You Might Not Have to Pay Arvato Debt Collectors!
Arvato Debt Collectors are not a nice company to have to deal with. They have probably sent you numerous letters, phone calls and knocked on your door. If they haven’t done so yet, they may even take you to court. In this guide I show you exactly what steps to take to stop them from contacting you, reducing your debt and possibly even writing off the debt all together!
Who are Arvato Debt Collectors?
Arvato is a global company that has a number of offices based throughout the world. Their aim is to work with a variety of clients, assisting them in over 35 languages. They offer a range of services, including financial services such as credit and collection management. This includes debt purchase and end to end collection as well as the more standard approach of debt collection and management too.
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Are Arvato Debt Collectors Legit?
There is an entire section on the Arvato website that is dedicated to the certifications that they have and the official bodies that they are part of. This includes the CSA, which would lead you to believe that they are a legitimate company who will handle your financial data properly. You should always remember, if you are contacted by Arvato, in relation to any debt, it may be better for you to wait to make a payment, rather than paying off the entire debt in its entirety straight away.
What does Arvato Debt Collectors Do?
Arvato offer a wide range of debt collection services. This includes first-party collections, debt collection and also international collections too. They are also known to offer a debt purchase service, which means that they purchase debt from their clients, which is then theirs to chase, manage and in their mind, hopefully be paid off by the debtor too. They offer a wide range of communication in order to chase the debtor and receive a payment.
What does Arvato Debt Collection Process look like?
The debt collection process with Arvato seems to be amongst the best of other companies out there. Recognising that the best way to receive a payment, which of course is their aim, they have set up digital platforms and a range of payment methods, even mobile payments, which allows the debtor to pay in the best way for them.
I had a little run in with Arvato about a PayPal negative PayPal balance because of a security breach on my account. The staff were genuinely nice and really helpful. They gave me step by step instructions of what I needed to do they never threatened me unlike other certain companies. Really was a pleasure to work with them. I never felt under pressure to pay. They gave me more than enough time to file everything. I really am glad Arvato was dealing with me instead Of one of those aforementioned “”threatening”” Debt collecting companies
Their customer access and service are lousy.
Payment systems do not match customer needs and society, but only support their needs and desire to charge control fees.
Why you are being contacted by Arvato Debt Collectors?
Make no mistake – the debt collection business is huge. Debt collectors like Arvato Debt Collectors come in several forms…
Many debt collection agencies are independent businesses; some may also be a business arm of a creditor such as a credit card company (sometimes hiding their real identity – see below); there are even individual sole trader debt collectors.
The business model of these agencies relies on purchasing debt at a fraction of its face value, possibly for as little as 20% of the face value, and making a profit by collecting the debt at (or close to) its full value. There are few morals involved; as far as they are concerned it is you who ran up the debt and you who is responsible for repaying it. They care nothing about you and your personal circumstances. Simply put, they tend not to be nice people. The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) acknowledged that such poor practices “appear to be widespread”.
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Check if you really owe the money
Are you sure you really owe the money? The first thing to establish is where the debt started and how much you really owe. It is quite likely that the original debt, if there was one, has been inflated by various charges and interest. It could be substantially more than you believe you owe.
You should write to Arvato Debt Collectors and demand a copy of your original credit agreement. If they are unable to provide this you have no obligation to make any payment to them.
Can pay but won’t pay?
If you really do owe the money, then the road of least resistance is to repay the debt if you are able to do so, but if you can’t afford to repay it, or if doing so would prevent you from servicing more important credit such as your rent or mortgage, then try to make some arrangement with Arvato Debt Collectors, perhaps offering them a partial repayment.
How debt collectors can ruin your life
It isn’t unusual for debt collectors to employ questionable tactics that may or may not fall foul of the law. This might include pressuring and bullying threats, frequent phone calls sometimes made to your workplace and empty threats.
