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Tips For Dealing With A Debt Collector

Tips For Dealing With A Debt Collector

The dubious actions of debt collection companies have caused financial uncertainty amongst many of their clients, who are struggling with huge debts already. The Financial Ombudsman made a statement about how these companies have breached their legal boundaries and are wrongfully exploiting vulnerable people.

Despite the shoddy practices that many debt collectors have adopted, it is not all bad news, because the Financial Ombudsman reviewed cases where complaints were made and ruled thirty-two percent of them in favour of the consumer. Keep reading to learn more about what debt collectors can and cant do, and how to file complaints against them.

1) Speak to the Bailiff Initially

Sometimes, problems with overdue debts can be exacerbated, due to miscommunications between the parties involved. Certainly, it is common for confusion to arise, due to unexpected circumstances.

If these regrettable events transpire, it is wise to look for ways to resolve the problem with the debt collector, prior to filing a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman. Try to reason with the bailiff and tell them how you intend to address the problem.

If you do not get a reply within two months, you should then contact the ombudsman, who will guide you on the best way to proceed.

2) Forwarding Your Complaint to the Financial Ombudsman

If the debt collector is slow to respond, you are well within your rights to complain about them. Furthermore, you can file a complaint if you don't like the way they respond to you.

You must contact the ombudsman no more than six months following the bailiff's latest response. Then, you will be required to provide the information below:

  • Your home address and name
  • The policy or account number related to your complaint
  • You will need to explain the issue you are experiencing, and detail how you wish to rectify the situation

3) How Your Issue is Reviewed

Once an official complaint is filed, an investigation will start. Here's a couple of things that will happen subsequently:

  • A thorough, unbiased and balanced assessment of your case will be conducted
  • The debt collector will be questioned about the matter and give their opinion

4) You Will Receive a Reply From the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman will carry out a procedure that involves carefully analysing and reviewing all the information you have given to them. After this, they will provide you with a considered judgment about the matter.

An in depth, comprehensive explanation will be provided to you, regardless of whether your issue was a minor misunderstanding, or whether the bailiff acted in a totally unethical way and was completely out of line. In the latter case, the ombudsman will attempt to reach an understanding with the bailiff, so you will be exonerated.

5) Additional Assessment and Research

Sometimes, you or the debt collector might disagree with the judgment that is made. In this situation, your case will get passed to a department official for further investigation.

The official will spend some time examining everything closely and addressing any oversights that might have occurred previously. Then, the official will make a legally binding, final decision.

If you are still not happy with the official's final judgment, you can advance your case to court for appeal.

6) Implementing the Final Judgment

The bailiff will be instructed to resolve any problems with you, once a court has made a final ruling. The ideal way to win a court case of this nature is to be financially compensated.

The Length of Time for Review Processes

The amount of time it takes to resolve any problems you encounter with a debt collector, depends on how long the ombudsman spends gathering data. As well as this, another key variable that influences the time period is how complex your circumstances are.

Most of the time, if there was just a minor misunderstanding, the ombudsman will not take too long to research the matter. Other variables that might be relevant as well, are if each of you fails to accept the rulings made by the officials, and you wish to take further action.

Most cases take a few months, before a final judgment is made. Furthermore, the onus is on you to tell the official if you are suffering financial hardship. By doing this, you will force them to deal with your query much faster.

Final Thoughts

It is an unfortunate fact that bailiffs, who are legally licensed, can often cause untold misery to borrowers. Newlyn Debt Collectors and Marstons Debt Collectors can serve you with a CCJ (County Court Judgment), if you fall behind with your debts significantly.

Nonetheless, if you feel that you are being unfairly harassed, you can contact the ombudsman for assistance. Furthermore, if you are unhappy with the way that your complaint is handled, you can take the matter to court and seek a resolution that way.

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