It’s hard to know what to do when someone claiming to represent a company called Firstsource Advantage starts calling and asking you for money. You may have never heard of them before—or even the debt you allegedly owe.
First, you need to take steps right now to learn about what Firstsource Advantage does and what laws protect you. Then you’ll be able to verify that you actually owe the debt and take steps to get rid of collections and stop Firstsource Advantage from calling you.
Table of Contents
- What is Firstsource Advantage?
- Who does Firstsource Advantage collect for?
- Is Firstsource Advantage a scam?
- How to stop Firstsource Advantage from calling you
- How to remove Firstsource Advantage from your credit report
- How to deal with Firstsource Advantage harassment
- Should you pay Firstsource Advantage?
What is Firstsource Advantage?
Firstsource Advantage, LLC is a debt collection agency based in Amherst, NY that began operations in 1995. 1 They’re a brand under the business process management company Firstsource, which is part of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG Group). The company is headquartered in Mumbai, India with offices in the US, the UK, and the Philippines. 2
In addition to Firstsource Advantage, the following debt collection agencies are also part of Firstsource:
- One Advantage, LLC
- American Recovery Service Incorporated (ARSI)
Although these agencies are under the same umbrella company, they operate separately, and shouldn’t appear on your credit report together.
Who does Firstsource Advantage collect for?
Firstsource Advantage, LLC provides services to organizations and businesses in various industries, including the following: 3
- Auto lenders
- Financial services companies
- Educational institutions
- Utility companies
- Telecommunications companies
- Insurance companies
Is Firstsource Advantage a scam?
No, Firstsource Advantage, LLC isn’t a scam. They’re a legitimate debt collection agency that has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2013. 4 However, that doesn’t mean they’ll always behave ethically.
Like many debt collection agencies, Firstsource Advantage has faced litigation for violating consumer rights. For example, in 2017, they faced a class action lawsuit for misrepresenting the amount that debtors owed. 5
What’s more, scammers may impersonate Firstsource Advantage, LLC to try to collect money from you. For this reason, it’s important to always verify the validity of any debts you’re contacted about before making any payments. To do so, contact Firstsource Advantage directly using their online contact form or the contact information below.
VIDEO: Firstsource Advantage in 2 Minutes—Fix Your Credit Report & Know Your Rights
How to stop Firstsource Advantage from calling you
Firstsource Advantage will call, email, or mail you if they believe you have an unsettled debt. The reason debt collectors like these are calling you is simple—they want to pressure you into paying up.
Unfortunately, Firstsource Advantage representatives will keep trying to contact you unless you pay the debt, prove that it doesn’t belong to you, or reach an agreement with them (or with your original creditor).
Don’t ignore debt collectors like Firstsource Advantage—in the end, you may get sued, and you may even have your wages garnished. It’s smarter to engage with them tactically to ensure you don’t have to pay, or that you get the best deal you can.
To begin, you can get Firstsource Advantage to stop calling you—at least temporarily—by sending them something called a debt verification letter.
Send a debt verification letter
A debt verification letter is a formal request that obligates a debt collector to provide further evidence of a debt. You must send it within 30 days of them first contacting you. Note that Firstsource Advantage should have sent you a debt validation letter proving you owe the debt first, as it’s required by law.
Benefits of sending a debt verification letter
Sending a debt verification letter has three benefits:
- You’ll prevent Firstsource Advantage from calling you during this period: When you send a debt verification letter, third-party debt collection agencies like Firstsource Advantage are required by law to stop contacting you until they can provide evidence that you actually owe the debt they’re trying to collect. 6
- You’ll get more information about the debt: You should never pay a debt that you don’t recognize. Forcing Firstsource Advantage to provide documentation will help you determine whether this is a legitimate debt that you actually need to pay. It’s an easy way of figuring out if the debt collector is a scam agency.
- You may successfully disown the debt: If Firstsource Advantage can’t provide more information about the debt (which is frequently the case), then they have no choice but to delete it from your records.
Beware the statute of limitations
The verification materials that you receive may show that your debt has passed the statute of limitations. This is a legal limit that means the debt is too old for Firstsource Advantage to sue you over, at which point it’s known as time-barred debt.
