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Common Lies Told by Disreputable Debt Collectors

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 28 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Debt Collectors Disreputable Lies

Although debt collectors must abide by guidelines laid out by the Office of Fair Trading and the Consumer Credit Act there are still plenty who bend and break the rules. Many disreputable debt collectors will simply lie in order to place pressure on debtors in order to recover debts.

Harassment and Unfair Practices by Debt Collectors

Debt collectors are notorious for putting pressure on consumers who have fallen into debt. For disreputable debt collectors their only aim is to recover the debt that they have bought from credit companies. Disreputable debt collectors are aware of the naivety of many consumers over their rights. Many consumers have no absolutely no knowledge of what debt collection agencies can and cannot legally do to recover debts. Disreputable debt collectors will use a number of common lies in the hope of scaring customers into quickly paying their debts.

We Will Send Debt Collectors to the Home

This is a common threat used by some debt collectors to use the embarrassment factor to obtain payment from debtors. Debt collectors can turn up at a debtor’s house but it is unlikely as it will cost them money. Many debt collectors will state that they have scheduled a visit to a debtor’s home and state a date and time. If the debtor agrees to this then they will have effectively given permission. The debtor should simply state that they do not give permission for a home visit and that they are aware of their rights on harassment in this situation.

We Will Send Bailiffs to Recover Property

Sending in the bailiffs to recover property to the value of debts is another common lie used by disreputable debt collectors. In fact, there are very few cases where bailiffs can be called in. Bailiffs are a last option that will usually only occur after a County Court Judgement payment arrangement has been ignored. Bailiffs are court appointed and debt collectors don’t have the same powers as the courts. Debt collectors cannot enter a person’s home without their permission and these threats can be viewed as harassment.

We Will Continually Phone Your Place of Employment

Another common lie that debt collectors use is that they will call the debtor’s place of employment. This threat is designed to embarrass the debtor into paying up. A debt collector may indeed actually contact a debtor at their place of employment. The debtor should simply give an alternative telephone number and say that their employer does not allow private calls. If the debt collector continues to telephone the place of employment this is harassment and they can be reported.

We Will Arrest Your Wages due to Unpaid Debts

A debt collector has no power to arrest wages from a debtor. They may use this threat but court proceedings will be needed before wages can be arrested. Wages arrestment will usually be applied if a County Court Judgement has been arranged and then the repayment schedule has been ignored. Wages arrestment can be used by local authorities for debts such as unpaid council tax. New repayment schedules can usually be set in place before wages arrestment occurs.

We Can’t Find Your Original Credit Agreement

Debtors who have been contacted by debt collection agencies should always ask for a copy of the original credit agreement. The debt collector may claim not to be able to find the agreement at the time of phoning. If this is the case simply tell them to send a copy of the agreement when they have found it. Do not deal with debt collectors who cannot produce the original credit agreement. It is the right of all consumers to have a copy of the original credit agreement if debt collectors are trying to recover debts.

You Must Pay This Much towards Your Debts

If a debt collector states an unrealistic figure then the debtor should try to negotiate. The debt collector may refuse and claim that the figure they have mentioned will be the only acceptable amount. In most cases the debt collection agency will have bought the debt from the original credit company for a fraction of its true amount. They will however try to recover the full amount, not the amount they paid for the debt. Debtors should only pay an amount they can realistically afford and should not give in to pressure or scare tactics.

If debt collectors do lie, threaten or harass debtors they can be reported and they can face serious consequences. Debtors who are aware of their rights and can stand up to debt collectors will be less likely to endure harassment. Anyone who is undergoing debt collection harassment can report the matter to the Office of Fair Trading. If harassment is occurring always inform the debt collector that they will be reported unless it stops immediately.

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