Today – Dealing with Debt Collectors as a Parent
Taking on debt is mentally frustrating, but since it is necessary, the UK has placed a number of laws in place to avoid any distaste between the creditors and the debtors.
These laws are there, but since a lot of people are unaware of their rights and are hesitant to reach out for professional help, the enforcement of these laws isn’t as frequent as you’d think.
If you’re wondering:
What can bailiffs take from me? Or what are my rights in such a situation?
Then you’ve come to the perfect place because I’ve compiled a guide on what to do in such a situation.
Let’s dive right in.
Dealing with Debt Collectors as a Parent – Your Rights
No matter how much power the debt collectors have, they can’t cause you any inconvenience of any sort. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), debt collectors also have to follow certain rules and avoid doing certain things.
The actions that are deemed unethical are:
- Debt collectors cannot contact you before 8 am or after 9 pm, so as to cause no inconvenience to you. Although, if they have your consent for late and early calls, only then are they allowed to call you at that time.
- They cannot attempt to contact you when you’re at work if you have already told them not to.
- Debt collectors are not allowed to contact third parties and disclose your debt obligations. The only thing they’re allowed to ask third parties about you is your contact information and your address.
- No harassment or abuse of any sort is tolerated.
- They cannot lie about the amount you owe to a certain creditor.
- They cannot falsely claim to be law officers and threaten you by intimidating you. Remember, you cannot go to jail for unpaid debt.
- Debt collectors cannot threaten to seize your property or assets if you fail to pay your debt.
- They are in no way allowed to give a false company name for whatsoever reason.
- Giving false credit information to any third party is also not allowed.
- They cannot pretend that you still owe the debt if they have lost the proof of debt form and the paperwork isn’t complete.
If you want the contact to stop, send a written letter by mail asking the debt collection agency to stop contacting you. When the collector receives that letter, he/she can only call to confirm whether or not you want the contact to stop, or give you a prior notice about any legal action that they’re about to take to retrieve the debt.
It is advised that you should talk to your collector at least once. Even if you think that you don’t owe the debt, you should tell them that they’re contacting the wrong person and that there has been some mistake.
What can a Debt Collector Do?
Debt collectors have the right to use different legal methods to ensure that the debt is recovered. There is a whole set of laws that the debt collector has to follow to make sure that an ethical method is followed in recovering the debt.
Collection agencies can send you various letters and can keep calling you about your debt. They can keep contacting you as pre-legal action prior to taking the case to the court.
If deemed necessary, they can hire bailiffs or enforcement agencies.
They can also decide to transfer the case to the UK’s court and start legal proceedings against you. You can, in some cases, be stopped at the airport if you’re not giving a forwarding address for your debts, but these are very extreme cases and don’t occur frequently.
They can also sell your debt to another agency which can attempt to recover the debt in the same way.
Difference between a Bailiff and a Debt Collector
Take it from me, legal jargon is very confusing.
You can never tell what the specific work of an individual is, just based on the name given to them by law. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help you.
A bailiff is someone who legally arrests you for your crimes and does a variety of law enforcement jobs based on the jurisdiction that they serve.
On the other hand, a debt collector works in the area of financial services and they mainly carry out services like retrieval of debt from a certain person and are polite and professional in the process as well.
How Do I Complain About a Debt Collector
In some cases, debt collectors use some unethical practices to retrieve the money.
One such example of this is that if a debt collector loses the important paperwork related to your debt, they cannot pretend that you still owe them a debt if you haven’t acknowledged the debt in writing.
In such a situation, if a debt collector puts pressure on you, despite losing the proof of debt form, you have to file a complaint against them for using unethical practices.
For this, first inquire about the agency the debt collector works for. If it’s a big agency, well and good. This means that they have a proper system in place to report malpractice by their employees.
Go to the site that the debt collector works for and go to the complaints section to file a complaint to the agency. Another option is that you can call the National Debtline and report harassment by the creditor and the debt collectors.
Debt collectors are frustrating to deal with. Their constant calls can be a headache to deal with and listen to on a daily basis.
However, you have multiple options in this situation as well, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help as soon as you can.
I hope this article answered all your questions. For further information, reach out to me on the email address and I’ll make sure to answer your questions.
Dealing with Debt Collectors as a Parent is a feature post