt is yours will result in some of your legal rights being taken away.
  • Withhold Payment or Declaration of Payments: At least until your debt is validated. As, once again, even something as simple as providing your payment information can be taken as a confirmation of a debt that may or may not be valid.
  • Request a Debt Validation Letter: Usually, debt collectors follow up their first phone call with a debt validation letter. This letter will dictate which creditor you owe and how much there is still left to pay. If the debt collector does not send a debt validation letter within the first 5 days of contact, request one yourself, so that you can be certain that the debt collection agency has the legal authority to collect your debt.

Of course, above all else, remember that you do have rights as a debtor. Most debt collection agencies, like Fidelity, take pride in their ability to collect debts without incurring any ill will from the debtor. But, just in case, be as prepared as you can so that you can determine which claims are fraudulent and which are not.

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