Home visits from Debt Collectors
If a debt collector arrives at your home, all they are empowered to do is ask for payment without threat nor menace, or to try to set up a payment arrangement. Be polite and courteous, but don’t have to comply nor even speak to them if you don’t want to.
For a debt collector to claim to be or imply to be a bailiff, is an offence. This should be reported to your local trading standards office. If you’ve been threatened in any way, or are scared – inform the Police.
A debt collector should not
- Visit you at your workplace
- Act in a threatening or intimidating way
- Cause a disturbance
- Force their way into your house
- Take any of your belongings
- Refuse to leave when you ask them
- Clamp your car
- Speak to anyone else about your debt
I’ve got a debt collector at my door. What should I do?
Check Your Records
Check your records and make sure this matches what the debt collector tells you.
Be Truthful and Realistic
Don’t promise payments you’ve little chance of making. This won’t help in the long run. Tell the debt collector you’re looking into getting some advice and you will be in contact when you’ve decided how to act on it.
Offer Token Payments
If this is your only debt, you may be able to make some level of payment. Token amounts, no matter how small are preferable to saying you can’t pay. It shows good intention while you work out a longer-term solution.
You don’t have to do this; the debt collectors cannot insist you make payment of any amount; nor commit you to a payment schedule.
Important: if you have other debts – do not give creditor who shouts the loudest priority over your other financial commitment and debts. Don’t agree to a payment plan until you’ve taken independent advice which takes into account all your debts and other financial obligations.