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Dealing with Debt Collectors

Debt collectors are not court officials, nor are they bailiffs. If a County Court judgment has been made against you, then the person to whom you owe money (the creditor) can ask for a ‘warrant of execution’ and a bailiff may then be used to help recover the money from you.

A debt collector or debt collection agency is a commercial service used by some people to help them collect money they believe is owed to them. The debt collector is paid a fee or a percentage of the money collected.

Debt collectors cannot enter your home or business and cannot take your possessions. They have no connection with the court system and must follow the Office of Fair Trading debt collection guidance. This includes clear details about how they should behave, especially related to unfair business practices:

  • Communication should be clear, accurate and straightforward
  • They should not misrepresent their authority or legal position
  • There should be no physical or psychological harassment
  • Dealings with you should be fair and honest
  • Any charges should be fair and proportionate
  • Visits to your home/business should be for a specific reason and not be threatening

Debt collectors’ powers are limited. They cannot commence court proceedings against you – only the claimant or solicitor can bring a claim against you in court.

What you should do: if you receive a letter from a debt collection company, contact us immediately. After taking instructions from you, we will send a firm response on your behalf.

You can get a copy of the OFT leaflet on the conduct of debt collectors by clicking on this link.