If this is the case, you can send Firstsource Advantage a letter telling them to stop contacting you. Legally, they’ll have to abide by that.
The statute of limitations on most debts is between 3 and 6 years, but the exact amount of time depends on several factors, including the state you live in. The best approach is to check your state attorney general’s website and email their office if the information you’re looking for isn’t available online.
How to remove Firstsource Advantage from your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of Firstsource Advantage debt, there are three ways to recover:
1. Dispute the debt with all three credit bureaus
If you think that the debt associated with Firstsource Advantage on your credit report is illegitimate (e.g., if you paid it on time or it belongs to somebody else), dispute the item on your credit report. You can also dispute debts that are older than 7 years (measured from the date of your first missed payment)—by law, they’re supposed to fall off your credit report by then.
To dispute a debt for free, send a credit dispute letter to the credit bureaus that are showing Firstsource Advantage on your credit report.
To find out which credit bureaus you need to send the letter to, request your free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) at AnnualCreditReport.com. If they don’t respond to your dispute within 30–45 days, then they’re legally obligated to remove the item in question.
2. Negotiate with Firstsource Advantage
Unfortunately, if the debt is legitimate and it’s less than 7 years old, removing Firstsource Advantage from your credit report will be very difficult (although not impossible).
Your best move at this point is to simply pay the debt. Newer credit scoring models ignore paid-off collection accounts, which means paying off your collection will boost your credit score even if you can’t remove the item.
However, when you pay, there are two negotiation strategies you can try as a last-ditch attempt to remove Firstsource Advantage from your credit report:
- Pay for delete: You might be able to convince Firstsource Advantage to remove the negative mark in exchange for paying off the debt. You can open these negotiations by sending them a pay-for-delete letter.
- Goodwill deletion: This is an alternate strategy you can try after paying your debt. Once the account is paid off, you can send Firstsource Advantage a goodwill letter asking them to empathize with your situation and remove the mark from your credit report as an act of kindness. Create your letter using our free goodwill letter template.
3. Wait 7 years for Firstsource Advantage to fall off of your credit report
Unfortunately, most collection accounts will stay on your credit report for 7 years after your first missed payment. Even if you pay off your debt to Firstsource Advantage, it will remain on your credit report.
Learn more about Firstsource Advantage’s impact on your credit score:
- How many points will my credit score increase after I pay off collections?
- How to rebuild your credit after having a debt sent to collections
How to deal with Firstsource Advantage harassment
Unless you tell them not to, Firstsource Advantage will keep contacting you until you pay off or settle your debt. However, there are restrictions on how they can go about doing this.
Restrictions on Firstsource Advantage
When attempting to collect payments from you, Firstsource Advantage must adhere to the regulations specified in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is a federal law that prevents debt collectors from engaging in harassment or predatory behavior, such as lying to you or calling you incessantly or at unreasonable hours.
Firstsource Advantage representatives also need to follow the rules set out in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these laws so that you can take action against Firstsource Advantage if they do something illegal.
Can I sue Firstsource Advantage for harassment?
Yes, you can sue Firstsource Advantage for harassment. If you can show that they’ve violated your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, then you can collect $1,000 in statutory damages for each violation as well as payment for any damages that you’ve sustained as a result of their violation. Firstsource Advantage will also have to pay your attorney fees and court costs.
How to file a complaint against Firstsource Advantage
If a debt collector violates your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or does something illegal, then you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or your state attorney general. From there, you’ll be able to find out whether you can also sue Firstsource Advantage.
Another option is filing a complaint on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, but this might not have the outcome you’re hoping for. Bear in mind that the BBB is actually a private organization that has no affiliation with the US government. They’ll forward your complaint to Firstsource Advantage, but there’s no guarantee that the agency will address it in a satisfactory manner. What’s more, if your dispute is sent to an arbitrator, then you may give up your right to take Firstsource Advantage to court.
Should you pay Firstsource Advantage?
You should only pay a collection agency like Firstsource Advantage if you’re certain the debt is yours and you owe it. If you’re struggling financially and can’t afford to pay this debt collector, you can get help from a non-profit credit counselor.