By collecting overdue accounts, debt collectors help lenders and other businesses remain solvent, but it can be hard to justify the tactics used by too many of them. If you’ve been contacted by a debt collector who appears to be trying to intimidate you into paying, educate yourself about your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, has been protecting the rights of consumers for over 40 years. It gives you the right to dispute a debt, tell the collection agency to stop calling, and file a lawsuit if they subject you to abuses like those below.
- Telling you that you can be arrested for not paying your debts
- Demanding that you pay before the dispute period is up
- Threatening action they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking
- Calling you at work when they know that such calls are not allowed
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Mocking and belittling you for your inability to pay
Company Profile: Fidelity National Collections
If you are being called by Fidelity National Collections, an agency overview is below.
Fidelity National Collections is a debt collection agency located in Alliance, Ohio. It opened for business in 1966, has 19 employees, and is managed by its President and CEO, James Thorpe. According to the company's website, it is a division of Fidelity Properties, Inc. and specializes in healthcare collections. The PACER website holds records confirming that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by Fidelity National Collections chose to sue.
Alleged Violations against Fidelity National Collections*
According to information on the PACER website, in or around February 2017, Fidelity National Collections began calling an Indiana consumer to collect a debt. He stated that the voicemails would simply request that he call them back to discuss an important business matter.
Confused as to what the calls were in regards to, the consumer called the company back at the number provided on or about March 8, 2017. He later said that a woman answered the call by simply stating “Fidelity.” When he said that he was returning a number of calls and voicemails, the woman transferred him to another woman who simply stated “Hello?”
This second woman took his personal information and relayed that he had two open accounts with the company. The consumer later alleged that at no time during the March 8, 2017 call did the company representative disclose herself as a debt collector attempting to collect on a debt or that any information provided would be used for that purpose.
Feeling harassed by Fidelity National Collections, the consumer sued the company for:
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection company are:
Their presence on your caller ID at any time confirms that you are being called by Fidelity National Collections. If they don’t identify themselves as debt collectors every time you communicate with them, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Fidelity National Collections. If your claim is successful, you could receive $1,000 per violation of the FDCPA, so don’t tolerate abuse when there are alternatives.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 4:17-cv-00048-SEB-TAB from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Fidelity National Collections or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.