I've fell for the trap too! - Hope this information helps you all out...
Please feel free to adapt my template below and it would be great to hear of peoples outcomes from this if used! Remember, never give these companies your new bank account details, new bank card details, do not complete any 'Income & Expenditure' forms for them or supply with bank statements. Do not accept any additional charges for arranging a payment plan, cancel your bank card, direct debits and where possible, get a new bank account. Make one off payments to them by Postal Order, cheque or a bank transfer that YOU set up yourself in your on-line banking, do not set up any type of automated payment method, YOU keep in control of your payments to them. Once set up, keep paying and get the debt out of the way and NEVER use these people again.
These people are crooks and prey on the financially voulnerable - Good luck guys, and keep strong :o)
Dear Sir / Madam,
I have found out that my bank have withdrawn my overdraft and applied all of my charges / interest to my account, which is now leaving me in an terrible financial situation.
I will not have any funds in my bank account for you to collect your payment to cover my loan, or pay any of my household bills as my wages which will be paid in on 30/06/11 will just cover the bank charges on my account. Please can you therefore with immediate effect, not attempt to take any payment from my bank account, either by Direct Debit or using my Visa Debit card details supplied as this will mean I will incur further charges from my bank and have even less money to enable repayment of my debts.
I would now at this point like to arrange a payment plan with you and freeze any further interest and charges going forward so I am able to pay off my debt with you as quickly as possible, contacting me either by letter, e-mail or on my personal mobile number only. Contacting me at work would cause me further distress and I would also class this as harassment as I do not wish to be contacted at any point regarding this debt whilst at work.
It is with great regret that I am having to ask for a repayment plan, but due to these unforeseen circumstances which have now effected my ability to repay the loan to you in one lump sum, I have no other alternatives available. I will have to contact all of the other companies who I pay by Direct Debit to arrange payment options with them also as this has left me totally penniless and I have no idea when I will be able to get back on track.
For my protection, and from a legal point of view, I would like to inform you of the following:
You have 3 methods of contacting me (letter, e-mail, personal mobile - which has voicemail enabled for messages to be left) which should be more than adequate for your company to communicate with me regarding the repayment of the loan. I have heard / read stories about people being constantly contacted when in my situation and I must inform you that I will be taking note of all methods of communication (times, dates etc) so to keep a record should I feel that I am being harassed or continually contacted, receive calls that are cancelled within a few seconds or receive automated voicemail messages asking me to contact you back. Please can you confirm that your company agrees to my preferred methods of contact and will not contact me whilst at work, either on my personal mobile telephone or work number.
I must inform you in the strongest manner that I do not wish to be contacted at my place of work at any point regarding this loan / debt as this could jeopardise my employment and therefore I would not have the monies to repay the loan to you. My work telephone number was only provided for you to confirm that I was employed and that my place of work had a working land line, and this is what you informed me when setting up the loan. My work environment is not a place for me to discuss personal finance matters, or arrange further more convenient times for us to discuss matters further if you cannot do this by letter or e-mail. I can only be contacted by telephone on my personal mobile number between 4pm and 9pm Monday to Friday. Any calls before 4pm will not be taken as I am at work, but voicemail messages can be left for me and I will contact you back at the earliest possible convenience, if this is not convenient for you, then a letter or an e-mail communication will have to be used. I expect not be contacted on any other number than my personal mobile number, and should I find this is happening then I will seek immediate legal advice as I have now given you prior notification regarding this.
I have no doubt that your company fully understands my situation and will adhere to Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 whilst I am arranging repayment of the loan with yourselves, and throughout the duration of any repayment period. I am fully aware of the OFT Debt Collection Guidance and I will consider making a complaint about a company's behaviour under the guidance if it becomes apparent that you do not follow the legal guidelines and would have no other alternative than to seek legal advice. In particular section (2.2 g) 'Ignoring or disregarding debtors' legitimate wishes in respect of when and where to contact them, for example, shift workers who ask not to be telephoned during certain times of the day'.
I do hope however, that we can arrange a payment plan to alleviate the stress of my whole situation, and to also enable the repayment of the loan to your company as promptly as my finances will allow. I look forward to hearing from you and will help in any way I can to organise repayments with your company as soon as possible.