Being in debt is a stressful situation, but when you start to experience harassment from creditors, the pressure quickly rises. Creditors can overstep the mark when it comes to chasing payment, however, and if you feel that you need to stop harassing calls or letters, there are certain steps you can take.
How do you know what constitutes harassment? It could include one or more of the following:
There are certain steps you need to take when making a complaint against a creditor:
The first is to keep a log of all contact with them. That means making a note of the dates and times of all their incoming calls, visits and letters. Your phone company should be able to provide back-up evidence of incoming calls if necessary.
Keep all correspondence received from them – some of it may be deemed unnecessary, and constitute harassment in the eyes of the law. If the creditor has called at your house, your neighbours or friends may be able to provide witness statements to corroborate your complaint.
You need to send a letter telling them that you consider their behaviour to be harassment, and that you will take the matter further if they do not stop. Also instruct them how to contact you in the future, and request that they acknowledge this in writing.
Make sure to obtain a Certificate of Posting, or you may prefer to send the letter by Recorded Delivery. Additionally, you need to keep copies of every letter you send, and save each email sent or received, as this will form part of the evidence against them if you have to take the matter further.
If the above advice does not stop creditors from harassing you, or you feel that they have behaved so badly that you want to report them, you could write to their professional body or trade association, assuming they are a member.
Some trade associations have a code of conduct for members, and the association itself might feel the need to take some form of action against the creditor for bringing the trade into disrepute. Alternatively, your local Citizens Advice Bureau could advise you on whether the case should be referred to Trading Standards.
We can help you deal with harassment from creditors and stop them calling you. Scotland Debt Solutions operate from offices throughout Scotland, and have 60 debt experts available to help.
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