How to find out who your creditors are?
You would need to contact the Credit Reference Agencies. Not all of the Credit Agencies hold all of the creditor information so you would need to contact all three of them.
- Experian – Customer Support Centre, PO Box 1135, Warrington, WA55 1EP
Tel: 0844 481 8000
- Equifax – Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US
Tel: 0870 010 0583
- TransUnion UK– One Park Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1EP
Tel: 0330 024 7574
How can creditors find me?
The resources a creditor can use to find you include –
- Information on your Credit Report
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Voter Registration Records (the Electoral Roll)
- Banks & Building Societies
- Credit Bureau
- HM Revenue & Customs
- GAIN – Gone Away Information Network.
Consumer rights against creditors
You have many rights as a consumer against creditors in relation to what they can and cannot do and you can find more details on the Consumer Action Website www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk
The Financial Conduct Authority is the main regulator for rules and regulations on debt collection, debt management and consumer credit www.fca.org.uk
Many lenders subscribe to The Lending Code too. You can find details of this at www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk
What your creditors can do?
Creditors (the people you owe money to) can issue a default notice then pass your debt to a Debt Collection agent or sell the debt to a collection agent, but only once you have defaulted on your contractual payments. The Creditor or Collection Agent can go for county court action and may go for a Charging Order if you live in your own/mortgaged property.
Can a creditor contact me at work ?
If you have given the Creditor your work number at the time you applied for the credit then they would be entitled to use the number to call you on. However if you have told them by phone or in writing to remove this number from their system, especially if it is having an effect on doing your job and/or you’re not permitted to take private calls at work, and they are still calling you, you can pursue a claim for harassment.
Creditors can take money from your wages
Creditors can only take money from your wages using AOE (attachment of earnings) , they would need to apply to the court to do this.
Creditors take money from your bank account
Creditors are unable to take money out of your account without a third party debt order and to do this they have to hold a County Court Judgment. If you owe your bank money they can use the Right to off-set (RTO) to recover what is owed. This generally happens when money has gone into your account and the bank takes it to use towards the debt you have with them.
If a creditor sold your debts
If a creditor has sold your debt it is likely that you will have a Debt collection Agency contact you to make arrangements to repay the debt back.
Creditor takes you to court
You must fill in the County Court Form has soon has you receive this, otherwise a judgment will be set at an amount you probably cannot afford. When filling in the form you must put an amount you can afford to pay per month and sign the form and post it back to the address on the court form. You will then receive a judgment back with the amount you stated you can afford, if for any reason it comes back asking for a higher payment you can contact the court within 14 days and ask for a N245. This will allow you to re submit a budget and revised offer but you must pay a £14 fee when you send this form to the court.
Settlement offer to creditor
If you receive a lump sum and want to offer this to your creditors this is called a Full and Final Settlement offer. You must always get your creditors to put in writing that they will accept your offer before paying. Sometimes it may be done as a partial settlement and this is where your creditor has accepted a lower offer then the outstanding amount.
Will a creditor accept my debt solution?
This depends on the type of debt solution you plan to use. With some informal debt solutions – like Debt Management Plans, full-and-final settlements, or Repayment Arrangements (was DIY Debt Plan) – your creditor is not obliged to accept your proposed offer of repayment. However, there are some more formal debt solutions (like Individual Voluntary Arrangements, Bankruptcy, or Debt Relief Orders) which are legally-binding on both you and your creditors, once they are approved.
Bankruptcy from creditors
Your creditors could make you bankrupt if you do not or will not pay your debts, it is more likely that you would make yourself bankrupt than the creditors making you bankrupt. If the creditor were to make you bankrupt then you would need to owe them at least £5000 or 2 or more creditors can join together to make this amount. First step would be a Statutory Demand and it gives you 18 days to come to agreement to pay or set the statutory demand aside. If you fail to respond or they refuse to set the demand aside you will be advised of a date for your bankruptcy hearing. If you are declared bankrupt an Official Receiver will be appointed who will go through your details and monitor your bankruptcy until you are discharged.