If debt collectors visit your home, they can’t force entry. You don’t even need to speak to them if you don’t want to, other than to show some politeness in asking them to leave.
For debt collectors to impersonate directly, or by implication the Police, a court official or a bailiff is an offence. If this has happened to you, then your local trading standard office would like to hear about it. If you’ve been threatened with violence, or are scared – call the Police.
A debt collector can…
- Visit you at home
- Try to set up a payment arrangement
- Ask you to make payment to them
A debt collector should not…
- Visit you at your workplace
- Act in a threatening or intimidating way
- Cause a disturbance
- Force their way into your house
- Take any of your belongings
- Refuse to leave when you tell them to
- Clamp your car
- Speak to anyone else about your debt
I’ve a debt collector at my door
What should I do?
This depends very much on your personal situation, firstly you should…
Check the facts
Check your own records and make sure this matches what you are being told by the debt collector.
There is nothing to be gained from lying about payments you’ve little chance of making. You’re just making the situation worse. Tell them you’re seeking professional advice and you will be in touch once you’ve decided how to act on this.
Offers of payment
If you have only this debt and can afford to offer some level of payment; you may choose to do this. It’s better to make an offer of token payments, no matter how small, than to just say you can’t pay. This shows good faith on your part while you work out a longer term solution.
But please be aware you don’t have to do this; a door step collector cannot demand that you make any sort of payment there and then; nor commit you to a payment schedule.
Important: if you have other debts then it is not in your best interests to pay the creditor who shouts the loudest to the detriment of your other creditors and financial commitments. If this is the case don’t agree to a payment plan until you have had independent advice