Being pursued by Arvato Debt Collectors could have a devastating effect on your life, leading to emotional distress, mental illness, and even suicide. According to the debt support trust, almost half of people who struggle with debt at some point consider suicide, and it was recently reported that a coroner raised concerns over debt-collection agency’s practices following the suicide of a debt-ridden courier. In their report into mental health and the credit industry (Walker et al, 2012) researchers from Brighton University concluded: “Debt clients frequently feel humiliated, disconnected and entrapped, with the process of debt collection having a clear impact on people’s mental health”. They called upon the government to tackle the problem of irresponsible lending and intimidating collection tactics.
Arvato Debt Collectors and the law
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) has published a set of guidelines for the debt collection business. To summarise these, Arvato Debt Collectors should:
- Treat debtors fairly and not use aggressive practices, coercion, deceit, or be oppressive, unfair, or improper
- Be transparent and provide clear information that is not confusing or misleading
- Be considerate towards debtors experiencing difficulty
- Act proportionately taking into account debtors’ circumstances.
If you are being intimidated by Arvato Debt Collectors who are not abiding by these guidelines, then you have a good case for reporting them to the OFT which has the power to remove their license.
To make a complaint about Arvato Debt Collectors, you can use this online complaint form.
Some debt collectors pretend to be an external agency when in fact they are a business arm of the company you owe money. That is a clear case of deceit, though they are likely to claim that this information appears in the small print.
Understanding how Arvato Debt Collectors operates
Understanding how debt collection agencies operate can help you defend yourself against them.
They are on a bonus
The Arvato Debt Collectors agents who phone you are likely highly incentivised and are expected to collect a specified minimum amount of money per hour. Usually, there are daily and monthly bonuses and each collection they make contribute to that bonus. Hence, they will do what they can to collect some money rather than record a “No Payment” call, including making intimidating and threatening behaviour.
The lesson here is if you are able to be strong and stand up to threats from Arvato Debt Collectors, knowing that their threats are empty, you can to some extent turn the tables. Keep them talking but just don’t pay. You will still owe the money, but at least you won’t have to pay that day.
Automated call technology
You might be tempted to simply not answer calls from Arvato Debt Collectors, but when this happens agencies often employ automated call technology that will attempt to phone you say every half hour until you do eventually answer. Sometimes if you do pick up the call is silent; the calls are simply being made to intimidate you.
If this happens to you make a note the frequency of the calls. Such behaviour on the part of the debt collectors is in clear breach of the OFT guidelines. Tell the agent that you will be reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman.
The best way to contact the Financial Ombudsman is by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Bad cop, good cop
Bad cop, good cop is a tactic frequently employed, and often is highly effective. When subject to such an approach you are likely to be subject to relentless calls some of which are abusive and harassing, but with the occasional polite and friendly enquiry. This change in attitude can happen in a single phone call where the agent starts off politely but should you fail to make a payment their behaviour becomes abusive. Nor is it just relentless phone calls. Frequent threatening and sometimes sinister letters are another common practice. The total process is designed to eventually wear you down, to break your will so that eventually you will make a payment.
It is difficult to stand up to such behaviour, which is exactly why they use it. But again, you should try to stay strong if you possibly can. Report it to the OFT using this online complaint form.
Embarrassing you by talking to third parties
If someone apart from you answers the call then agents frequently attempt to embarrass you by discussing your debt and financial problems with whoever answers the call. This could be a family member at your home, or it could be someone at your workplace. This is certainly illegal behaviour and breaches not only OFT guidelines, but also other privacy laws.
Again, such behaviour should be reported to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Deceit and lies
If everything else fails some debt collectors feel they are immune from the law and will apply some very nasty forms of leverage. They might pretend to be calling from the court, that they are a bailiff and will be visiting your home to remove your possessions, possibly even threatening you with criminal prosecution.
Never give them permission to visit you and if they do then never let them into your home and if you feel physically threatened then don’t hesitate to call the police.
Don’t let them wear you down
As we have seen, debt collectors such as Arvato Debt Collectors are relentless and their behaviour could be responsible for mental ill-health and even suicide. Standing up to Arvato Debt Collectors requires a degree of strength and courage few people possess. But there is help out there. Ultimately you need to get out of debt, but you need to do so in a controlled manner that will minimise your pain and distress. Ultimately all debt problems are solvable.
