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Do I have the right to only reply to debt collectors via letters?


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I've had a run-in with debt collectors before, but only in written correspondence (which my local CAB helped me with immensely). Phone calls are new grounds for me, and they make me feel rather unsettled.

 

So far, I've just had the one phone call from ACT Credit Management Ltd., last Friday. Just one of their standard issue cold callers: telling me that they've picked up the debt and that I have to start paying them or I'll get a county court judgement. Remembering my previous help from the CAB, I offered them a token payment (I'm unemployed, I can barely even afford that). He accepted and said that'll buy me some time. He then ended the conversation by saying he was sending me a text.

 

I thought it was just info on where to send the cheque, so I didn't read it 'til later. Turns out it's a demand for me to "urgently" contact the company and quote a reference they gave me, and it is "essential" that I do it "immediately".

 

Did some googling, and it sounds like I'm going to get a bit of an inquisition when I phone that number. I do not like the sound of that at all. I'm confident face-to-face, but phone calls make me nervous as hell. I'm worried they're going to throw the book at me and intimidate me into agreeing with unfair terms.

 

Can't I just phone that number, cut my interrogator off immediately, and proclaim that I wish to deal with written correspondence (so I have a record of everything that I agree to) only? Am I within my rights to do that, or will that just incur their wrath and make them play extra hard ball with me?

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do not phone them under any circumstance

if they call again tell them to put it all in writing don't even bother replying to there text mesages.

 

is it might be this company

 

http://www.actcredit.com/content/view/16/29/

 

you also need to what and if they are legaly allowed to claim this money of you regards a CCA agreement

Edited by huggy41
added more

PHOTOBUCKET TUTORIAL IS NOW DONE HERE IT IS

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Guest Cartaphilus

You are within your rights to request any company have one point of contact for you, what if you didn't have a telephone for example, what then?

 

You can write to them, requesting they remove your phone number and also that they have one point of contact: your address. They will argue over this, but let's face it the average person at a DCA on the phone ... will not know about things like Data Protection Act and a request to remove data, that unless they do so and comply it can become an offense within a certain time limit.

 

The other answer is simply don't phone them. You do NOT have to comply with their silly demands for starters and, as you already know from what you have posted, you are letting yourself in for a lot of rubbish if you do phone them.

 

However, if you can tell what the debt is ie credit/loan/overdraft, ignoring the muppet who phoned you and told you the usual scripted 'we are going to get you' nonsense with a county court judgement.

 

Deal with them in writing only. There is a letter that you can write instructing them about this which I will go and get for you in a moment.

 

First rule, never talk to these people on the phone, total, utter waste of your time. The more you talk to them, the more they will harass you using your phone. Also, you will be told all sorts of rubbish about 'we can do this, we can do that' ... Nope. They will not put in a letter what they would in a phone call hence why they want you to phone.

 

Also, do not under any circumstances send any DCA a cheque. So, let's start off with some more details, what is this debt and then help will be forthcoming.

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For the time being send them this letter, recorded delivery, do not sign it, print name:

 

Company Name

Road

Town

City / County

Postcode

 

Re: Harassment by telephone

 

 

ACCOUNT NUMBER: XXXXXXX

 

Dear Sirs

 

I am writing in relation to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

 

I have verbally requested that these stop, but I am still receiving calls. (Delete if necessary)

 

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

 

I am of the view that your continued harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

 

Be advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded. (**Even if you don‘t yet have recording equipment!!**)

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

[NAME HERE]

 

Then as Huggy suggested, perhaps requesting a CCA but first more information is needed about what this debt is in order to give the right advice. Oh, and also welcome to the forum, as I too busy thinking of things to post for you. ;)

 

But, lastly, relax, you have found yourself to this forum now ... Where you will get an awful lot of help, support and that you will quickly find yourself gaining more confidence in dealing with these people but also you are the one who has more on their side with the knowledge base here than they do.

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Am I within my rights to do that, or will that just incur their wrath and make them play extra hard ball with me?

