Dealing with debt collectors or debt collection agencies in Scotland. What actions can you take?

June 2, 2015

When a creditor has been trying to collect their debt for a while and has made several unsuccessful attempts, they may use the services of a debt collector or debt collection agency.

Having to deal with debt collectors can be daunting and frightening, but collectors are required to abide by specific regulations when going about their business. Knowing in advance what their tactics might be, and being aware of your own rights in the process, will help you stay in control of a potentially volatile situation.

What steps might a debt collector take to recover the monies owed?

The steps they can take by law are strictly controlled, but they could attempt to mislead you about your own rights in the process. If intimidating tactics are used, there are actions you can take to get assistance, or make an official complaint against them.

They may write to you, phone, email or call at your home, but once they have made contact it is important that you tell them how you want to be contacted in the future.

What actions can you take to deal with debt collectors?

First and foremost, you should write to the debt collection agency and request a copy of the original credit agreement to make sure they are actually chasing the right debt, and that it is legitimate.

Also in this letter, state how they should contact you in the future. Contact via post keeps them at bay a little. Request written confirmation that they will do this, and keep a copy of everything sent to, and received from them.

If you have a visit from a debt collector

The debt collection agency may threaten to send one of their ‘officers’ to your home to discuss the debt, but in reality this does not happen very often. It tends to be a tactic to intimidate you, but if a debt collector does arrive at your door:

  • They have no legal right of entry – you don’t even need to answer the door
  • They have to provide proof of ID
  • They have no rights to seize property from inside or outside your home – only sheriff officers are allowed to do this, and only with a specific court order
  • If you ask them to leave, they are legally obliged to do so

One of the most important points above is that debt collectors and debt collection agencies have no rights of seizure over your property. They may attempt to mislead you, however, about what they can legally do.

Can you negotiate with the debt collection agency?

Some creditors pass on your debt to a collection agency. This works by ‘selling’ a portion of the amount owed to the agency, which makes a profit by recovering the total debt from you. If this has happened, you are now indebted to the agency collecting the money.

As with the creditor, however, the agency should be open to negotiations for repayment. You may be able to set up an instalment plan with them, or pay a proportion of the debt as a gesture of goodwill.

Scotland Debt Solutions provides professional advice on how to deal with debt collection agencies. Our aim is to help Scottish residents rid themselves of debt, and we operate from offices throughout Scotland.



John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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