Welcome to debtcollectoradvice, in which I will share my experiences (good and bad) of the Debt Collection industry, and explain how you can challenge the Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) to comply fully with the law.
You may be surprised to discover that many debts are legally unenforcable, and while the aim of this blog is NOT to encourage or condone debt avoidance, I’m sure you would agree that it’s in nobody’s interest to pay back an unenforcable debt. Nobody’s interest except the DCAs…
So who am I, you might ask. Well I’m not going to use my full name on this blog as I am actively involved in some ongoing battles against DCAs – at least one of which will involve Court action. I, like many people in the UK, borrowed quite heavily on credit cards when times were good. In the 1990s I was in a very well-paying job, and banks were virtually throwing money at me. Then I became seriously ill and had to give up work, relying on state benefits. My creditors’ glossy leaflets always boasted about how sympathetic they’d be in times of need, so I approached them asking for their help.
Before I knew it, my creditors had washed their hands of me. So much for all their help, now I had debt collectors writing to me, phoning me and my family, and threatening to call at my house. Thanks a lot, banks!
Frightened and intimidated, at first I buried my head in the sand. I refused to answer the phone, I put letters straight in the bin. Of course, the problem did not go away, and eventually my family got dragged into the mess when I was admitted to hospital and they started taking my calls. I felt shamed into making repayments that I could barely afford.
Then in early 2007 I learned that I could reclaim unlawful bank and credit card charges, and began searching the internet for more information. I soon stumbled upon the Consumer Action Group website, and realised that I could also challenge the Debt Collectors to prove that they had a legal right to my money.
I learned that in many cases the original paperwork was so flawed that it would not stand up to scrutiny. I learned that in many cases the transfer between the original creditor (OC) and the DCA was not completed correctly. I learned that in many cases defaults had been registered without the proper procedure being followed. I was genuinely stunned that big banks could behave so poorly, and decided to start fighting back.
I won’t pretend it’s been easy. I won’t even pretend that I’m anywhere near finished. The DCAs don’t give up without a fight, and you may have to steel yourself for a fight involving the industry regulators, Trading Standards, even the Courts. But armed with the advice from the CAG forum I’m now in a position to clear my credit file – lawfully and for free – and make a fresh start.
On this blog there is no way I could hope to replicate all of the advice on the CAG forums and I’d be foolish to try. Nor can I answer any specific questions or offer any tailored advice. I strongly recommend that if you’re struggling with any kind of debt that you seek independent advice, and also join the community at the CAG forums.
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are strictly my own opinion. I am not qualified to offer any legal advice, and you should always seek independent advice.