If you’ve had a letter, or a call from an agency, it’s because they’ve been asked by a business to whom you may owe money to contact you. They have no legal right whatsoever to force entry to your home to remove goods. In most cases the agency will try and contact you by telephone and letter – and maybe by email and text as well – but if they intend visiting your address, they will tell you first and they are only allowed to call and try and work out a fair payment plan. Entry to premises can only ever be attempted by a bailiff, once a court order or judgment has been obtained against you.
We are legally bound to protect your information and cannot use it or share the account details with anyone except our client or companies we may work with in order to try and resolve it with you. The only time information about an account we are asking you to pay becomes public knowledge is if a court judgement is obtained.
We may try and contact you and may speak to people who know you. We may leave a message for you to call. But we’ll always establish who we are speaking to and we’ll never discuss your account with anyone but you, unless you give us express permission to do so.
All our calls are recorded for training and quality assurance purposes.
We can only send you letters. It is illegal to knowingly send details of your debt to someone else. If we send you an sms message or an email, it will be securely delivered and will only ask that you contact us. We will never refer to specific details of any account in contact of this sort.
We need to try and resolve matters so that our client receives what they are owed. But we’ll never call you more than three times in any 24 hour period (and usually never more than once) and we’ll never call you at unreasonable times, but only during our business hours.
We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority because some accounts we collect are regulated under the Consumer Credit Act. There are strict rules governing security of payments online, via banks, PayPoint, by phone whether in person or by automated prompts and by post.
We must look after your money and pay it to our client to whom you owe it within agreed timeframes. The money must be kept in an account separate from our money.
All these security considerations are regularly checked by our clients and are conditions of holding our licence to operate by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Some agencies do purchase debts. But if they have done they must tell you this clearly in a letter. The company to whom you owed the money also have to tell you.
If you are a business the agency may try and recoup late payment charges for their client which are allowed for under late payment legislation. If you are an individual and the company to whom you owe money have contractual authority to charge late payment fees and have asked the agency to add these, they are legally entitled to. If your account has been to court, interest charges and court charges can be added. All these are legitimate but if you are being charged extra and you’re not sure why you should ask the agency for a full explanation.
Wrong. The vast majority are responsible, licensed, professional and doing a difficult job but providing a valuable service in returning money from one party to another in a fair and equitable way.
If you have been contacted by one, you should check that;
(a) They are members of the Credit Services Association (logo at the base of web page) and
(b) If your account is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act, the agency should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
If you are unsure about this you should ask the agency to supply a copy of your agreement so that you can check whether or not it is regulated.