Getting help with debt
There are various kinds of help with debt available: there are not-for-profit agencies who exist to provide one-to-one help for you, and there are commercial debt management companies whose aim is to make money out of you. The former should be your first port of call. Some of the important agencies include:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides extensive help with debt and should help you stop debt collectors contacting you if you are able to show you are seeking help and are trying to repay your debts.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) provide free debt help.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice helping people take charge of their debt.
Writing off your debt entirely
It is possible to write off your debt entirely through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). This is a formal agreement to pay the debt collectors an amount you can afford as a one-off sum or as monthly payments and the rest of the debt will be written off after a defined period, usually five years. This must be carried out by an insolvency practitioner.
Find a local licenced IVA insolvency practitioner here.
An alternative is a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This is only available if you are left with £50 or less each month after paying your household expenses and you don’t own your home or other assets worth over £1000.
To apply for a DRO you will need to go through an authorised debt advisor. You can find a list of authorised debt advisors here.
Despite warnings from professional bodies, government guidelines, and other measures the behaviour of many debt collecting agencies is atrocious, leading vulnerable debtors into mental illness and even suicide. However, it is possible to fight back, especially with some help from the agencies mentioned in this article. While it’s not as simple as just refusing to pay, you can reduce the amount you must repay and spread your repayments over a period you are comfortable with. Certainly, you can stop their bullying and by reporting them to the Financial Ombudsman they may even lose their licence.
Every debt collection company is likely to have negative aspects, however, it seems that compared to some of them out there, Arvato comes out relatively well. They work with a range of clients, they work around the world and they offer as many payment methods and options as possible for the debtors. All things that seem to make them a better option then some of the other companies out there. Especially those that purchase debt.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd is a private limited company registered in Scotland. The company is part of the global Arvato network which is ultimately owned by Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 708669. The other trading names included in the registration are Credit Solutions, Red Castle Recoveries, aFS, Assisted Probate Services, BCW, BCW Group, arvato, Cougar Financial Services, Arvato Regulatory Services Limited, arvato Financial Solutions, CSL, and Buchanan Clarke and Wells.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd does not collect debts on behalf of HMRC.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd collects debts on behalf of their clients. They do not buy debts.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd buys debt from companies that have been unable to collect from you. They buy the debt for a few pence on the pound and then aim to collect a fraction of the full amount to make a profit.
If you ignore debt collectors at first they may send doorstep collectors. Secondly, they may apply for a County Court Judgement, which if successful would force you to pay and would show on your credit report.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd can take you to court in order to claim the money owed. If you have been taken to court you will have received a County Court Judgement letter.
You cannot go to jail for debts owed to debt collection agencies.
If you ignore a CCJ you won’t get sent to prison, however, bailiffs may be sent to your house to collect items equal to the value of the money that owe.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd cannot issue an arrest warrant or have you sent to prison. At most they can request a CCJ and if successful send bailiffs to your property to recover items to cover the debt owed.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd are not bailiffs. They could, however, request a County Court Judgement which means that the courts could send bailiffs. You would have received a lot of warning letters if this was going to happen.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd have been known to send people to your house, however, they have no legal powers so you can ignore them or tell them to go away. If you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd cannot force entry, they have no legal powers over you. However, if you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd won’t give up chasing you for the debt until they’ve exhausted all of their legal options. This usually means being chased for up to 6 years.
A debt can be too old to collect from you. Under the Limitation Act 1980 they have a maximum of 6 years to chase a debt. This 6 years is counted from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt.
As per the Limitation action 1980, you can be legally chased for up to 6 years from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt. If a County Court Judgment is raised against you the Limitation Act no longer applies and you can be chased indefinitely.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd can be contacted via phone or email. They do not have a freephone number, but you can request a call back if you do not want to have to pay for the call. Emails need to be sent via a form on the Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd website. There is no live chat feature.
Arvato Financial Solutions Ltd set up payment plans which are then paid by card payments. You can make additional payments if you want in between your scheduled card payments.