If at any time you have had debts that you have not paid, then unfortunately you may have been victim to some of the sleaziest collection tactics used by UK debt collectors today.
A simple fact in today’s climate, debt collectors have got a lot more aggressive and in many documented cases, clearly breached the law in bullying and pressurising the vulnerable.
Are you right now, afraid to answer the unrecognised number ringing your mobile, reply to the threatening text messages demanding you pay, or receiving ridiculous red coloured letters, saying if you don’t pay you are going to jail!
Although most collectors stay within the bounds of the law, others behave in ways that are outrageous, heartless and/or just plain illegal
OK, let’s start from the beginning. By taking their business to pieces, you will see that hiding behind the
mask of fear and bullying, it is in fact YOU that is control, not them.
DCA’s are a business, 99% are not here to help you or listen to your problems. Dog died, car on fire, lost your wallet? They don’t care….Imagine a room with 100 people sitting at individual desks, with headsets on. These sales people are paid a bonus in accordance to how much they can get you to pay off the debt.
The staff at these call centres have morning meetings before they begin. Here, they are given tactics on how to get you to pay e.g. ‘ …tell them we have their neighbours’/bosses number and we will ask them for the money’….or…’if you don’t pay today, we will make arrangements to have your parents’ car taken away and sold off to pay off the debt’. The bosses at these companies tell the staff how much money they expect each of them to collect by the end of the day. When these people call you, talking/negotiating with them is as effective as double sided playing cards!
Where do they get the debts?…..they buy them, and in bulk . They have sales guys that target banks, institutions, mobile phone operators and buy a large collection of these debts for a % of the debt. What does this mean?….Let’s say your debt from Bank ‘A’ is an old credit card and was for £1678…….usually the DCA buys it for 10-20% of original value. However they will demand full amount, plus, their own charges on top. So they pay around £300 and try and get over £2000 off you, and over a fixed agreed time, you can begin to see why they make so much money and don’t care about personal circumstances.
Now they have a database of all these debts in front of them with telephone numbers and addresses given from the original debtor…now what? They want cash from you, as quick as possible , with the least amount of effort on their part. So now they adopt various methods of achieving that…….
A standard letter is sent to you, asking for the amount, plus charges back. Often breaching OFT guidelines and making official looking documents intended or likely to, mislead debtors as to their status, for example, documents made to resemble court claims.
Phone calls – A favourite tactic – calling you about 5-10 times a day, on every number they have to contact you, mobile, home and work. Sometimes sending texts and asking you to call them back on premium rate numbers (which is illegal) Imagine the above happening to you everyday for the next month. This is physical/psychological harassment, it is illegal and once again something else that you can stop.
Now they will begin the nasty and often illegal tactics if they still have no success collecting the full amount, these include – which are all illegal
Contacting you at unreasonable times, ignoring legitimate wishes in respect of when and where to contact you, claiming instructions from the courts, claiming to be bailiffs. Falsely implying or stating that action can or will be taken when it legally cannot us a business name which implies public body status, or falsely implying or stating that failure to pay a debt is a criminal offence or that criminal proceedings will be brought if debtors to pay in full, in unreasonably large installments, or to increase payments when they are unable to do so. All of which are illegal
Now you have a much better understanding of who you are dealing with and more importantly who. I will be writing in my next article, how to fight them, to write off old debts, slash the amount they are demanding, to stop all telephone/texts from them and make them communicate only in letter…in fact a list of 50 key points you can use to take back control and power from them!