 

Nope. They can huff, puff all they like. It's a perfectly legal thing to write to a company has been for donkey's years, in fact the more letters you write to them the more you have on your side, not theirs. What 'wrath' do they possess for example, it's like saying you can't defend yourself if you do we will get the knuckle dusters out don't you think?

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Just taken a look at their website, another one with flashy, gimmicky, 'all smiles' and stock photos from a modelling agency. :D

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Thanks for the welcome, guys!

 

Nice to hear I can be bold with them! Thanks for that info. Just what I wanted to hear. :)

 

This debt is for about £500 that I owe my old university for accommodation, from 2008. They were rather funny to deal with. In a good way, I suppose. After offering them a token payment, thanks to the CAB's assistance, they then wrote back telling me how many decades it would take for my suggested payments to pay off the debt (that was hilarious and I couldn't fathom how they didn't know what a token payment was). Nevertheless, they stopped contacting me then and there and I didn't hear any more about it until just last week. They may have been sending letters to an old address (even though I put my new address on the letters I sent them), but they certainly haven't phoned me. I'm pretty sure the company I'm dealing with now is indeed the one Huggy linked to.

 

If I shouldn't send them cheques, how should I sort out repayment with them? I also have a debt to my old bank, and they've stopped harassing me since I started paying them a token £1 a month. That's why I'm eager to get the same deal going with this company, you see.

 

For now, I'll send them that letter (edited for my needs, of course - they've only phoned me once, so I can't say they're being harassing just yet). Thanks for the info and the template, guys!

 

PS: I enjoyed the irony of debt collectors using smiley stock photos, too! :D

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Ah right, so CCA won't work then if it's a debt from student times.

 

I'm pretty sure the company I'm dealing with now is indeed the one Huggy linked to.

 

Well, it's the only one really (asides from a few addresses here and there listed on other websites, links etc) out there so, yes. :D

 

As to the stock photo thing, I understand casting agencies ie 'extras' are and do also hire out. 8)

 

The truth is probably more along the lines of something from Charles Dickens, as it more than likely drains people of a few things, having to do this everyday to debtors ... you get the picture. ;)

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If I shouldn't send them cheques, how should I sort out repayment with them? I also have a debt to my old bank, and they've stopped harassing me since I

 

First let's see if anyone can give you any help with this student debt thing, but you can pay by standing order, which is safest. Postal orders as well but, of course, you have to pay over a fee. SO you have control over things, and there can be (usually) no argument over paying or when it was paid. What you may find is by post, usually after a first or second payment, a DCA may write to you claiming 'you've breached the terms of your payment agreement'. It's usually a ploy to get you to pay more.

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They may have been sending letters to an old address (even though I put my new address on the letters I sent them), but they certainly haven't phoned me. I'm pretty sure the company I'm dealing with now is indeed the one Huggy linked to.
Oh, yes, another commonality DCAs do, sending things to old addresses so you don't know they've written then BANG, suddenly they write to your present one, demanding all and sundry, lightning, thunder, you get the picture?

(that was hilarious and I couldn't fathom how they didn't know what a token payment was)

 

That's the key here, the don't or very often will say they don't ... just being difficult in other words. They appear to think for anyone not savvie to their ways you will just agree with them; what they rely on. It's all just word games when said and done, get you tied into knots. But you can undo those knots. ;)

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You could write to them and make them prove the debt & that they have the right to collect it; let the parasites earn their shekels,

 

Date:

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

You have contacted me/us regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself/ourselves.

 

I/we would point out that I/we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to (insert company name).

 

I am/we are familiar with the CPUTR 2008 and the Office of Fair Trading's Guidance on debt collection, which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I/we would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. AND in not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

 

Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

 

I/we would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my/our liability for the debt in question.

 

I/we await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to Trading Standards and also inform the Office Of Fair Trading of your actions.

 

I/we look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully DO NOT SIGN

 

As for their threat of obtaining a CCJ, even if the tried and they managed to prove a debt existed a Judge would look at your circumstances and then decide what he thought you could reasonably afford..... that could be as little as £1 per month. If these creatures do manage to prove the existence of a debt just pay them £1 per month. :)

Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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