Dealing With Persistent Debt Collectors: What Are Your Rights?

By Staff Reporter - 25 March 2021

Features

All creditors are allowed by the law to collect unpaid debts from different people. The creditors can enlist the services of debt collectors and these agents can contact you by phone, letter, or home visits. However, the creditors must act within the law when they pursue the debts that you may owe. In some situations, things may go wrong when the creditors may overstep their mandate to recover their money lawfully.

Read on to learn your rights when dealing with persistent debt collectors. 

 

Home Visits

The creditors can utilize different methods to make you pay your debts. One way that can be used by the creditors to contact you is to send a debt collector physically to your home. Although the creditors write you a letter first and you have a right to deny a debt collector’s entry into your home. 

The debt collectors are not law enforcement agents, and they have no legal power or right to forcefully take goods from your home. You should not feel threatened, but know that you have a right to report the debt collector to the Financial Ombudsman Service informing them that the creditor or debt collector has violated the terms of the Standards of Lending Practice.

There is a formal process that all debt collectors should follow. For instance, the debt collectors can do the following: talk to you about your debt, visit your home, or ask for payment. However, a debt collector cannot do the following:

 

  • Come to your workplace

  • Take your belongings

  • Act in a threatening way that disturbs your peace

  • Pretend that they are law enforcement agents

  • Talk to your neighbors about your debt 

 

 

Ask to See the Debt Collector’s Proof of Identification

Debt collectors have a legal right to make follow-ups to people owing some monies to the creditors. However, you also have a right to ask for the identification of the debt collector when they visit your place. When you read this article, you can get insight into the things that you should do first, to confirm if the debt collectors hold your debt. In most cases, the creditors will enlist the services of debt collectors to help them recover money from the debtors. When the debt collectors have bought the creditor out, you need to know how the collection agency accessed your debt. Additionally, a creditor is not allowed to engage with more than one debt-collecting agency. 

You also have a right to see the total amount that you owe and missed payments since the collection agents took over the ownership of your debts. It is essential to contact the agency that has purchased your debts and make arrangements about how you can repay your credits. 

If you have other reasons that can make it difficult for you to pay your debts in that particular period, you should negotiate a credit repayment plan to settle the issue. However, do not be coerced to commit yourself to a payment plan that you cannot afford. You need to create a budget to avoid a situation that can make your life hard. 

Dealing with Vulnerable Customers

If you feel that you are overwhelmed by debts, you may need extra support from your creditors. This will help the creditors and the debt collectors to know that you are in a vulnerable situation, so they know how to handle your case. If you are experiencing any of the following, you might be considered vulnerable:

 

  • Mental health issues

  • Long-term illness

  • Recent bereavement

  • Recent accident

When you communicate your position to the creditors, they will instruct their debt collectors to take appropriate measures when dealing with your case. While the vulnerability is temporary, you should not use it as a scapegoat to evade your debts. It is vital on your part to cooperate with the debt collectors but make sure they do not harass you. If you feel that you have been harassed by a debt collector, do not hesitate to contact the creditor. You have the right to fair treatment even if you owe the creditor’s money.  

Ignoring Debt Collectors

It is not a good idea to ignore people who are pursuing their debts. Ignoring a debt collector can worsen your situation since they can decide to take further action to get the funds that you owe them. This could mean court action, so do not get overly excited about your rights when dealing with debt collectors.

As you can see, creditors have a right to claim all unpaid debts that you owe, and they can do this through debt collectors or collection agencies. While you should honor your obligation and repay your debt, you must also know that you have rights that should not be violated. It is essential to ask the debt collector to produce proof of identity, and you may not be obligated to let them enter your home.

 

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