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Debt Collection - Debunking the Top Five Myths

It seems that in the eyes of the public, working for a debt collection agency is on a par with being a traffic warden which is in no small part due to some of the preconceptions that have resulted in a stereotype of a couple of “heavies” arriving at the door with a baseball bat.  Nothing could be further from the truth and debt collection agencies work hard in order to recover monies owed to their clients.  Many of these clients will be small businesses which rely on a steady flow of cash to stay in business.  Today we’re going to take a look at some of these myths and let you, our readers, know the truth about debt collection.

1.      DEBT COLLECTORS ON THE DOORSTEP – Most collection agencies attempt to communicate with debtors primarily by letter, email and phone.  After all, it’s not particularly cost-effective to visit somebody’s home in order to collect monies due unless you’re absolutely sure of a positive result.  Visiting debtors at their homes is intrusive and embarrassing and we know this so we only send an agent to the door if communications are repeatedly ignored – this is why you should respond to communications in a timely manner in order to discuss a solution that is agreeable to both parties.

2.      REMOVAL OF PROPERTY – An agent from a debt collection service cannot just turn up on your doorstep and remove your property.  Only a Bailiff or a High Court Enforcement Officer can do that and they must have a Court Order which you will have already been notified of.  A doorstep collector will only call to discuss the situation in order to help you resolve the problem – they will not remove your goods.

3.      IGNORANCE IS BLISS – Thinking that if you ignore them they will go away is not the most effective way of dealing with a debt collection agent.  If you don’t respond, they will carry on writing to you and phoning you and even send a doorstep collector to speak to you.  The problem will not go away and the longer you ignore it, the worse it will get. 

4.      I’LL PAY IT OFF A POUND A MONTH – It’s not true that an offer to pay a pound a month (probably for the rest of your life) will be accepted and you will have effectively solved the problem without too much hassle.  You’ll need to complete a detailed income and expenditure form which will be checked against figures considered to be acceptable and challenged if appropriate.  If you make an offer, make an effective and honest offer and if you show that this is all you can afford it’s likely to be accepted.

I CAN MOVE AND LEAVE NO FORWARDING ADDRESS – Again, this is simply not true.  Moving to a new address will not make the problem go away – a quick internet search is likely to trace you to your new home, especially now that we’re all so actively engaged with social media platforms.  At some point in the future, you will be traced and contacted about the debt