Am I being unfairly harassed by my creditors?

June 28, 2013

If you owe money to a lender and you’re not meeting payments, it’s expected that they will take further action to recover the money. However, there are legal requirements creditors must follow.

But if you feel intimidated by the amount of contact you’re receiving, it’s possible your creditor could be breaking the law. Harassment is a criminal offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and punishment on conviction is six months’ imprisonment and/or a level 5 fine (up to £5,000).

There is an extensive list of methods that some lenders use to obtain payment which are considered harassment. As an example, contacting you several times per day or using threatening behaviour either verbally or physically are both considered to be unacceptable. Creditors have many techniques in which they will try to acquire late payment and if you feel like you’re being unfairly harassed or pressurised, it’s important to seek advice. Either your local Citizens Advice Bureau or alternatively our professional advisers at Scotland Debt Solutions can help.

At Scotland Debt Solutions, not only can we consider whether your creditor is guilty of harassment, we can also discuss your debt situation and provide help and advice on how to get your payments moving and reduce your debt.

Creditors are allowed to chase for payment via written demand and reminders. They are allowed to contact you by telephone and take court action if you’re not repaying your debt, but it’s important to make yourself aware of when a creditor is crossing the line.

If you feel you’re being unfairly pursued, collect any evidence you think can support your claim and discuss it with a qualified professional beforehand. Discussing your situation with one of our specialist advisers can often bring up supporting evidence of conduct by creditor that you might not have initially thought could be illegal. Noting down key information such as the number of visits or calls, descriptions of the visit or call was handled by the creditor, statements from witnesses and friends and especially written documentation from the creditor, are helpful documents that could support your case.

In addition to legitimate lenders, you may have borrowed money from a money lender without a credit licence, also referred to as a loan shark. Because they already operate illegally, loan sharks are more likely to threaten debtors both verbally and physically, however you are still within your rights to take action. Lending money without a credit licence is a criminal offence and you are not required by law to repay any debts to a loan shark. However, it’s important to still seek advice from an experienced professional who can discuss the best and safest options in these circumstances.

So if you feel your creditors are unfairly pursuing payment, why not contact Scotland Debt Solutions today for an informal chat to discuss your rights and options.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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