How do I complain about a debt collection agency?
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If you have found yourself in debt and are struggling to pay back the money you owe to your creditors, you may be approached by a debt collection agency. The agency will work on behalf of your creditor to try and reclaim any money owed.
If you feel a creditor or debt collection agency is putting excess pressure on you by sending excessive mail or through persistent phone calls, you may have grounds to act on this.
How may you be treated unfairly?
Creditors may try and use scare tactics to get you to pay back your debts sooner. Some examples of unfair treatment include:
- Being sent letters that look like official court forms
- Contacting you several times a day, including outside of normal working hours
- Threatening you physically or verbally
- Implying that you could be committing a criminal offence by not repaying your debts
- Making others aware that you are in debt and revealing details about your situation
A debt collector could be breaking the law by using some of these tactics, and you can find more examples of unfair treatment on the Citizens Advice website.
Who can you complain to?
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, the first thing we’d advise you do is collect evidence of any harassment to support your claim.
You should contact your creditor directly before seeking advice from a professional body. If your debt has been sold on and you are being treated unfairly, you should contact the company that purchased your debt.
If the harassment persists, you should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and outline what has been happening. You should provide evidence to support your case. The FOS may be able to help you but you can also ask your local Trading Standards office for advice too.
Note: Always keep a copy of what you have sent and note down when you send and receive letters. This will be useful evidence to substantiate your complaint.
How do you make a complaint?
You can write, email or call to make a complaint. You should clearly explain why you feel you have been treated unfairly and provide evidence of how you feel you have been harassed. You should ensure you keep details of your complaint, to refer back to as the complaint progresses.
Get debt help and advice
Please don’t worry about debt collectors alone. You can find out more about creditor harassment on the Citizens Advice website or you can receive expert and fair advice from PayPlan.
Our advisers are here to help and they will be happy to talk to you about your financial situation. Get in touch today by calling 0800 280 2816.